hamptons local events, express news group

Story - News

Sep 16, 2009 1:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton GOP chairman to step down

Sep 16, 2009 1:49 PM

The Southampton Town Republican Party, already in the midst of a tumultuous election season, will soon be looking to new leadership to guide it through rough waters.

Chairman Marcus Stinchi, who has been at the party’s helm for five years, is expected to step away from the position later this month by not seeking reelection at the committee’s annual reorganization convention, committee Secretary Ann LaWall confirmed Monday. Ms. LaWall said she and committee Treasurer Chuck Seaman, who both serve at the pleasure of Mr. Stinchi, will also announce they are leaving their posts.

Mr. Stinchi did not return repeated calls for comment to his cell phone and business office.

Ernest Wruck, the committee’s vice chairman, is next in line for the chairman position and is expected to be elected at the convention in Hampton Bays on September 21.

News of the impending changes follows a series of recent party setbacks and challenges to Mr. Stinchi’s leadership. In May, the party rejected incumbent Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot and instead endorsed Jim Malone, then chairman of the Conservative Party, as its candidate for supervisor, a move that divided the membership and resulted in Ms. Kabot preparing to wage a primary challenge for the nomination. After months of political sparring, the party unexpectedly reversed course and agreed to back Ms. Kabot, while Mr. Malone opted instead to seek a seat on the Town Board.

Then, just as the situation was settling down, Ms. Kabot was arrested on September 7 and charged with DWI. She refused to submit to a blood alcohol test and has vowed to fight the charges.

But Ms. LaWall said both instances are unconnected to Mr. Stinchi’s decision to step aside—his motivation is a desire to focus more attention on running his business, Stinchi Landscaping of Westhampton Beach. He will remain an active member of the town party, she said.

“I just think he has done it for a very long time and it was time to pass the baton,” Ms. LaWall said. “He’ll be there to offer Ernest assistance in any way he can.”

Mr. Wruck, 56, an Eastport resident and attorney with a practice in Patchogue, has served as vice chairman of the committee for one year and has been a party committeeman for numerous years.

On Monday, Mr. Wruck said he will seek the chairman position if Mr. Stinchi does walk away from the post next week. “If the present chairman decides not to run again, I will throw my hat into the ring,” he said.

Ms. LaWall said no committee members are expected to challenge Mr. Wruck for the top post.

A change in leadership of the committee is not a reflection of dissatisfaction over Mr. Stinchi’s leadership, Mr. Wruck said. The vice chairman called Mr. Stinchi a “good leader” and said that, were Mr. Stinchi to run again, “he would win by a landslide.”

Still, Mr. Wruck said news that Mr. Stinchi will step aside from the post is not surprising. The job of a chairman is often “thankless” and time consuming, he said, and Mr. Stinchi may have tired of the grind.

“I can understand that it can come to a point where people tire of it,” Mr. Wruck said. “I will say, without saying too much, that he has been thinking about this for a while.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

GOP... going dowwwwwwwn?
By landarchi (33), Southampton on Sep 14, 09 11:42 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By pmofo (37), East Quogue on Sep 14, 09 1:59 PM
Marcus Stinchi is no fool, he just doesn't want to be the general presiding over a monumental defeat. Just look at his candidates -- at the top of the ticket is Linda Kabot, whose personal problems have generated 149 mostly negative comments on this site so far, not to mention her being responsible for the worst financial disaster in the Town's history. Then there's Chris Nuzzi, who has spent four years on the Town Board whispering, passing notes and smirking like a schoolboy when he isn´t appearing ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Sep 15, 09 1:54 AM
"GOP... going dowwwwwwwn?"

Actually, it looks like the Town GOP may now be headed in a better direction without Stinchim Seaman and LeWall, though I NEVER thought I'd see Ann LeWall step away from the party -- it's all she lives an breathe.

All you who would do a little dance at the prospect of Marcus Christopher Stinchi bowing out now should remember that just four years ago, shortly after assuming the Chairmanship, elected a full slate of his candidates -- at a time when no other ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 15, 09 2:01 AM
"not to mention her being responsible for the worst financial disaster in the Town's history."

Attempting to re-write history, fidelis, or just slinging mud at anyone who isn't one of your prefered Democrats?

Kabot pretty much inherited the "worst financial disaster" from the Heaney administration -- and yes, she was a brief party of it.

But to say she is "responsible for the worst financial disaster in the Town's history," is a baseless charge, and shows a reckless disregard ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 15, 09 2:10 AM
Linda's guilty by association only; I think she's putting together a financial structure that will take care of the mess she was handed. 2010 is going to be a tough year for whomever wins.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Sep 15, 09 8:52 AM
Linda is not guilty by association-she was there-she was in office !!! She was responsible to the people for knowing what was going on. 2010 may be a tough year but it needs to be handled by newly elected officals.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Sep 15, 09 2:18 PM
Mr. Wheeler: On Linda Kabot's responsibility for the current financial mess, it is you who has it wrong, not I. Ms. Kabot has been in high positions in Southampton Town Government for the last 13 years. She was Supervisor Vince Cannuscio's right hand as his Executive Assistant from 1996 to 2001. She was a Town Board member from 2001 to 2007. She has been Supervisor herself since 2007. You can't seriously maintain that she doesn't share responsibility for this unfortunate situation. She may ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Sep 15, 09 5:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
Marcus had indicated when he was last elected as Chair that this would be
his last term. Don't misconstrue that Linda take any credit for pushing him out.
She may believe that she's that powerful but she's just a lame duck now.
By Uniblab (24), Water Mill on Sep 16, 09 10:55 AM
"You can't seriously maintain that she doesn't share responsibility for this unfortunate situation." I don't, FIDELIS -- only that the breadth of it was uncovered on her watch, although it preceeded her role as Supervisor.

Mrs. Kabot is by no means an innocent victim of the Press, the Democrats or the Old Guard GOP, but the Chief Fiscal Officer of the Town is the Supervisor, and in fairness -- which some where have no interest in -- look to Heaney as the principal architect of this fiscal ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 16, 09 2:16 PM
If Kabot's responsible for the financial mess, how come all the decisions that caused fiscal mess resulted from improper financial practices/human error during the Heaney Administration?

Where was Heaney as Chief Fiscal Officer?

Its pretty clear that Heaney/Kagel caused this mess. Although sorting through the improper practices and record keeping is taking time, finally the right thing is being done and the financial books are being reconciled the way they should have been all ...more
By ridiculous (214), hampton bays on Sep 16, 09 4:19 PM
Nuzzi has been doing a great job and will have no problem keeping his seat on the Town Board. He has always been effective and responsive to any issues that myself or others I speak to have brought to him. He definitely has won our votes!!
By hb guy (17), Hampton Bays on Sep 16, 09 9:01 PM
I like the job Nuzzi has been doing as well -- I was suspicious at first because of his Brookhaven Town resume, but until Sally Pope came along and started off making a fuss about being a "Councilperson," Nuzzi was the only member of the Town Board at my end of Town.

We used to have Tony Gil to cover Flanders, but no more... the juice is East of the Canal.

So, yeah, Nuzzi looks like the class of the '09 Town Council races... Pope hasn't done much, Malone looks to be ineffactual ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 16, 09 9:29 PM
What has Chris Nuzzi done for us in four years on the Town Board? Let´s see -- well, there have been his constant attempts to weaken the already-ineffective appointed boards (ZBA & Planing Board), first by reducing the number of members, and then, when that was seen for the power grab it is, by reducing their terms by more than half. Chris and the other Republicans see a Democratic sweep coming in November, and they want to diminish the clout of any Dem appointments to these boards.

The ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 17, 09 10:35 AM
1 member liked this comment
Well, TB, I guess it's really a matter of perspective. The Town Zoning and Planning Boards (http://www.town.southampton.ny.us/appointedboards.ihtml#A) are already bloated with six and seven members while the rest of the world gets along with five, and at a cost of what per member? If they are closing two of the Town transfer stations a day each week to effect savings, what's wrong with reducing the number on the boards? That's not "weakening" them unless you consider "strength is in numbers," never ...more
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Sep 17, 09 11:34 AM
1 member liked this comment
Re the Boards, the phoney "economizing" rationale for the Nuzzi reduction-of-membership proposal in December 2008 was exposed as a ruse by Anna Throne-Holst & Sally Pope, whereupon Chris Nuzzi simply withdrew it, realizing he didn´t have the votes. The power grab was as described in my comment above, and that's what the other Town Board members saw it to be. If Nuzzi's measure had been a true cost-saver, he would have stuck with it, and it would have passed.

Re the four environmental ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1979), Quiogue on Sep 17, 09 5:26 PM
If these folks who think so well of Chris Nuzzi would come to some Town Board meetings and observe, they might think differently. Regarding Mr. Wheeler's comment that "Ñuzzi looks like the class" and "Pope hasn't done much", it would not be a great exaggeration to say, on the contrary, that Sally Pope has done more in eight months on the Town Board than Chris Nuzzi has done in three years and eight months on that body.

Where was Chris Nuzzi when Sally Pope sized up the sad financial situation ...more
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Sep 18, 09 10:17 AM
2 members liked this comment
If you think back to the years this deficit first started happening, it was during the years that the democrats had the majority on the town board.
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Sep 19, 09 12:41 PM
Do watch some town board meeting on chan 22. This proposal to change the planning and zba boards to 5 members instead of 7 will come up for public hearing on Oct 13. I'm sure it will pass this time. Any decision that needs to be made can be done with a 5 member board, just like the TB. A 5 member board will not in any way undermine any board. This proposal was good idea on Nuzzi's part and the dem's on the board will finally see the light and start learning how to be fiscally responsible. ...more
By golfbuddy (180), hampton bays on Sep 19, 09 12:58 PM
It is a time for a change for ALL that have been for years in politics.
By UNITED states CITIZEN (207), SOUTHAMPTON on Sep 20, 09 6:40 AM
Golfbuddy, you need to go to the Town Board meetings in person. The camera catches only half of it. Whern you're actually there, you see Chris Nuzzi being impatient, petulant, somnolent, basically acting as though he'd rather be somewhere else.
By fidelis (199), westhampton beach on Sep 22, 09 4:08 AM