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Oct 30, 2009 10:30 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Trustee incumbent Jon Semlear (R)

Editor's Note: Seven candidates are seeking seats on the five-member Southampton Town Board of Trustees this year. The five incumbents—Republicans Jon Semlear, Ed Warner Jr., Brian Tymann, Eric Shultz and Fred Havemeyer—are all seeking reelection to another two-year term on the board. They are being challenged by Democratic candidates Bill Pell and Chris Garvey. The Trustees seats are considered part-time and come with an annual $23,900 per year salary for the regular Trustees seats and $30,300 for the president’s seat, which Mr. Semlear has held since 2007. All seven candidate answered a few questions from The Press on topics relevant to the Trustees’ work.

Click here to download a pdf of the Southampton Town Ballot

Oct 30, 2009 10:30 AM

Age: 49

Hometown: Noyac

Occupation: commercial fisherman

Political Affiliation: Republican

Political Experience: Southampton Town Trustee since 1993.

Do you think stormwater runoff is a problem the Trustees should be involved in trying to fix? Why or how?

The Trustees basically initiated the stormwater runoff thing in Southampton. We have weighed in on places where installations should go. The thing now is to get the money. We have problems, the red tide is just the most recent plague. Everything from this little sliver of land ends up in the water eventually. We probably have to be more creative, maybe there needs to be more private funding to facilitate more dry-well installations. It would probably be in everybody’s interest if we could get the town to curb the use of chemicals around residences. We can’t force people not to use chemicals but the town certainly could.

Do you think the Trustees can or should be doing more to help the local commercial fishing industry? Why?

We can always do more, but we do a lot. The aquaculture program has been something to argument small scale fishermen. We are constantly working on programs with Cornell [Marine Science Center] to replant eelgrass. We have a $25,000 contract with Cornell for hatchery grow out and we’re putting out 25,000 scallops next week. We just spent $200,000 to re-do our Trustee basin to give safe anchorage to commercial vessels. We are working with [U.S. Representative] Tim Bishop to make sure that dredging of the inlet got priority. We’ve been very proactive, and have done as much as any municipality on Long Island to promote our fishing heritage.

How should the Trustees be involved in improving water quality in the town’s freshwater ponds?

Fred [Havemeyer] has created this Lakes and Ponds Association from the residents that live along the major fresh water bodies. We have actually funded water quality sampling for data collection so we know which way to steer our emphasis. We’ve engaged Dr. Christopher Gobler to do a tremendous amount of data collection in Mill Pond so we can come up with an ultimate plan. We’ve been very active. We’re working with the Nature Conservancy in the Long Pond Greenbelt to eradicate phragmites.

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Jon ... Presidentee for life ?
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on Nov 2, 09 12:43 AM
Jon's a bayman, smart and puts a lot of time into the job. How can you fault him ... and all the other trustees? Oh, I know. Because you are supporting the two new guys. Ok, that makes sense.
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Nov 2, 09 9:59 AM
I like to iron. Don't forget ironing!
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Nov 2, 09 1:12 PM