Jill Doherty's family ties run deep within the town and her family is what drives her to succeed, whether as a Town Trustee or candidate for town council.
Doherty grew up in Port Washington and East Marion. She lost her mother at age seven, but her family rallied and she recalls many good times on the North Fork with her extended family when she was growing up.
Traveling between the two towns every week was not always easy, but Doherty said she had friends in both places and has always worked on the North Fork. She moved to the North Fork full-time during her senior year and worked at Brian Song restaurant in Greenport while she attended Nassau Community College.
The closeness she felt with her family and community is still something she values today.
“I grew up where we had neighborhood parties and you just would bring something. You would just pitch in and do it,” Doherty said.
Today, she spends much of her time supporting her two teenage children, attending many soccer games and college-hunting with her daughter.
Through the years she has worked as a clerk in several offices in Town Hall (including for the trustees) but when her second child was born she looked for part-time work that would let her raise her children. Six years ago, she was elected to her first term as a Town Trustee and she said she is proud that her children saw how all her hard work paid off.
“It’s always important to show your kids something, not just tell them about it,” Doherty said.
In particular, she said she does not feel she is a good public speaker, but when she was running for trustee she just had to face her fears and do it. Her daughter was 11 at the time and Doherty said she is glad her daughter saw her face her fears head-on.
Working in Town Hall has also helped her develop a thick skin, which she said has led her on the path to run for Town Council. She said she uses a common-sense approach, which she attributes to her father always telling her to “think about it before you jump in.”
Doherty’s father taught sailing in both Port Washington and Orient, so she grew up learning a great respect for the water and the environment. As a trustee, that respect has come in to play as she has often found herself balancing respect for the environment and property-owners’ wishes.
When she is not with her children or out on the water, Doherty is an active member of the Mattituck Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary for more than 20 years.
“Being involved in the community is just part of living in a small town,” she said.