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Election Platforms Take Shape

New Southold Democratic party leader seeks to run on core Democratic values, and local Republican leader says they are ready for the challenge.

As the summer draws to a close, a new season is about to get into full swing in Southold: Election 2011.

Local Republicans and Democrats are preparing for a new election cycle, in a season that has already seen a dust-up over campaign signs.

Democrats are being led this year by Chairman Art Tillman, who has some definite ideas of how to get his candidates to win and they revolve around getting back to core Democratic issues.

“These national issues hit home for our local people,” Tillman said.

Republican Chairman Denis Noncarrow said he feels if you look at the town’s current fiscal standing, the Republican record speaks for itself.

“Our team is working for the local issues, but we’ll be more than happy to get involved with national issues. We see how our Democratic leaders are leading the nation now,” Noncarrow said.

Tillman said the town is not run as tightly as it could, pointing to what his party feels is an unnecessary expense for a receiver of taxes. He also said the town only needs one assessor as opposed to the three the town has currently. In protest, the Democrats will not run a candidate for assessor, Tillman said.

Former town board member William Edwards will be running for the position of receiver of taxes against incumbent George Sullivan for the sole purpose of abolishing the position. The Democratic chairman said receiver of taxes is a part-time position, with a salary over $36,000. Tillman said it would take a resolution by the town board to abolish the position.

“We need to bring this to the public’s attention. Over the course of 10 years, the town can save $370,000,” Tillman said.

Noncarrow said even if you get rid of these elected officials, you have to hire someone to do the job. The town currently does not have a contract with the receiver of taxes and, if the people are unhappy with the job he is doing, they can vote him out. He also said towns with only one assessor have to hire out for the position and the town’s assessors handle all grievances in-house.

“I’m glad to see the Democrats are joining our fight for smaller government though,” Noncarrow said.

Another issue Tillman said Democrats will take on is transportation. Tillman said they are currently talking with the Suffolk County Legislature and Steve Bellone, Democratic nominee for County Executive, for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to reopen stations in Jamesport, Cutchogue, Peconic, and Laurel and to open a new station closer to the Tanger Outlet Center in Riverhead. He said they are also advocating for a light rail to run between Greenport and Ronkonkoma.

Noncarrow said the current town board and Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine have been fighting for these changes, especially since the town is forced to pay the MTA tax.

“We’d love them to join the fight with Romaine who has been battling all along to make this happen,” Noncarrow said.

Stay tuned for upcoming Patch election coverage.

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