With Al Krupski winning the race by a landslide for a Suffolk County Legislature on Jan. 15, there will soon be an empty seat on the Southold Town Board.
Krupski is slated to be sworn into his new position on Wednesday, at the Riverhead County Center at 11 a.m.
The question of what's next for Southold was one many were heard asking only minutes after Krupski handily defeated his challenger, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter, after a special election last week.
Looking ahead, Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said the town board will have Town Attorney Martin Finnegan outline options based on election law.
"I presume we can either fill the seat or leave it vacant," Russell said. "Albert's term would have been up in November so if we were to appoint someone, that person would need to run and win a general election in November."
The supervisor said the board would be discussng the issue at the beginning of its next work session on Jan. 29.
But Krupski's shoes will be hard to fill, Russell said. "He will be hard to replace no matter what direction the board goes in."
Russell said he will also need to appoint a new deputy supervisor on Jan. 29.
Krupski has been a Southold Town Councilman for eight years and a town trustee beginning in 1985 for years before that. He is also a successful farmer on the North Fork as the head of Krupski’s Vegetable Farm, a business that he bought from his parents after receiving a degree in plant science from the University of Delaware.
Although a number of rumors have been swirling around town regarding potential candidates for the open Southold Town Board seat, no one has officially stepped up to express their interest or candidacy.
"I have been approached by many people to fill the seat left vacant by Al's election," Russell said, adding that he is certain that both the Republican and Democratic party chairman have also been "inundated" with calls expressing interest. "Decisions such as these need to be made carefully and thoughtfully and I see no need to rush on it. There is an ample supply of well qualified people and it will be a hard decision to make."
Krupski, when asked what advice he'd give to whomever fills his seat, responded, "My advice is to work with everyone. Listen to everyone. Don't be afraid to disagree -- and work for everyone."
Who would you like to see fill Al Krupski's seat on the Southold Town Board? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.