Judge Rules Greenport Candidates Can Remain on the Ballot

A New York State Supreme Court judge has ruled that the candidates who had initially been shut out of the March 21 Greenport Village election can remain on the ballot.

In a March 6 Stipulation of Settlement requested by the Village Board, Justice Joseph A. Santorelli ordered Village Clerk Sylvia Pirillo, in her official capacity as the chief village election officer, to reinstate the names of Mayoral candidates Kevin Stuessi and Richard Vendenburgh, along with Trustee candidates Patrick Brennan, Lili Dougherty-Johnson and Monique Gohorel on the ballot, stating that, “having filed certificates of acceptance, their nominations are deemed valid.”

Trustee Candidate Alison Tuthill told the court she had entered into contract to sell her home and will no longer be a resident of the Village of Greenport and asked that her name not appear on the ballot, and candidate William Swiskey “declined to execute this stipulation,” according to the settlement.

The names of incumbent Mayor George Hubbard and Jack Martilotta, initially the only two candidates deemed by the Village Clerk to be eligible to have their names on the ballot, will remain on the ballot.

On Feb. 14, Ms. Pirillo had sent all nine candidates letters stating that “there has been filed in this office an Independent Nominating Petition nominating you as a candidate… and that your name and party shall appear on the ballot as such. Kindly note that the last day to file a certificate of declination is February 17, 2023.”

Her letter made no mention of the need to accept the nomination, though Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Martilotta did submit letters accepting the nominations, making them initially the only candidates on the ballot.

The initial seven challengers were sent letters by the Village Attorney Feb. 22 saying they had been disqualified from running because they did not file letters accepting their candidacy.

An angry crowd filled the Village Board’s Feb. 23 meeting demanding the candidates be reinstated, after which the board voted unanimously to restore their names to the ballot and give them until Feb. 27 to file their letters of acceptance.

The March 21 election will be held from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Greenport Firehouse at 236 Third Street.

Two more candidate debates will be held at the Greenport School Auditorium, 720 Front Street. A debate for Village Trustees will be held on Wednesday, March 8, at 6:30 p.m.  and a second Mayoral debate will be held on Tuesday, March 14, also at 6:30 p.m.

Rena Wilhelm will moderate the Mayoral debate and Heather Wolf will moderate the Trustee debate.

The Beacon will livestream the March 8 Trustee debate, and livestreamed an earlier Mayoral debate on Feb. 28.

Voters who are registered with the Suffolk County Board of Elections using an address already inside the Incorporated Village of Greenport are automatically registered to vote in Greenport. Anyone registered to vote at a location outside the village is not eligible to vote in village elections.

The village will be holding two voter registration days on Thursday,  March 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Village Hall, 236 Third Street in Greenport Village. More details are available at villageofgreenport.org.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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