East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc announced Friday morning, Jan. 13 that he will not seek re-election to a fourth term as Supervisor this November. His Deputy Supervisor, Kathee Burke-Gonzalez announced later in the morning that she will screen with the East Hampton Town Democrats to run for the Supervisor seat.

“This decision has been made after thoughtful consideration and consultation with my family over the holidays,” said Mr. Van Scoyoc in his announcement. “I am blessed to have had the opportunity to serve the town I love, to work with dedicated and intelligent Town Board colleagues and staff, and to have met so many interesting and talented residents and individuals during my tenure.”

Mr. Van Scoyoc will have served on the East Hampton Town Board for 12 years at the end of 2023, six of them as Town Supervisor. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez is in the midst of her third four-year term on the Town Board, and has been on the board since 2013. Her current term expires Dec. 31, 2025.

“Over the last several years, we have witnessed tremendous shifts here in town – the year-round population has grown by 32 percent, the potential labor pool has shrunk significantly, the housing market continues to tighten, with housing getting even more expensive relative to income, some very wealthy residents have become more entitled and overly litigious, private equity investors have poured in millions of dollars buying up local businesses, all the while our older residents and those facing challenges due to low incomes have become more and more isolated,” said Ms. Burke-Gonzalez in her announcement of her plan to run for Supervisor. “These profound shifts require a change in the way local government operates.”

Ms. Burke-Gonzalez, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing/Management, had a career in advertising for 30 years. She credits the strategic planning, project management and budget management skills honed during those years as critical to her success in elected office, first as a member and then president of the Springs School Board for a total of nine years, and then as a member of the Town Board.

She said she plans to focus this year on adolescent mental health initiatives, innovative programming at the town’s new senior center that will soon be built on Abraham’s Path in Amagansett, affordable housing initiatives, adopting regulations and flight limitations at the East Hampton Town Airport, expanding wireless service and capital projects at the YMCA RECenter and the Montauk Playhouse over the course of the next year.

“I wish to serve as your next Town Supervisor as I have the experience, the vision and the interpersonal, organizational and communications skills to lead that effort,” she said. “My years of public service have been firmly rooted in my core values – family, hard work, compassion for one another, and respect for our environment.”

“This time has been marked by daunting challenges but also by many successes,” said Mr. Van Scoyoc of his time on the board. He had also served on the town’s Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals for a total of 11 years prior to his time on the Town Board. “I am proud of the work that has been accomplished by the Town Board under my leadership and I feel that the Town is currently on solid footing. As I move on to other endeavors, I will always be grateful to the people of East Hampton for the faith and confidence they have placed in me to lead the town over these many years.”

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she 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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