Race for Trustee Pits Tradition, Changing Times

Mute swans at Georgica Pond, which is under the jurisdiction of the East Hampton Town Trustees. All nine trustee positions will be voted on this Election Day. David E. Rattray

Eighteen candidates will vie on Nov. 7 for the nine seats on the East Hampton Town Trustees.

The trustees, a governing body distinct from the East Hampton Town Board, were granted jurisdiction over the town's common lands, including many of its beaches, bottomlands, and waterways by the Dongan Patent of 1686.

The trustees have diverse functions, including issuing permits and collecting fees for docks and moorings, and activities on lands under their jurisdiction, such as bulkhead reconstruction, but the trustee board has increasingly focused its attention on addressing water-quality degradation and stopping attempts by private property owners to privatize beaches or beach access points. Trustees are elected for two-year terms every two years, with all nine terms expiring in the same year.

Even if all of the incumbents running are re-elected, there will be new members on the 2018-19 board. Two current trustees, Tim Bock and Tyler Armstrong, are not seeking re-election. A third, Pat Mansir, resigned earlier this year.

Nearly all of the candidates have multiple party backing. Many of the candidates took part in recent forums organized by the East Hampton Historical Society.

Click on the names below to read about their backgrounds and qualifications. The letters following each name represent their party endorsements: C for Conservative, D for Democratic, I for Independence, R for Republican, Rf for Reform, W.E. for Women's Equality, and W.F. for Working Families. A sample ballot for the Town of East Hampton can be downloaded as a PDF here and in Spanish here.

John Aldred, D, I, W.F.
Joseph Bloecker, R, C, I
Francis Bock, D, W.F.
Brian Byrnes, D, W.F.
Gary Cobb, R, C, I
Dell Cullum, D
Richard Drew, D, I, W.F.
Julie Evans, R, Rf, C, I
Jim Grimes, R, C
Michael Havens, R, C
Lyndsey Hayes, R, C, I
Susan McGraw Keber, D, W.F., W.E.
Rona Klopman, D, I
Diane McNally, R, C, I
Francesca Rheannon, D, W.F., W.E.
Bill Taylor, D, I, W.F.
Susan Vorpahl, R, C, I
Willy Wolter
, R, C

The Star's 2017 East Hampton Town Trustee endorsements can be found here.