10/17/13 1:00pm
10/17/2013 1:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Republican Linda Kabot, left, speaks while incumbent Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, who is running on the Democratic line, listens at the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association’s Southampton Town candidate’s night Tuesday.

Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for Southampton Town Board and Suffolk County Legislature agreed Tuesday that helping the northwest portion of town – most of which shares a school district with Riverhead Town – is an important goal in their campaigns. But the two sides disagreed about how best to achieve this goal.

One key disagreement concerned the proposed formation of a Riverside sewer district, seen by some as a key to economic development in the area.

The Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association held the forum Tuesday in David Crohan Community Center in Flanders, where candidates for Southampton Town Supervisor and council spoke, along with candidates for the South Fork’s Suffolk County Legislature seat.

Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst of Sag Harbor, running for reelection on the Democratic, Independence and Working Families lines, is opposed by former Supervisor Linda Kabot of Quogue, running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

Ms. Throne-Holst defeated Ms. Kabot four years ago and then won again two years ago when Ms. Kabot ran only a write-in campaign.

Ms. Throne-Holst said her administration has done a lot for the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton areas, including establishing an economic development task force, getting the county’s sex offender trailers closed, obtaining a grant for a walking trail to the river in Riverside, having the police department join the East End Drug Task Force and issuing a request for proposals from developers interested in jump-starting economic activity in Riverside.

“Economic development in Riverside is absolutely crucial,” Ms. Kabot agreed. But she said that having done a number of studies on the area, the town should be taking action. She said the area near the former car dealership on Route 104 should be rezoned for shopping centers and the property north of the Riverwoods mobile home park should be rezoned for senior housing. The Republican Town Board candidates have included a section on Riverside in their campaign platform, Ms. Kabot said.

The two candidates also differed about future handling of the area’s sewage. Ms. Kabot said the town should hook into downtown Riverhead’s system while Ms. Throne-Holst supports a $250,000 study of the issue. The views of the county legislature candidates, incumbent Jay Schneiderman and Republican challenger Chris Nuzzi, split along the same lines.

Mr. Nuzzi said he disagrees with doing a $250,000 study on sewers in Riverside since “we already know the answer,” which would be hooking into the Riverhead system.

Mr. Schneiderman, who sponsored the bill to fund the study, has said that Riverhead Town rejected a request to tie into their sewer system, which Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter has confirmed in interviews.

All candidates supported current plans to create a walking trail from Flanders Road to the Peconic River and to build a pedestrian bridge over the river from downtown Riverhead connecting to that path. Town and county officials hope to obtain a grant for that project.

“We have very serious issues here,” Ms. Kabot said. “The northwest quadrant of the town needs attention.” At one point, she added that she’d like to see someone from the area run for town board, though Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mate, Brad Bender, is in fact from Northampton. Ms. Throne-Holst later thanked Ms. Kabot for “endorsing” him.

Ms. Kabot said that during her two years as supervisor, the town brought the Big Duck back to Flanders, got the state to repave Route 24 and renovated the Crohan Community Center.

Ms. Throne-Holst’s running mates for Town Board are Mr. Bender, a former FRNCA president and landscaping company owner who made an unsuccessful bid for Town Board in 2011, and Frank Zappone of Southampton, currently her deputy supervisor. In the past, he was a school administrator for many years and also worked for Apple and for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Republican/Conservative council candidates are Stan Glinka of Hampton Bays – president of the Hampton Bays Chamber of Commerce and the Rogers Memorial Library and a vice president at Bridgehampton National Bank – and Jeff Mansfield of Bridgehampton, a finance professional who also has degrees in business administration and law.

Some Republican candidates were also critical of the current administration for not following through on a pledge to create a night court within the town justice court, something Flanders and Riverside residents felt would help deal with quality-of-life offenses.

Ms. Throne-Holst said the attorneys in town didn’t want to go to night court, and the decision to have night court was up to the town justices, who didn’t pursue it. She said the Town Board can’t force judges to do something since they themselves are elected officials.

Correction: The print version of this story in the Oct. 17 News-Review incorrectly said the meeting was Monday.

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03/16/13 6:40pm
03/16/2013 6:40 PM

TIM GANNON FILE PHOTO | A smiling Linda Kabot fields questions from reporters alongside her lawyer in 2011. Ms. Kabot plans to make another run for Southampton Supervisor.

Former Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot announced her intention to formally screen for the Republican nomination in this year’s election for the job she once held.

Ms. Kabot sent a formal letter of interest to committee members after meeting with the Republican Chairman and Vice Chairman this week. Screenings are expected to be held in April followed by a nominating convention in May.

Ms. Kabot said she has deep roots in Southampton Town as well as having a reputation for fiscal prudence.

In 2011 Ms. Kabot made an unsuccessful bid to upend incumbent Anna Throne-Holst for supervisor. As a write-in candidate, Ms. Kabot drew more than 3,600 votes, or about 37 percent of the total count.

“It’s not an election without a challenger who is willing and able to tackle the tough issues facing our community,” Ms. Kabot said in a release.

Her run in 2011 came on the heels of a DWI acquittal. She was arrested in Westhampton Village just after midnight on Labor Day in 2010 for DWI. She was acquitted of those charges in February 2011.

Ms. Kabot said the number of votes she received as a write-in challenger in 2011 shows there is opposition to the incumbent.

“To have thousands of write-in votes credited to my name is a historic first for New York State,” she said.

Ms. Kabot served in 2008 and 2009 as supervisor and was a council member for six years before that.

02/04/11 2:30pm
02/04/2011 2:30 PM

 | A smiling Linda Kabot fields questions from reporters alongside her lawyer.

TIM GANNON PHOTO | A smiling Linda Kabot fields questions from reporters alongside her lawyer.

Former Southampton supervisor Linda Kabot was acquitted of DWI charges in a Riverhead courtroom Friday.

She was also found innocent of refusing to submit to a pre-screen breath test and failure to maintain lane. Jurors did, however, find her guilty of running a stop sign, which is a traffic violation.

“As you can see, there are tears in my eyes and I certainly am joyful and a bit overwhelmed,” Ms. Kabot said to reporters as she left court.

Asked if she was surprised by the quick verdict, the former supervisor said, “I’ve never been in the criminal justice system before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

“I’m thankful for finally having the matter behind me.”

She wouldn’t comment on her political future or if she thought her arrest was a setup.

Read the Feb. 10 News-Review for full story.

Coverage before the verdict Friday:

The driving while intoxicated case against former Southampton supervisor Linda Kabot is now in the hands of the jurors, as her defense attorney and the prosecution wrapped up their closing  arguments Friday morning.

Ms. Kabot was arrested just after midnight on Labor Day, Sept. 7,  2010 and charged with DWI in Westhampton Beach Village.

The arrest was videotaped by police and shown in court, as well as distributed to the media. Both sides claim that tape proves their argument.

Defense attorney William Keahon said the tape does not show Ms. Kabot slurring her speech or being unsteady afoot, not does it indicate she swerved on Sunset Avenue and ran a stop sign turning onto Main Street, where she was eventually pulled over.

Mr. Keahon argues that there was a conspiracy to get Mr. Kabot, who was unpopular with the town Police Benevolent Association and had supported a proposal that would have required some long term officers to retire.

She said one of the arresting officers, Officer Steven McManus, was a delegate to the Suffolk County Police Conference, and that Officer  
McManus testified that he also made a cell phone call to Mr. Aube shortly after the arrest.

Mr. Aube also admitted calling Anna Throne-Holst, who was Ms. Kabot’s opponent in last fall’s election, shortly after the arrest. Ms. Kabot lost her reelection bid to Ms. Throne-Holst, two months after the arrest.

But assistant district attorney Anthony Baron said the video clearly shows that Ms. Kabot made seven driving errors while she was on tape, including crossing over the double yellow line, making a rolling stop at a stop sign, and failure to heed to some pedestrians crossing the street.

Mr. Baron also said Ms. Kabot rambles on the tape and failed to successfully executive several field sobriety tests in the tape.

He said the issues Mr. Keahon brings up about a conspriracy are just intended as distractions from the real issue, which was whether Ms. Kabot was driving drunk.

Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith is presiding over the case since all Westhampton Beach Village judges recused themselves, citing conflicts.

The jury is scheduled to return to court at 2 p.m. Friday.