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Jun 19, 2019 11:38 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Jesse Warren Wins Southampton Village Mayoral Race

Left to right: Mark Parash, Jesse Warren and Andrew Pilaro GREG WEHNER
Jun 24, 2019 11:21 AM

UPDATE: June 21, 11:15 p.m.

Jesse Warren was elected to the Southampton Village Mayor seat on Friday night after garnering 450 votes—incumbent Mayor Michael Irving collected 405 votes.

Mark Parash and Andrew Pilaro were also elected to seats on the Southampton Village Board, with Mr. Parash collecting 643 votes, and Mr. Pilaro getting 443 votes.

Joseph McLoughlin, who was also running for village trustee, collected 433 votes.

“I mostly feel extremely honored to be elected by Southampton Village and honored to have the opportunity to serve every single resident stakeholder and person in the village,” Mr. Warren said after the results were read. “I could not be happier, and I’m looking forward to getting to work, working hard, bringing the change that has been asked for in Southampton, and working on the platform and what we’d like to accomplish.”

He said he credits the win to canvasing the streets and trying to connect with everyone, including the senior class at Southampton High School.

“This campaign was about being open to everybody and representing everybody, and that’s exactly what I want to do,” he added.

Mr. Irving said elections give people in the community an opportunity to speak, and this time they think he can do a better job.

The past two years, he said, have been a lot of work, and now he is looking forward to being able to go to the grocery store and not get stopped.

“It was an absolute honor to represent the village,” Mr. Irving said.

He added that he does not plan to seek office in the future.


The Southampton Village election will take place this Friday, with challenges in both the mayoral and village board races.

Lifelong village resident Mayor Michael Irving, the incumbent, is being challenged by Jesse Warren, who moved to the village in 2010 to open a store along Main Street. Mr. Irving is seeking reelection to a second, two-year term in the top seat, while Mr. Warren would be seeking his first.

In the race for village trustee, three candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for two seats being vacated by two longtime board members, Nancy McGann and Bill Hattrick.

Seeking their first two-year terms on the board are Mark Parash, Andrew Pilaro and Joseph McLoughlin.

Polls will be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday at the Levitas Center on Pond Lane.

Michael Irving

Mr. Irving, 65, has served as mayor for the past two years, and was on the Village Board for a decade prior. He said he is seeking a second term because he wants to give back to the village, which has been a big part of his life and his family’s life.

Mr. Irving works a full-time job overseeing the New Suffolk Shipyard and Cutchogue Harbor Marina, and the knowledge he has obtained on the job has helped him when it comes to making environmental decisions regarding the village’s lakes and ponds, he said.

If reelected, Mr. Irving said he wants to work toward changing the village’s demographics by attracting younger residents. He said changes made to zoning during his first two years in office were aimed at attracting the younger residents, and have worked.

“We have, despite the naysayers, started to see this change,” Mr. Irving said in an email this week.

He said he also wants to work with Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to address the future of the property where the facility currently sits when the hospital moves to Shinnecock Hills, possibly within five years.

The hospital is the largest employer on the East End, he said, and the move will have a significant impact on the area. He and the other board members plan to work with an environmental firm that specializes in hospital property reuse. “I hope we can work together to the benefit of the Southampton community,” he said.

Another issue Mr. Irving wants to continue working on is the improvement of area bays and waterways. He said his efforts to work on improving the drainage of road runoff leading to Lake Agawam, a water body plagued by toxic algae blooms every year, have resulted in less water directly entering the lake.

He said there are numerous other coastal waters in the village, like Old Town Pond and Shinnecock Bay, that are not discussed as often as Lake Agawam. Now, he wants to turn to those bodies of water.

“I presently chair the municipal association to the Peconic Estuary Program, where at a recent meeting [with] East End mayors and supervisors, the common theme [was] that the East End is no longer sustainable,” he said. “Issues not being discussed by the village [are] our fresh water supplies—contaminate groundwater migrations, ecosystem changes in our bays, warming temperatures, new weather patterns, new patterns of rain.”

The idea is to collect as much data as is available, Mr. Irving said, and then connect the dots to develop a comprehensive plan so the East End can become sustainable again.

“It is unfortunate that those seeking political positions currently in Southampton Village have absolutely no concept on how to address this, nor do they have a connection to it,” he said.

Mr. Irving went on to say he has fished, hunted and spent a lifetime on the bays and waters in the area, knows the history of these waterways and has seen them change. And with all that, he added, he understands the delicate balance of their ecosystems.

Although he works full time, Mr. Irving can often be seen around the village, often inside Dazzelle on Jobs Lane, a women’s clothing store that is run by his wife, Ellen.

The Irvings have two children, Magnus Irving of Utah and Colette D’Angelo of Water Mill, both of whom graduated from Southampton schools.

Jesse Warren

Mr. Warren, 36, is the owner of Tenet, a retail store on Main Street, and he said he is running for mayor of Southampton Village so he can help revitalize the business district, while preserving the history of the village and coming up with ways to clean up local polluted water bodies.

Although he is not a lifelong resident of Southampton Village, Mr. Warren made his home in the village nearly 10 years ago, after spending two years working in venture capital in Boston and two years working in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions in New York City.

Before that, he spent four years at Brown University, which included a year at Oxford University in England.

Mr. Warren is running as a member of the Unity Wave Party, which he created with the intent of bringing a wave of new and vested community members to serve in local government.

As a business owner for the past 10 years in the village, Mr. Warren said he wants to see a vibrant Main Street and downtown community with an expansion of the arts district, instead of numerous vacant storefronts.

In order to address the issues in the business district, Mr. Warren said he wants to reintroduce the idea of building a sewer system in the business district, along with other water treatment plans, to help lift the moratorium from the Suffolk County Department of Health on wet uses in the village. Doing so, he said, would allow for the opening of new restaurants, meeting places and venues.

Additionally, Mr. Warren said he wants to speak to the small number of landlords who own the majority of the vacant storefronts to figure out why they are not renting their spaces, and come up with incentives for them to do so.

The health of Lake Agawam is also a major issue Mr. Warren wants to address. “Lake Agawam is one of the most polluted and toxic bodies of water in New York State,” he said in an email this week. “Each late summer or fall, we experience blue-green algae blooms that produce cyanobacteria that are dangerous to the central nervous system.”

He has a plan to tackle the blooms, which include reducing nitrogen loading through the use of new nitrogen-reducing septic systems, the installation of a sewer system and natural treatment centers that help filter the water through planted greenery.

Mr. Warren said the use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers heavy with nitrogen and phosphate needs to be limited. He also said residents should be encouraged to address rain runoff through the use of rain gardens and buffer zones.

“When all of this is completed, we need to remove the sediments from the bottom of the lake and especially around the shallow areas,” he said.

Mr. Warren does not have children but said he is the proud uncle of his 14-month-old nephew, Luke Harry Warren.

Joseph McLoughlin

Mr. McLoughlin, 29, is a lifelong resident of Southampton Village and said he is running for Southampton Village trustee so he can bring a fresh perspective to the board.

Born and raised in Southampton Village, Mr. McLoughlin attended Southampton schools. After graduating from Southampton High School, he went on to attend Iona College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Like Mr. Irving, Mr. McLoughlin is a member of the Patriot Party.

For the past two years, he has served on the Village Planning Commission, where he worked on everything from planning and zoning to quality of life issues. He also worked with Village Trustee Kimberly Allan to find properties in the village that could be considered for acquisition using the Community Preservation Fund.

Rather than be reactive to issues facing the village, he said, he wants to be proactive and come up with solutions. For example, a large chunk of the money that goes into the CPF comes from real estate sales in the village, he said, so he and Ms. Allan sought out a solution to get some of that money back into the village.

If elected, Mr. McLoughlin said he would focus on working with business owners and landlords to discuss the installation of cluster septic systems in parking lots behind the buildings. Cluster systems allow multiple businesses to come together to have a sewage treatment option, while sharing the cost.

Mr. McLoughlin said cluster systems provide a mix of retail and wet use and would avoid the installation of a centralized sewer district.

Another issue Mr. McLoughlin wants to focus on is the health of Lake Agawam. In order to do so, he said he wants to pursue a partnership between the village and the Southampton Town Trustees and put together a plan based on studies of the lake conducted by Dr. Christopher Gobler of Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.

A third issue, which he has already been a part of, is working with the Stony Brook Southampton Hospital to come up with a plan for the future development of the hospital grounds when the hospital moves. As a member of the Planning Commission, he helped find James Lima Planning + Development, a firm that specializes in plans for hospital reuse.

Mark Parash

Mr. Parash, 48, is a lifelong resident of Southampton Village, and owns and operates Sip ’n’ Soda luncheonette on Hampton Road. He said he is running for office because he wants to give back to the community he loves and grew up in.

Mr. Parash is a graduate of Widener University, where he earned a degree in government and politics. He is seeking a seat on the Village Board because of numerous concerns expressed by people in the community.

In particular, Mr. Parash said he wants to look into ways to revitalize a struggling business district, help bring the community together so they feel more connected and preserve the historical character of the village.

“Building upon already successful events, such as Southamptonfest and the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, as well as more year-round activities, we can create more ways for the members of our community to share experiences in the village,” he said in an email.

Mr. Parash said he believes that gathering information, inspiration, models and programs from other communities who have faced similar challenges and navigated their way through them successfully, will give the village an opportunity to plan for the future while working with the community.

He is running as a member of the Community Party, which he created with his running mate, Andrew Pilaro. He said the two of them wanted to create something fresh, fun and free of party affiliations.

Mr. Parash has been married to his wife, Ulrika, for 19 years, and they have two children, Katherine, 15, and Michael, 12.

Andrew Pilaro

Mr. Pilaro, 49, has spent the majority of his life living in Southampton Village, and is the president of CAP Properties Limited, a family-operated investment firm.

A graduate of the University of Virginia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, and Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree, Mr. Pilaro said he is seeking office because he wants to give back to the village community. He also wants to ensure that traditions he experienced as a child in Southampton are available for future generations.

“Southampton has always been my home,” he said in an email, although he moved to Ireland for about nine years for his business. “I returned in 2010 because I wanted my children to be able to create the same memories of their youth that I loved and enjoyed. The smell of salt in the air, a sense of community and the joy of knowing what is like to grow up in a village unlike anywhere else.”

Some of his fondest memories in Southampton Village, he said, were the christening of his son Keeling, now 21, at the Dune Church, listening to Nancy Atlas at the Concerts in the Park on Wednesday nights, and skating on Old Town Pond in the winter.

Mr. Pilaro said it is his mission to adhere to and honor the village’s history while also creating a changing and evolving community.

“The challenges facing the village are complex,” he said. “Just walking down Main Street, one will get many differing opinions on what the biggest issues are.”

He said the challenges the village faces include a high rate of unoccupied buildings and the absence of new restaurants.

Mr. Pilaro is running as a member of the Community Party with Mr. Pilaro and said he has no outside affiliations.

“I can listen objectively and hopefully do what is in the best interest of the village as a whole,” he said. “That does not mean I will please everyone, but if the long term sustainability of the village is a goal for the future, I am certainly ready to participate.”

Mr. Pilaro has four children: Keeling, 21, Chris and Finn, both 18, and Boo, 15.

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The most important Village Election in 20 years. Vote Jesse, Mark & Andrew to end the anti business, anti progress stranglehold on the Village and its regulatory boards.
By Draggerman (954), Southampton on Jun 21, 19 12:16 PM
3 members liked this comment
Jesse? The arrogant child who believes he knows best going from nothing to the top on day one? The Jesse who owns a shop in Southampton certainly not geared towards you or anyone you know? The Jesse who is not from Southampton yet claims he knows whats best for us? Yeah go think about your choices there. In a time where a "businessman" claimed to know best and go straight to the top, you would think you would learn from past mistakes made. Keep Jesse in his little pop up shop. He has no place in ...more
By BlackLab (40), Southampton on Jun 21, 19 1:02 PM
So what you are saying is that if you were not born in Southampton, then you have no place in contributing to the community. Is that what you are saying? Also, I wouldn’t characterize a 10 year old store as a “pop up”.
There is a term out there who people who hate others that don’t come from where they do.
By gusef (53), Southampton on Jun 21, 19 4:58 PM
3 members liked this comment
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Jun 21, 19 11:51 PM
Hey Gusef mcnasty, its NOT about hate . It about having a thorough understanding of the community and this area. Living here for 10 years isn't enough. Its very simple logic.

Things are gonna get interesting ....popcorn...
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Jun 22, 19 7:16 AM
1 member liked this comment
So what is enough, 15 years? 20 years? Please let me know what YOU decide, so I can make my decisions, and vote accordingly.

Anybody who can survive 10 years in this retail environment deserves respect, despite your prejudices.
By gusef (53), Southampton on Jun 22, 19 7:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Pigeon logic!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Jun 25, 19 5:45 PM
Jessie is a new comer to Southampton Village. May be a nice person to get involved in the politics, but should get involved with the community before running for mayor or trustee.
Remember to vote today, please...
By knitter (1938), Southampton on Jun 21, 19 7:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
He is on the village planning commission...
By Draggerman (954), Southampton on Jun 21, 19 8:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Maybe our community needs to get involved in supporting their village by shopping in it instead of knocking it... About time we have a merchant for mayor. Jessie will do a fine job.
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Jun 22, 19 12:20 AM
2 members liked this comment
You’re not supporting your village by shopping in it, you’re supporting village businesses of which Jesse owns two and Mark owns one. The village board has always bent over backwards to help develop village shopping traffic. The it biggest successes are the 4th of July Parade, SouthamptonFest and the Sunday Market. If business can’t make a go at it, they’re not competitive in product or price.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Jun 22, 19 10:49 AM
Jesse had to be dragged onto the planning commission. He turned down every opportunity to be placed on one of the voting boards. This is a major concern - he didn’t want to learn, he didn’t want to answer questions in the campaign - it makes one wonder if he’ll show up at the meetings! Good luck - I see Jesse as a one-term mayor.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Jun 22, 19 10:55 AM
1 member liked this comment
As a retailer, I can say you are so wrong. No of that brings business to Main Street or Jobs Lane.There is no success with the parade. Nothing left in the town after its over except litter. Its a mass exodus. Worst business day of the summer. Southamptonfest brings no business either and neither does the farmers market. You have no idea what you are talking about.
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Jun 22, 19 5:43 PM
2 members liked this comment
No news from the press about the results??? Village elections, no coverage, oh well???
By knitter (1938), Southampton on Jun 21, 19 11:20 PM
Well BlackLab, Jesse definitely has a place in politics now as do Mark Parash and Andrew Pilaro. Way to go!
By workingmomof4 (21), Southampton on Jun 21, 19 11:42 PM
1 member liked this comment
At the recent debate, I watched Mayor Irving describe our Village as “vibrant”.

I would compare that comment to Howard Dean’s “I have a scream”.

Congratulations and good luck to our new Mayor and Trustees!
By gusef (53), Southampton on Jun 22, 19 7:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
Mike was a bit out of touch and it showed in the debate while Jesse came off as a rather petulant tool, god luck SH Village!
By bigfresh (4653), north sea on Jun 22, 19 7:42 AM
Joseph McLoughlin for SHT Supervisor !!!!!!!!!!!!
By themarlinspike (538), Northern Hemisphere on Jun 22, 19 8:43 AM
The voters have begun they recognize that local government is big business.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 22, 19 9:07 AM
This is a man with no platform, no experience and no vision of our village. It’s the Trump Nightmare all over again.
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Jun 22, 19 9:23 AM
If you think he hasn't platform, you don't know what the issues are at hand.
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Jun 23, 19 12:37 AM
Really? The village has record vacancies, and they are stealing property rights. The creeps are out.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 22, 19 9:27 AM
2 members liked this comment
Much of the macro trends in the village are driven by market forces that are well beyond the control of village level politics. But nothing wrong with fresh young faces bringing a new energy. Good luck gentlemen.
By CPalmer (120), Southampton on Jun 22, 19 12:18 PM
Your statement is demonstrably false. If the rents charged by landlords were market rates, there wouldn't be any vacancies. We're not the only tourist town on the planet.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 22, 19 2:21 PM
1 member liked this comment
No, your statement is false. Capitalization rates on commercial buildings on Southampton Village run around 5%, which is less than most areas on Long Island. That means that landlords in fact get a smaller return than they would in most other places. The issue is the price of the real estate, not the rents being charged. Up until the internet took its toll on retail, Southampton enjoyed one of the lowest vacancy rates on Long Island.
By gusef (53), Southampton on Jun 22, 19 3:07 PM
None of which is any different than NYC, by the way, which has retail vacancies all over the place...whole blocks on 3rd and Lexington. Landlords have investments at high values, bricks and mortar retail is on the receiving end of evolution. The standoff is the fault line in the American real estate industry. In a seasonal market like ours, it’s exacerbated. Anybody out there who thinks a mayor or village board can pass some feel-good rules and protect us from all that...sorry.
By CPalmer (120), Southampton on Jun 22, 19 4:51 PM
1 member liked this comment
No. There are no capitalization rates where there is no tenant. There is no tenant because the owner of the building overpaid for the real estate and needs to overcharge for a lease. The Capitalization rate varies in Southampton Village and is just the same as East Hampton and Bridgehampton. The internet doesn't compete for tourism dollars and the only retailers who can afford space in the village have robust online commerce sites.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Jun 24, 19 3:14 PM
Where was the Village Administrator during the election?
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on Jun 22, 19 10:40 PM
New broom sweeps best!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Jun 23, 19 12:33 AM
1 member liked this comment
> "Jesse Warren was elected to the Southampton Village
> Mayor seat on Friday night after garnishing 450 votes...."

"Garnishing?" Someone's diction-checker was asleep at the switch!

By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Jun 23, 19 2:12 AM
The village administrator? The village political ha k.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Jun 23, 19 11:14 PM
Change is good...

By Local247 (39), Southampton on Jun 24, 19 11:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
All the best, Jessie. I really think you can turn this around. And if your office needs any volunteers, there are many people who want your administration to show real change.
By AimeeM (1), Southampton on Jun 24, 19 5:54 PM