A Major Re-evaluation

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Major Re-evaluation

I took snide potshots at Fred Havemeyer during his extended tenure as Southampton Town Trustee, based solely on his campaign photo, dressed in pristine waders intended to certify his credentials as an authentic bayman.

Of course, he was no such thing, just a gentleman Bridge­hampton farmer with lengthy fealty to the Republican party, but that campaign photo bothered me almost as much as the one of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry posing with a shotgun as if this was a regular activity of the long time gun prohibitionist.

John Kerry 2004 Presidential Campaign Photo

(Hilariously, Kerry "shot himself in the foot" with his target demographic because firearms owners everywhere immediately recognized that image as less a photo op than a cynically posed bit of fakery; had it been genuine, the candidate would have been wearing eye and ear protection!)

While I've never met Mr. Havemeyer, I've known several of those who served with him on the Board of Trustees, and they've roundly spoken well of the man, his intelli­gence and his dedication of the stewardship of the Town's shores, waterways, marshes and bottomlands.

In other words, he did the job he was elected to do, and I vowed to tell him so if we ever crossed paths... unlikely, since he was now retired.

Southampton Town Supervisor Candidate Fred Havemeyer

Umm... not so fast, Speir!

Not only did Havemeyer unretire this Summer, but he's done so in a big way, declaring for Southampton Town Supervisor and then garnering enough signatures to force a primary run-off against incumbent Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.

Havemeyer Files Petition, Will Challenge Schneiderman For Democratic Line In September Race

Schneiderman, an Independent who won in 2015 with 57% of the vote, ran on the Democratic, Independence, Working Families and Women's Equality lines.

(Jay always likes to hedge his bets, having been known during his years in the Suffolk County Legislature and marching in the annual Westhamp­ton Beach Saint Patrick's Day Parade, to somehow pass the reviewing stage three times.)

The Republican nod this year went to former one-term Town Trustee Ray Overton, and his candidacy, which took a turn for the worse with Havemeyer's declaration and certification, now bears watching to see what "the boys in the back room" will attempt.

I like Havemeyer's chances in the Democratic primary and again in November's General Election.


1. Hampton West said...

Bulk of his campaign to date (and it is early) is opposition to Discovery's East Quogue proposal. Despite all the time that has gone by I'm not sure where Jay is on this plan. You have any sense? You read the letters to the editor and it seems there are environmental people who feel Jay may be for it. Any thoughts?

The Hills' application, which had gone on far too long, seems to have been resolved. But it is something on which I have taken no position simply because I've never studied it.

Discovery's "Dune Deck" development here in the Village seems to have gone well, though... but what do I know?

2. David Willmott said...

I am not a fan of the way Fred left the Republican Party, but did want to address the opening paragraphs here and share a story.

I don't think Fred ever tried to portray himself as Bayman, rather as an avid sportsman, which he was. I am fairly certain the copy that went along with that picture referenced his love of the water and teaching his then young son about surf casting. He might have been fairly criticized because they were rather fancy LL Bean waders, but Fred always dressed well reflecting wealth.

A great memory of my youth was a teenager seeing Fred at Indian Cove marina where he captained one of the sport fishing boats. He also had his own center console outboard that he would take out many nights while wearing a Ralph Lauren polo shirt that seemed out of place. He would go in the early evening fishing about 3 miles off shore for white marlin on light tackle before it became all the rage. One evening he hooked into a 300 lb. swordfish, which was a surprise in that close. He fought the fish through the night, eventually running out of gas and being dragged out past Block Island before two of the larger boats from the marina arrived to his aid. The fish was lost some time the next day, not sure if the fight went 24 hrs or not but I do vividly remember listening to the radio through the night as many from the marina, particularly the kids, heard an eastern Long Island version of Old Man and the Sea play out.

Terrific story, Dave.

Not privy to the details of "the way Fred left the Republican Party," but if you feel he left it in disarray, I think it's probably been that way since Vince Cannuscio passed and Marc Stinchi (yeah, yeah, I know) stepped down.

As for Br'er Havemeyer's portrayal of himself as a bayman, I submit that that picture was worth a thousand such votes over the years.

Good to hear from you, Dave.
– Dean

3. Raymond Overton said...

Dean, just wanted to confirm that my name will be on the ballot under the GOP banner come November 7th. Petitions were submitted, candidate forms signed, notarized and delivered and the BOE has sent me my confirmation as the Republican candidate.

Was there a question raised, Ray?

4. David Willmott said...

Didn't mean he left it in disarray... meant the way he left, although it was after my time and sure there were multiple sides to the story.

So, that's all you care to say? No further illumination? C'mon, Dave, where would us crusading journalists be without our inside sources?

5. Raymond Overton said...

Dean, I took your comment "candidacy ... now bears watching to see 'what the boys in the backroom may attempt'" as question(ing) about whether I would remain on the ballot. If my interpretation was not your intent, I apologize. I just want to make certain the voters understand, I will be on the ballot.

The late cartoonist and brilliant political observer Walt Kelly always used the term "politrix," a term of opprobrium I've used myself. Beware the Ides of September, Raymond!

I would also suggest that you focus your guerrilla campaigning on something other than OtBB.

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