I currently serve as Board Member, Conservation Board, Town of Southampton. In that capacity, I have introduced two pieces of legislation to the Town Council, that were unanimously approved: The Clean Fill Act, requiring a chain of custody for all fill used or entering the Town, and a ban on the use of hydrofracking waste water on Town roads for ice and snow control. Additionally, I was part of a large team of activists that contributed to legislation banning the use of single use plastic bags throughout the Town. I speak and write extensively on environmental issues pertaining to clean water and waterways as well as the use of alternative energy sources. I am a small business owner in Westhampton, providing engineering services locally. I am a member of the CAC-West, a local officially recognized community group dealing with area specific issues. I fully support our Board of Trustee’s and other groups and organizations that have, as their mandate, the task of protection, restoration and preservation of our natural resources. I believe that our Town Council should act towards these same goals and support our environment recognizing it as our economic engine and our defining legacy for future generations.
As a child I spent hours watching anything I could underwater. I am an avid underwater photographer and became a fairly experienced diver by my teens. I attended dive school and worked as commercial diver and saturation diver in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. I attended the University of California intending to become a marine veterinarian and studied Zoology for two years but an introduction to a man who designed submersibles changed all that and I switched to engineering and joined a company to build research submersibles and remotely operated subsea vehicles. I specialized in subsea robotics and spent hundreds of hours on various underwater programs. I am an engineer by profession and hold a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.
After completing my studies, I joined Grumman Aerospace and worked at the Flight Test facility at Calverton. I transferred to the Grumman Space Station Division and moved to Washington D.C. as the Lead Robotics Engineer under contract to the NASA Agency. I joined Oceaneering International, a world leader in specialized deep water operations as General Manager for their new Division, Oceaneering Space Systems. As part of the Space Station contract partners, we advised NASA on the application of subsea operations expertise and its application on Space Station. I was the lead Robotics Engineer for the Mobile Servicing System and led numerous related projects, including the winning Satellite Servicing System with our partners, TRW and SPAR Aerospace (builders of the Space Station robotic arm).
I have, like many, had the opportunity to see how our environment has been impacted by human activity. In my lifetime, I have witnessed the steady degradation of our water quality. As a child, growing up in Westhampton, I remember our bay and beach quality quite differently than it is today. Our children today see the bays and beaches in a new normal for them. Their future will be directly affected, both economically and in health, if we do not act decisively now. This is what has motivated me to seek public office. Water quality is the basis of our community’s future and continued quality of life that we must restore and preserve. I believe that, like our forests and farms, increasing human population and changing climate requires us to manage our natural resources in order to preserve them. It is our responsibility to balance the needs of our economy with the needs of our environment. I believe it is in our essential interest to prioritize actions that reflect these issues as our top priority.