Topping Tops Dombkowski in District Race

Pell elected in Southampton Fire District, and White and Behringer elected in North Sea, in Tuesday's elections.

Like his father and grandfather before him, former Bridgehampton Fire Department Chief Ray Topping Jr. was elected to the Bridgehampton Fire District Board of  Commissioners on Tuesday.

Topping won with 102 votes, edging out Bruce Dombkowski, a former member of the board of commissioners, by 10 votes.

Also on the ballot, Charlie Butler ran unopposed for treasurer, earning 175 votes, with one write-in vote cast for Robert Guyer, according to Harry Halsey on behalf of the district.

Topping replaces longtime commissioner Clifford Foster, who declined to seek re-election. He will serve along Steve Halsey, John Muse, Jeffrey Loucheim and . All fire district terms are five years.

Bridgehampton Fire District covers much of Wainscott, Sagaponack, Bridgehampton, and some of Water Mill.


Bill Pell ran unopposed in the election to replace district Chairman Robert Grisnik, the proprietor of in Southampton Village, who did not seek re-election.

There were 33 votes cast total, with 28 for Pell, according to district secretary Kristen White. There was no surprise write-in challenger to make it a horse race, but White said that four write-ins were cast for former Southampton Fire Department Chief Joe Corr, and one for former Commissioner Harald Steudte,

Pell will serve alongside David Price, Brian Cooke, Roy "Buddy" Wines IV and Thomas White.

“I’m looking forward to my new position and how I can benefit the fire district and the taxpayers,” said Pell, who also serves as a Southampton Town Trustee.

The Southampton Fire District includes Shinnecock Hills, Tuckahoe, the and parts of Water Mill. It contracts with Southampton Village for fire protection by the Southampton Fire Department.

North Sea

There were no surprises in North Sea Fire District either, where Richard White and Michael Behringer ran unopposed, gathering 28 votes each, with no write-ins cast.

District secretary Rosane Cassell-Wilson said White earned another 5-year term while Behringer was elected to fulfill the last two years of Craig Robinson's unexpired term; Robinson died in January and Behringer was appointed to replace him on the board of commissioners.

White and Behringer serve alongside , Josh Washabaugh and Gregory Robins.


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