William Hattrick Jr., the mayor of the village of Southampton from 1985 to 1989 and a village trustee for the four years after that, is entering the political fray once again.
Hattrick, 75, confirmed Wednesday that he intends to run for a trustee seat in the village’s June election, challenging incumbents Nancy McGann and Paul Robinson. He has until May 13 to collect the signatures of 75 registered village voters and to turn them in to village hall with his nominating petition.
Among the issues that influenced him to seek office again, Hattrick named the village board’s adversarial relationship with Christopher Broich, a former village police sergeant who was fired in 2007 and has sued to be reinstated. Hattrick said Broich was targeted for being a whistle-blower, a charge village Mayor Mark Epley flatly denied during Tuesday’s village board work session, which Hattrick attended to implore the board to demand answers of William Wilson, the village police chief who is a contender for the Southampton Town Police Department chief post. Wilson also has consistently said Broich was not targeted for retaliation — and courts have agreed.
Other reasons Hattrick decided to run include one-party rule and minority rule, he said. He noted that all five members of the village board belong to the same party, Citizens with Integrity, and he estimated that because of the tremendous number of part-time residents in the village, only about 35 percent of the village population is registered to vote in village elections.
He said he was also concerned that, in the last few annual elections, either the ruling party went unchallenged or their only opposition was Broich.
Hattrick will run solo on the Patriot line, a party he created for this election. He said that when he was mayor and a trustee, he was a member of the Integrity Party. But after the Citizens Party and Integrity Party merged into the Citizens with Integrity Party, he was left without a party.
He said the name “Patriot Party” does not have a particular meaning behind it. “Everybody loves Southampton, so it’s silly to try to attribute any special powers to the name,” he said. “It’s just a name.”
Hattrick served on the village Zoning Board of Appeals for 15 years, including 12 as chairman, before being elected mayor in 1985, ousting Roy Wines Jr. Hattrick said that after four years as mayor he wanted to step down, so he ran for trustee instead and won. His running mate Richard Spooner replaced him as mayor.