Two Westhampton Beach residents have begun to gather signatures to make a run on the "Lightning Party" line for two open Westhampton Beach Village seats.
Ralph Urban and Charles Palmer are seeking the seats held by Deputy Mayor Toni-Jo Birk, who is running for reelection, and trustee
Both Urban and Palmer need 50 signatures for their names to appear on the ballot and must submit their petition to the village clerk by 5 p.m. on May 11.
Palmer said the pair have already garnered 65 signatures each and plan to gather more.
Urban, a retired teacher, says he decided to run because he always felt he wanted to give back to the community that he has lived in since 1975. Recently retired, he said now is the perfect time to run for office.
Urban, who taught in Montauk and Amagansett schools and is a graduate, said if elected, he hopes to work toward making the village government more open and accessible.
"I have heard through the grapevine that there are communication problems in the village," said Urban.
Urban holds a bachelor's degree from SUNY Fredonia and a master's degree from Southampton and has completed post graduate work at SUNY Stony Brook and Dowling College.
Palmer, who has lived in Westhampton Beach since 1966, also says he's running to make a difference.
"I think I have something to give back to the community," he said.
Palmer who has been a municipal account with Suffolk County for the past 28 years, said, if elected, he hopes to work with village police to standardize procedure.
"Right now there is nothing documented," he said.
In addition, Palmer, who made a run for office in Westhampton Beach two years ago, losing to Farrell by 32 votes, said he'd also like to look into obtaining more grant funding for the village.
Palmer holds a business degree from the University of Florida.