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About Us - Town Government
The Town of Southampton is governed by a five person Town Board. The Supervisor is elected to a two year term while other board members are elected for staggered four year terms. The Town Board performs legislative, executive, and zoning functions. In addition to the policy-formation duties as a member of the Town Board, the Town Supervisor performs administrative duties and engages in public relations programs.
The Departmental Directory details more information about town government administration, its legislative functions, enforcement agencies, and judicial divisions. The major administrative branches of town government include: Land Management, Community Development, Highway Services, Public Works, Town Clerk-Records Management, Tax Receiver, Tax Assessor, Town Management Services, Comptroller's Office, Town Attorney's Office, Parks and Recreation and Human Services. Enforcement agencies include: Town Police, Public Safety, Fire Prevention, Animal Control, and Code Enforcement. The Town's Justice Court is directed by three elected judges.
Southampton has a second body politic called the Board of Trustees of the Freeholders and Commonalty of the Town of Southampton. This board, comprised of five elected persons who serve for two year terms, derives its authority through the Dongan Patent, a 350 year old doctrine that concerns policy formation for the waterways, productivity of the bays and beaches, and lands held in public trust. The trustees govern the laws of the waters and bay bottoms such as those regulations for boating activities, shellfishing licenses, shoreline habitat protection, and dock, boat ramp, and bulkheads approvals. The Bay Constables serve as the enforcement agency for the town trustee policies.