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Debra O'Kane

Candidate for: 
Southold Town Council

Debbie O’Kane is a 25-year resident of Southold Town, choosing to make Orient her home after spending many summers following her family’s long tradition of vacationing in the hamlet of East Marion. A familiar face on the North Fork, Debbie has been employed at many local businesses, from retirement counselor and marketing and public relations coordinator at Peconic Landing to restaurant and retail management to real estate office administration to management of a medical office. She is also a member of the Southold Rotary Club, a co-president of the Southold Town Democratic Club, president of the board of the North Fork Audubon Society and a member of the Southold Town’s Housing Advisory Commission.

Some of Debbie’s most important work, however, has been at the North Fork Environmental Council. Starting as its sole employee in 1996, Debbie has served as an environmental educator and advocate, coordinating volunteers, managing the budget, raising funds and working with local businesses and government for this non-profit agency. She helped to spearhead the original campaign to enact the Community Preservation Fund, ensuring that the North Fork would maintain its open spaces and agricultural land. Thus far, over 1 billion dollars has been raised to maintain land preservation on the East End. Debbie is currently the program director at NFEC.

A graduate of Drew University, Debbie has received additional training in management of not-for-profit organizations. In 2004, she was awarded a scholarship to the Columbia Business School’s Institute for Not-for-Profit Management’s Leadership Development Program. Her experience, education, and passion for maintaining our community’s character make her an ideal candidate for Town Council.