Bio: Fred Thiele, Jr.
Fred W. Thiele, Jr. was born on August 26, 1953 and is a lifelong resident of Sag Harbor, New York. He has three children, Michael, Jeffrey and Josephine.
Mr. Thiele is a 1971 graduate of Pierson High School. He attended Cornell University and is a 1976 graduate of Southampton College of Long Island University. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in Political Science and History. In 1979, the Sag Harbor native received his law degree from Albany Law School. In 1980, he was admitted to the Bar in the State of New York.
Fred began his career in government service in 1975 after he was selected by his college to participate in the New York State Assembly Intern Program. Upon graduation from law school in 1979, Mr. Thiele became counsel to Assemblyman John Behan. He served in that capacity until 1982.
From 1982-1987, Mr. Thiele was Southampton Town Attorney. During his tenure as Town Attorney, Fred was involved in a number of Town initiatives including the implementation of its five-acre zoning statute for open space and environmental protection, the Town Open Space law, the Long Pond Greenbelt, Affordable Housing, the Freshwater Wetlands Law and the 1986 Open Space Bond Act.
In November 1987, Mr. Thiele served in the Suffolk County Legislature, 16th District. As a freshman Legislator, Mr. Thiele was appointed Chairman of the Legislature's Public Works and Transportation Committee. Legislator Thiele also chaired the Energy and Environment Committee in the Suffolk Legislature.
In November 1991, Mr. Thiele served as Southampton Town Supervisor. Under Fred's leadership, Town taxes and spending decreased for the first time in modern history, bringing much needed stability to the Town's finances. During his first term as Supervisor, the Town moved forward on a number of important initiatives including open space preservation, affordable housing, environmental protection, comprehensive long-term planning, economic development and government reform.
Since 1993, Fred continued to implement his plans to reorganize Town government in order to increase efficiency, improve services and reduce town spending.
In 1995, Mr. Thiele was elected to the New York State Assembly from the 2nd Assembly District in a special election to fill the seat vacated by former Assemblyman John Behan. The 2nd Assembly District includes the Town of East Hampton, the Town of Southampton, and the southeastern portion of the Town of Brookhaven. Subsequently, Mr. Thiele has been re-elected to the State Assembly since 1996.
Assemblyman Thiele has demonstrated a wide area of interests and accomplishments as a State Assemblyman. He drafted and was a prime sponsor of legislation which created the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund Act, which authorized the five towns in the region to establish dedicated funds, financed by a 2% real estate transfer tax, for land acquisition for open space, farmland, and historic preservation, as well as recreational purposes. This program was overwhelmingly approved in a public referendum in 1998 and has generated more than $150 million for land preservation efforts and has resulted in the preservation of thousands of acres of sensitive lands.
Other environmental initiatives have included $30 million in state funds for Peconic Bay and South Shore Estuary improvement projects, the first state funding for farmland preservation, and state acquisition of critical environmental parcels at Shadmoor and the Sanctuary in Montauk. Finally, through Mr. Thiele’s intervention, the State Environmental Facilities Corporation has played an increased role in protecting watersheds and providing public water on eastern Long Island.
Mr. Thiele has also been very involved in transportation issues, including the reconstruction of Route 27 from Bridgehampton to Montauk, and Route 24 from Hampton Bays to Riverhead. He spearheaded the first traffic calming project in New York State at Route 114 in North Haven. In addition, he has championed alternative transportation options such as a South Fork Bike Path and greater use of rail and bus opportunities on the South Fork.
Fred has also focused on governmental reform. He has been the leader in efforts to create Peconic County from Long Island’s five most eastern towns. Further, he has sponsored initiative and referendum legislation, state budget reform initiatives, and favors the establishment of public financing of state campaigns.
Mr. Thiele continues his efforts to insure fiscal responsibility at all levels of government. He has supported successful initiative to reduce income taxes and the elimination of the state estate and gift tax. He was an original proponent of the STAR program to reduce school taxes. He has also sponsored debt reform initiatives as a State Assemblyman. Property tax reform remains one of his top legislative priorities.
Mr. Thiele is a member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, Education Committee, Election Law Committee, Environmental Conservation Committee, Oversight, Analysis and Investigation Committee, and Transportation Committee. He is also a member of the Assembly Majority Steering Committee, New York State Legislative Aviation Caucus, and New York State Bipartisan Pro Choice Legislative Caucus.