Dear Taxpayers and Village voters of Sag Harbor,
I write today to support my friend Sandra Schroeder for Mayor of Sag Harbor. Although, it may appear I’m from Delaware, I grew up in Bridgehampton, my mother grew up in Sag Harbor. I grew up with the Schroeder children through affiliations such as youth groups and athletics. This past weekend I spent time with Sandra, and was able to discuss issues of Sag Harbor.
I support Sandra Schroeder for Mayor not because she is a friend, but because she knows what the job entails, and what it will take to make things work! Not to mention that she has worked for over twenty years as the village clerk. Sandra is knowledgeable, business minded, and a people person. More importantly, she will treat people with respect, and ask of those people to do for her, that she would for others. Sandra is a compassionate person, especially when it comes to the preservation of her town so that her grandchildren, and their grandchildren will be able to enjoy the very things that have kept them in Sag Harbor their whole life.
I tell the voters of the Village of Sag Harbor to vote Sandra Schroeder is to vote for someone who will bring dignity to the position, and really bring the right attitude and perseverance to the issues that are plaguing and separating a once closely-knit village. Sandra, above all, is a wonderful listener and will always try her best to do what it is in the best interests of the tax payer. If you have questions, Sandra will be at the debate, Sunday from 3 – 5pm. I hope that those who have questions really take the time and hear what she will have to say. We are proud of Sandra no matter what the outcome. Something to be admired when someone stands up and does something!
With admiration and respect,
Supports Whelan and Sander
I am writing to support the candidacy of Mary Whelan for the North Haven Trustee seat becoming vacant by Jim Smyth’s retirement. I have known Mary both personally and professionally for almost 40 years. She has raised her family in the village and been an active and thoughtful member of the community on a variety of issues. Her legal training informs her approach to issues, which I find to be measured and balanced. I have always known Mary to be willing to listen and seek a compromise where possible. At the same time, she is not afraid to speak her mind, which she does clearly and persuasively on matters of importance. I believe she will be a valuable addition to the village board.
I also support the re-election of Jeff Sander. Jeff is thoughtful and hardworking and has been a valuable trustee. We are very fortunate to have him working for us and he is very deserving of re-election.
Call for a Change
I have read the letter to the editor entitled “Need Perspective on Village Expenses” written by Robbie Stein currently serving as a Village of Sag Harbor trustee. I have reviewed this letter numerous times to determine the purpose of Mr. Stein writing the letter at this time. I have concluded this letter is no more that a not so subtle letter to support the existing village mayor and the trustees. The letter is both self serving and inaccurate as it attempts to speak for the attitudes and beliefs of all the residents of Sag Harbor. The scare tactic comparisons to California is ludicrous.
Those interested in the governance of the Village should now read the letter to the editor submitted by Patrick Milazzo and draw some conclusions. Mr. Stein fails to mention decisions made in the recent past that significantly affected budgets. These decisions were made during the tenure of the mayor and appear to be in conflict with the warnings of Mr. Stein.
The village mayor and trustees are out of touch with the residents, especially attitudes related to our police force. Trustee Stein: The problem is that the resident population of Sag Harbor supports the police force and does not want to diminish the number of officers or their services.
The problem is the residents have never been shown an accurate financial analysis, including the incremental effect on resident taxes, for cost of retaining a police officer position. I attended meetings of the board and attempted to ask these questions only to be told by Mayor Gilbride that I had 2 minutes to address the board. Great approach! If you do not like the question intimidate the speaker.
The village taxpayers need to be told exactly the effect of retaining the two officers has on their taxes in simple terms. The tax effect must be certified, not an increase the mayor and the board’s math conclude it to be. Ask your board of trustees to reinstate the two police officer positions.
Last but not least, there are many projects worthy of consideration and some can be financed going forward from additional revenue. Has the board considered the revenue from real estate taxes attributed to the new condos and increased valuations of homes being expanded. Has the board considered creating long term municipal bonds for some of the improvements. Has the board looked at the increased daily count of visitors to our village. The future may require an increase in the number of police officers to meet the village growth not the board’s short term agenda.
It is time to consider new village leadership with a new outlook and a forward approach with optimism.
Next week the voters of our community shall decide who shall be at the helm to lead our village for the next crucial two years ahead. Our town is soon to be faced with many changes that present many issues for all who make this small, friendly community our home. Some of the changes are apparent with no turning back while others remain constant and the same — as always and rightfully — should remain so, in order to keep our quality of life as is and a harbor for all.
Many good and progressive accomplishments have occurred recently and we all have benefited by them. Though how will and can the other issues become the priorities to address in the near future? Whether it be our traffic, parking, new developments rising, police department, Harbor Heights station, waterways and, most vital of all, our tax dollars.
We the people are now at the threshold to make the difference for the future of our existence as the best, happiest small town as it always was, is and should remain, and not another extension of suburban blight. Because, it’s your vote that counts.
What A Ride
To the Editor,
We would like to thank all the people who helped make our baseball season such a success. It is not every year the baseball team from Pierson makes it to the NYS semi-finals, it is actually the first in Pierson’s history.
Thank you to Jeff ”the park guy” Robinson for always having our field ready and looking spectacular even after torrential rains. Mr. Luke, our scorekeeper and one of our biggest fans, Sarah Arbia for keeping stats and Sue Higgins for taking photos of each one of us, thank you. Joe our bus driver, thank you. Our bat boys and girls, thank you. Thank you to the sportwriters who covered our games, Gavin Menu from The Express, Cailin Brophy and Drew Bud from the Southampton Press. Thank you to the Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton fire departments for our escorts into town celebrating our County, Long Island and Southeast regional victories, wow what a parade! Finally to our parents, fans and community who make living in Sag Harbor so special. Whether you were at our games or followed us in the newspaper your support of our team was unprecedented. What an amazing ride it has been!
With sincere thanks,
For The Pierson Varsity Baseball team
Encouraging Healthy Choices
As part of our mission to reduce illegal alcohol and other drug use by our youth, the Sag Harbor Coalition would like to remind parents and community members of relevant laws. With the “100 deadliest days of summer” coming up, starting with prom and graduation, we hope this information will be useful to you and help initiate discussions with your children.
There are several Suffolk County and state laws that relate to access to alcohol and tobacco by minors. Violations of these laws can result in fines and/or jail time.
Suffolk County Social Host Law – Prohibits anyone over 18 who owns, rents, or controls a private residence to allow the consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21.
Suffolk County Tobacco Products Law – Prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under 19.
NYS Alcoholic Beverage Control Law – Prohibits anyone from giving any alcoholic beverage, by any means, to anyone under 21; prohibits anyone from procuring an alcoholic beverage by misrepresentation or fraudulent means (fake I.D.); prohibits anyone under 21 from possessing, with intent to consume, any alcoholic beverage.
NYS Penal Law “Unlawfully Dealing with a Child” – prohibits anyone from giving or selling alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21.
NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law – prohibits any person from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and anyone under 21 from operating a motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol.
We hope you understand that the laws which we have brought to your attention are some of the important existing laws intended to protect not only our children, but everyone in our community. Through providing this information, the Sag Harbor Coalition, in collaboration with the Sag Harbor Police, hope to promote a safe and informed community. For more information about the Sag Harbor Coalition, or to join, email email@example.com or call 7254600.
John Oppenheimer and Barbara Beckermus, co-chairs
For The Sag Harbor Coalition
Stop the Dumping
I would like to highlight the ongoing dumping in the precious woods, just outside Sag Harbor Village. Townline Road, and the LIPA power lines access road are consistently the sites of household, and increasingly, commercial dumping. Over the past year alone, I contacted East Hampton town over nine times both in person and by phone, to remove detritus on their side of the road (Townline road divides both SH and EH towns). Southampton town organizes the Great East End Clean Up annually, so they received fewer calls from me. For a year, I lodged official complaints, brought photographs of offenders caught-in-the-act dumping in the woods, and met with members of the code enforcement department. All to no avail. Completely fed up, I directly contacted the East Hampton board members, and once Peter Van Scoyac and Sylvia Overby got on the case, poof, the garbage disappeared. I would like to publicly thank them for their fast intervention, restoring my faith in the ability of our elected officials to do something when their mind is set to it. The sofa that has been dumped this week, remains in the middle of the road, as a stark reminder that this is not a one-off event, but needs ongoing vigilance, and a plan of action. Dumping in the Hamptons needs to stop.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Several months ago, the Sag Harbor Board of Education wisely extended the contract of Interim Superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso into and through the next school year. Now a few individuals, including two newly elected board members, have called for ending his service early and accelerating the search for a permanent superintendent. However, there are very good reasons to retain Dr. Bonuso in his position if he is willing to stay.
The timing is far from ideal to search for a new superintendent this time of year. As the search consultants told the board, the pool of applicants in an off-season search is small because good superintendents and assistant superintendents do not abandon their districts mid year. Conducting a search now would be especially problematic for Sag Harbor where, ordinarily, we have a hard time attracting a pool of high quality candidates for two main reasons. The salary here does not compare to the salaries in western Suffolk and Nassau County where the compensation package may be $50,000 to $150,000 more. And on top of that, the cost of housing here is unusually high. We are fortunate to have, in Dr. Bonuso, an extraordinarily qualified and experienced superintendent who is doing an outstanding job.
One comment that gets repeated by a few is that the district is in a “holding pattern” with an interim superintendent. A close look reveals that the opposite is true. Under Dr. Bonuso’s leadership and with his management style, the school district is accomplishing its goals and objectives. A few of many examples follow:
~Working with the faculty and administration, Dr. Bonuso brought to successful conclusion the negotiations to meet the NYS legal requirements for a new teacher evaluation system. Good faith and trust by all parties were essential elements in bringing the agreement to fruition. Also, contract negotiations with the custodial staff were successfully settled.
~The recommendations of the facilities planning committee, particularly regarding safety and health matters, are ready to be presented to the board.
~A series of public educational presentations/discussions on the second language program, math and IB have engaged parents and the public in a healthy exchange of ideas with the faculty and board –- with more of these discussions to come. Dr. Bonuso has revisited the concept of public, parent and faculty involvement in the state-mandated shared decision making process which has been dormant for years.
~The school district has helped organize and participates in a community coalition to address prevention of alcohol and drug use by youth. In addition to the coalition’s planned activities, the school district is poised to begin implementation of a comprehensive school-based alcohol and drug prevention program.
~The district presented and the voters overwhelmingly approved a budget that maintains educational programs and services and is below the cap imposed by NYS.
During this school year, Dr. Bonuso has demonstrated professional abilities and personal traits that are improving our schools, benefiting our students, and increasing the morale and effectiveness of the people who learn and work here. It is evident to those who see him at work that Dr. Bonuso understands and loves working with children. Interested and animated by them, he is frequently seen in conversation with students in all three schools. He is present everywhere — at events during and after the school day and on weekends, and even in the hospital room of a Sag Harbor student. Dr. Bonuso follows up with issues brought to him by students, faculty and parents. His concern is recognized and appreciated. As a result, morale in the school community is at a high point.
Dr. Bonuso is an exceptional instructional leader. A recognized expert in curriculum and instruction, he knows that the most important job of our schools is to make sure that students are learning and achieving at high levels. He is in classrooms all the time for firsthand observation of teaching and learning. Teachers readily accept his suggestions because they are made constructively and because, simply stated, he knows what he’s talking about.
The contention, made by a few, that the district is “treading water” until a new superintendent is hired is simply not the case. In fact, it is a pleasure to hear Dr. Bonuso articulate a progressive educational agenda for Sag Harbor. No one who I have heard has expressed what should be occurring in the district that is not happening currently under his leadership.
As a former school administrator including principal of Pierson, I worked directly under a dozen superintendents. As an administrator at Suffolk BOCES and Westchester BOCES, and on the executive board of an education association, I worked with dozens of superintendents including Dr. Bonuso. From first hand experience, I can say that Dr. Bonuso stands a head above and that we are fortunate to have a person of his disposition, knowledge, experience, character and expertise as our superintendent.
Let’s not rush into a costly off-season search that is not likely to produce the results we want. Rather, let’s conduct a superintendent search in a timely way that will more likely result in finding the educational leader we need. In the meantime, the district is accomplishing its goals, students are learning, morale and productivity are high, and a progressive vision is being articulated.
Actions speak louder than words; Dr. Bonuso’s actions speak volumes.
Retired Pierson Principal
Putting Out the Candles
As we sit here composing our thoughts, our daughter and granddaughter are waiting at Ft. Hood, Texas for our soldier’s bus to pull up and return him to them. Can you believe it? SFC Russell Littel has returned from his deployment in Afghanistan. It is time to put out the candles!
Nine months ago many of you joined us and lit candles in your windows. As we traveled around the village and many other communities, we were so happy to see candles in many windows. Thank you so much!
Nine months ago in an Express editorial it was stated that most of us in Sag Harbor now do not understand what it means for families when a loved one goes off to war – the importance of support groups, family and friends who have been there, someone to help navigate the system, or lend a hand when a spouse at home suddenly needs a babysitter due to a late night at work.
After this deployment our daughter, Kate, our son-in-law Russ and the two of us know how important this support is. Please know that we will always be grateful to all of you. We sincerely appreciate all the candles, kind words, gracious gestures, cards and packages given to our family during this year. The kindness of the Sag Harbor American Legion and the Auxiliary was outstanding. The Sag Harbor VFW presented us with Blue Star Banners which were displayed on our front doors. Also a tree was planted in honor of Russ’s service by JCP Landscaping.
Now that Russ has returned, safe and sound, we can all turn off our candles. He did request that 12 Ackerly Street keep our light on until they come home to Sag Harbor. We will be driving the Littlel family into the village on Wednesday, June 26th at about 3:30. Hope to see you then!
With much appreciation and joy,
Bethany and Ed Deyermond
Kate, Russ and Bethany Little