By Mara Certic
Al Daniels, long a fixture around North Haven Village Hall, recently informed the North Haven Village Board that he will be retiring from his post as building inspector in the fall.
“I’ve worked in North Haven for 25 years,” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday evening. Mr. Daniels worked part-time as the building inspector in Sag Harbor and part-time in North Haven for 18 years until he decided to work in North Haven full time seven years ago. Mr. Daniels, who has for years written the outdoor column for The Sag Harbor Express, has been talking about retiring for the past year, he said.
“And then my wife decided to retire,” he added. Mr. Daniels’s wife, Sue, retired from her position as the director of the Rainbow School this summer. She taught prekindergarten for decades and founded the Rainbow School in 2004.
Mr. Daniels said that he and his wife don’t have any specific retirement plans, but “we’ve got a lot of things in the works.” He will leave his job on or around October 15, he said.
Mr. Daniels said that he is looking forward to his retirement, but said he realized it would be hard for the village to replace his 25 years of experience.
The North Haven Village Board seemed to agree with Mr. Daniels’s comment and went into executive session on Tuesday, August 5, to discuss a replacement.
Mayor Sander also announced that he was recently notified that the village has been allocated $50,000 in funding for four-poster devices. “That would allow us to manage 10 of them for the season,” he said. New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle obtained $150,000 in funding for the pilot programs in North Haven and on Shelter Island, according to a press statement released by his office on Tuesday.
“It’s too late this season to deploy these things,” Mr. Sander said, adding that they will be installed in the spring. He also added that, like on Shelter Island, a number of homeowners have expressed interest in providing private contributions to help fund four-poster programs.
“With the high incidence of these tick-borne illnesses on the East End, we need to work to eradicate the diseases and end the transmission to individuals. I am hopeful that these two pilot programs will be successful. I look forward to working with the town and village to monitor these initiatives and the results so we can better develop a long-term, effective tick management strategy,” Mr. LaValle said in a press release.
The most recent member of the North Haven Village Board of Trustees also appears to be looking to develop a long-term strategy to deal with ticks. Thomas J. Schiavoni took it upon himself to conduct an informal survey in which he asked approximately 10 percent of North Haven residents four short questions about ticks: Have you had a tick-borne illness in the past year?; has anyone in your house had a tick-borne illness in the past year?; do you spray your lawn for ticks?; do you have a deer fence?
Mr. Schiavoni said that 43 percent of people he surveyed had contracted a tick-borne disease in the past 12 months. “What I’d like to do is continue it and get some longitudinal data for the Village of North Haven,” Mr. Schiavoni said, adding that he would like to do the same survey again next July and in the years to follow.
Last week, Mr. Schiavoni and Mr. Sander joined forces to write a letter to Senator LaValle requesting that North Haven become a New York State tick-testing center. Senator LaValle is the co-chair of the New York Senate Coalition Task Force on Lyme and tick-borne diseases, which announced that it is looking to increase the number of tick-testing centers—which test whether or not ticks are infected with any diseases—throughout the state.
“I’m curious about the number of ticks that are infected, and of course the different species,” Mr. Schiavoni said. “We shall see.”
Separately, the Trustees adopted a local law on Tuesday that will prohibit the placement of construction signs in the village. No one attended Tuesday’s public hearing to oppose the proposed legislation, and Mayor Jeff Sander added that the law had been met “with interest, and not necessarily concern.”
The new amendment prohibits “construction signs which are signs identifying a contractor, architect, materialman, lender or other entity involved with a project on the property where the sign would be located.”
The law will take effect as soon as it is filed with the Secretary of State.
The village also unanimously approved a mass gathering permit for the third annual Party for Pink on August 16 at the North Haven home of Lisa and Richard Perry. Maria Baum, cancer survivor and co-host of the event, was at Tuesday’s meeting when the permit was approved. Party for Pink is the evening portion of the fundraiser, which begins with a paddleboard race at Havens Beach in Sag Harbor during the day.
“They raise a tremendous amount of money for breast cancer research,” Mr. Sander told the other trustees. “I recommend everyone consider attending,” he added. Ms. Baum explained that the fundraiser is not particularly loud and does not continue late into the evening; “also it’s an older crowd, so they’re pretty much done at 9:30,” she added. Tickets for the Party for Pink start at $1,000 per person.