On Tuesday afternoon, just minutes before the Sag Harbor Village Board was scheduled to hold a special meeting in executive session, village clerk Beth Kamper was sent a letter of resignation from trustee Tim Culver.
Culver, whose wife Samantha grew up in Sag Harbor, said on Tuesday night he resigned because he and his family have decided to move permanently into a North Haven Village home they bought earlier this year.
The Culver family continues to own two additional properties in Sag Harbor Village.
The announcement comes a week after Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick Milazzo questioned whether or not Culver should be allowed to sit on the village board, citing his home in North Haven and the fact it appeared as if the Culver family had settled there.
Culver recently emerged as one of the staunchest supporters of exploring the costs of police services as the contract between the Sag Harbor PBA and the village has been sent to arbitration.
According to New York State laws which affect public officials in incorporated villages, “in addition to any other legal requirements or prohibitions, no person shall be eligible to be elected or appointed as mayor, trustee or member of any board or commission, and, no person, if elected or appointed to such office, shall be eligible to continue to serve therein, who is not a citizen of the United States of America, at least 18 years of age, and a resident of the village.”
Last week, Culver said he and his family were still deciding where they intended to reside and while he had tried to resign from the board earlier this summer, he was persuaded to remain a trustee, not just by members of the village board, but also by village residents.
“Clearly I stayed as long as I have because people asked me to,” said Culver on Tuesday night. “I want to serve my community, be helpful and being on the village board has been a truly enjoyable experience.”
Culver said he does intend to stay involved in the village, noting he is still a Sag Harbor taxpayer and therefore does have a vested interest in the village. He has no intentions of seeking office in North Haven, he added.
“But we are excited about this new opportunity,” said Culver. “My kids are thrilled about the house.”
One person not excited about this change is Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride.
On Tuesday night, trustees Ed Gregory, Robby Stein and Kevin Duchemin accepted Culver’s resignation with Mayor Gilbride voting against the measure.
“Tim has done an excellent job for the village and his heart is here,” said Mayor Gilbride. “It’s unfortunate the way this all had to go down.”
As for how the village board will address the empty seat on the dais, Mayor Gilbride said he was unsure how that process would unfold, but would likely raise the issue at the board’s September meeting.
“If you are wondering if I will appoint someone right away, the answer is no,” said Gilbride. “I will talk about it though and make it a very open process.”
In other news, Mayor Gilbride said the attorney for the Sag Harbor PBA has approached him and that a late September meeting has been scheduled between the village and the PBA. In the meantime, the village is continuing to explore the cost of having outside police agencies provide service in Sag Harbor. A proposal has been submitted by the East Hampton Town Police Department, said Mayor Gilbride, and the village is waiting on additional proposals from the Southampton Town Police Department and the Suffolk County Sherriff’s Office.
On Tuesday night, the village board also named Joe Faraguna as the assistant dock master for Harbor Master Bob Bori. Mike Cohen was also named as an assistant labor crew leader to Superintendent of Public Works Dee Yardley.