As the village faces rising costs, and decreased department revenue, the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees has agreed to accept less payment for their services. The decision to cut back, which was made on Tuesday night at the trustees’ monthly meeting, includes the mayor’s salary and will help offset some of the village’s other expenses.
This decision comes in the months leading up to village elections, which will be held on June 16. Among the seats up for grabs will be Ed Deyermond’s village trustee position. Deyermond says he isn’t planning to run for reelection. Last week, Deyermond screened with the local Republican Party for an East Hampton Town Council seat. Deyermond, however, hasn’t formally announced if he will run for a council seat there. He is scheduled to interview with the party again in March.
Village trustee Ed Gregory, whose term also ends in June, hasn’t formally decided if he will run again.
Also coming to an end this June is the term of mayor Greg Ferraris. Ferraris said he does not plan to seek reelection. Prior to his tenure as mayor, Ferraris served on the Sag Harbor Board of Trustees for one full term, and was re-elected to a second term. During that second term, then-mayor Ed Deyermond stepped down, and Ferraris was appointed to fill the vacated seat. In those years, Ferraris notes, the village board faced many controversial issues and as a consequence, the responsibilities of the mayor have increased. Ferraris says he devoted a significant amount of time to his position as mayor, while also maintaining his own accounting business. During an average week, Ferraris estimates he spent 50 to 60 hours working on his own business, in addition to his obligations to the village.
“The demands on the position have increased over the three years I have been here, and well over the six years that I have served on the village board,” said Ferraris. “[Village] issues have become more complex. The demands on the village board from residents have increased.”
Upon completion of his term, Ferraris is looking forward to spending more time with his family, and will perhaps have the opportunity to coach his daughter’s t-ball team. Of his position as mayor, Ferraris said the most gratifying experience has been working with the village employees.
“Whether it be the highway department to the village hall staff, they all work with such pride that you don’t see in other municipalities,” Ferraris said. “The knowledge that I have gained in working with people like [village planning consultant] Richard Warren, [and village attorneys] Tony Tohill and Fred Thiele [has been remarkable.]“
Ferraris added that the board was frequently proactive in handling village affairs. One key to his success as mayor, said Ferraris, was abstaining from pushing a political agenda.
“I don’t believe you can succeed at this level if you try to move forward with a political agenda,” noted Ferraris.
Trustee Brian Gilbride said he will miss Ferraris’ leadership. “It has been a great pleasure working with Greg,” added Gilbride.
At this point, it remains unclear who will fill Ferraris’ shoes, or the two other trustee seats, as no one from the community has stepped forward to announce their candidacy for any of the available positions.
According to village election procedure, interested parties may sign a petition to run as early as March 31. April 6 is the first day the village clerk may accept a nominating position.