Veteran Chris Leonard will join newcomer Michael Garabedian in an uncontested race for two seats on the board of trustees for the John Jermain Memorial Library (JJML) as the library enters a hectic year dominated by its voter-approved $9 million expansion plan.
Leonard, a Vermont native, has lived in Sag Harbor for 39 years, serving previously as the chairman of the Village of Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board as well as a member of the Mashashimuet Park Board. A certified public accountant, JJML director Catherine Creedon said she was thrilled to have his continued expertise on the board if elected.
“He is very generous with his skills and has been a valuable mentor,” she said on Tuesday.
With two seats up for grabs just one other member of the Sag Harbor School District has thrown their hat in the ring with the announcement of JJML Board of Trustees President Diane Gaites’ retirement. Garabedian, an attorney who helped the board reach a settlement with its previous architects Barnes Coy on a failed development plan for Mashashimuet Park also has a daughter in the school district.
“I think he could be a very valuable person to the board during this preliminary time in the building process,” said Creedon on Tuesday.
Gaites, a resident of North Haven and a long time educator in the community decided to retire, said Creedon, following the referendum’s passage, which Gaites had long hoped for. An active member of the Parent Teacher Organization, Gaites also has taught summer reading programs at the library.
The library’s annual budget vote will be held on September 22 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the library. In addition to voting for the two trustee seats, school district residents will also vote on a proposed $1,068,800 annual budget for the library, which represents a 4.9 percent increase.