By Kathryn G. Menu
It’s official. The race for Sag Harbor Village mayor will feature four candidates, with just as many seeking the two seats up for grabs on the village board this June 18.
On Wednesday morning, Sag Harbor Village Clerk Beth Kamper confirmed incumbent mayor Brian Gilbride will officially seek a third two-year term in office under the Sag Harbor Party banner.
Gilbride, 65, is a former chief and longtime volunteer in the Sag Harbor Fire Department. The manager at Emil Norsic & Son was first elected to the village board in 1994. He sought the mayor’s seat in 2009 after then mayor Greg Ferraris declined another term in office.
Gilbride has cited the ongoing Sag Harbor Police Benevolent Association (PBA) contract negotiations, a desire to see the remediation of Havens Beach completed and planning for the future of Long Wharf as reasons for seeking another term.
The incumbent will face Pierce Hance running independently under The Economy Party banner. Hance is no stranger to Sag Harbor politics. The 68-year-old was village mayor from 1993 to 1999 when he was unseated by political newcomer Bill Young.
Hance has been critical of Gilbride’s handling of the PBA contract negotiation. He has also said he believes the village could be more properly managed financially. Hance is a financial consultant.
Sandra Schroeder, 56, began working for the village in the 1980s. She served as the village clerk from 2002 to 2010 when she retired. Since that retirement, Schroeder said public office has called to her, which is why she has joined the mayoral race, running under Citizens Party.
Increasing revenues is at the top of Schroeder’s priority list, as is improving Long Wharf.
Lastly, Harbor Committee chairman Bruce Tait, the owner of Bruce Tait & Associates, a yacht brokerage firm on Bay Street, will also seek election as mayor.
Tait, 61, is running under the Sag Harbor Preservation Party. He has said his reasons for running for mayor include his belief the legislative body needs to start looking at comprehensive, long-term planning for the future of Sag Harbor and its waterfront. This includes developing a long term plan for the use and maintenance of Long Wharf, but also a stormwater runoff management plan for the whole of Sag Harbor.
Tait also believes it would be helpful for a Sag Harbor business owner to be on the village board of trustees.
He is not alone.
La Superica owner Ken O’Donnell, 44, is a political newcomer who is one of four candidates — including incumbent Ed Gregory running with Gilbride on the Sag Harbor Party — who has also cited his desire to see more local, Sag Harbor business owners on the dais.
O’Donnell is running under the party banner Citizens for Common Sense. The impetus for running, said O’Donnell in an interview last month was to give back to a community that has supported him as a business owner. O’Donnell also cited concerns with the ongoing police contract negotiation, and in particular that the village has laid off an officer just as the summer season is about to start.
Gregory, 67, is seeking a 13th term on the board. The second two-year term up for election was vacated by Tim Culver last summer after he moved to North Haven Village.
Gregory, the owner of Gregory Electric in Bridgehampton and a member of the fire department, has cited ongoing issues like Long Wharf and Havens Beach as his reasons for seeking another term.
Former mayor and trustee Ed Deyermond is also officially seeking another term in public service under the Progressive Party banner.
Deyermond, 60, was mayor from 2003 to 2006, and also served as a member of the village board in the 1990s, elected alongside Gilbride in 1994. He is also a long time member of the fire department.
Deyermond has said he wants to follow ongoing projects like the construction of condominiums at the former Bulova Watchcase Factory, the remediation of Havens Beach and the PBA contract negotiation. Looking at ways the village can tap into the Community Preservation Fund (CPF) is also a priority.
Bruce Stafford, 45, is a landscaper and member of the fire department. He was unseated in 2012, losing re-election to a second term to Kevin Duchemin.
Stafford, who is running on the Conservative Party line, has cited the PBA contract negotiation, Long Wharf and Havens Beach as issues he would like to follow if he is re-elected back onto the board of trustees.
Village elections will be held on Tuesday, June 18 at the Brick Kiln Road firehouse.