By Stephen J. Kotz
Although the North Haven Party will not see any challengers in this June’s election—barring an unforeseen write-in campaign—the party, which holds a monopoly on the board, will see a new face among its candidates for trustee.
Tommy John Schiavoni, a lifetime resident of the village and a member of the village Zoning Board of Appeals, has announced that he will seek a two-year term on the board. He will replace Trustee George Butts who has chosen not to seek another term.
Also running will be incumbent Mayor Jeff Sander and incumbent Trustees Diane Skilbred and James Davis. All terms are for two years, except that of Mr. Davis, who was appointed a year ago to complete Mr. Sander’s term as trustee after Mr. Sander, in turn, replaced Mayor Laura Nolan who stepped down.
In Sag Harbor, incumbent Trustee Keith Duchemin has also announced he is stepping down after a single two-year term. But incumbent Trustee Robby Stein will be joined on the ballot by Sandra Schroeder, a former village administrator, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor a year ago; John Shaka, a board member of the advocacy group, Save Sag Harbor; and Bruce Stafford, who served as trustee from 2009 to 2011.
Mr. Schiavoni, 50, who teaches middle school and high school social studies in the Center Moriches School District, said on Tuesday that it was appropriate that he recently taught a course on participation in government.
“It’s a beautiful village, and I’d like to help maintain its character,” he said of his decision to seek elected office. Mr. Schiavoni listed stormwater runoff and controlling tick-borne illnesses has two issues he would like to concentrate on.
“I don’t think we are a major source point of pollution,” Mr. Schiavoni said, “but all runoff matters, considering we are right in the Peconic Bay estuary.”
Mr. Schiavoni said a growing deer population has led to a rise in tick-borne diseases.
“I believe we have a human health issue with ticks, not only in North Haven but the East End in general,” he said.
Mr. Schiavoni said he had seen plenty of changes over the years. “When I grew up, we were kind of a suburb of Sag Harbor,” he said. “There were a lot of places to roam and camp.”
Deer, he said, were few and far between. “They were bigger too,” he said, “and they didn’t let you get close to them. It really is different now.”
Mr. Schiavoni is past president and treasurer of the Bay Haven Association and is a member of the Sag Harbor Fire Department.
He is married to Andrea Schiavoni, a justice in both Southampton Town and Sag Harbor Village. They have two children, Anna and Thomas.
Also on the ballot will be Mayor Sander, who will be seeking his first two-year term as an elected mayor after replacing Ms. Nolan last year and serving as a board member for six years before that. Mr. Sander, a retired computer executive, pointed to his management skills as his chief asset.
Ms. Skilbred, who has lived in North Haven for 30 years, is seeking her third two-year term on the board. Before being elected trustee, she served on the village Architectural Review Board for 15 years, including six years as chairwoman. On the ARB she played a major role in crafting the village’s floor area ratio law and served on the Citizens Traffic Calming Committee that contributed to safer bike lanes and the village traffic circle.
Mr. Davis, a village resident for 14 years, was appointed last year to complete Mr. Sander’s term as trustee when Mr. Sander became mayor. Mr. Davis served for seven years on the ARB, including a year as chairman, in 2011. He is a member of the Sag Harbor Fire Department.
Mr. Sander said that no matter how many votes any given candidate receives, Mr. Davis would only be eligible to serve a one-year term.