East Hampton Town Supervisor candidate for the Independence and Democratic Parties, Zachary Cohen, talks with Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride, Trustee Bruce Stafford and Sag Harbor Justice Andrea Schiavoni shortly before Gilbride and Schiavoni were re-elected to their positions in an uncontested village election Tuesday night.
It may have been an uncontested election Tuesday night in the Village of Sag Harbor, but what residents may not have realized while casting their ballots was it was also a historic vote.
Andrea Harum Schiavoni became the first elected Justice for the Village of Sag Harbor since the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees debuted the village’s own justice court last December. Schiavoni, who was appointed as the village justice by Mayor Brian Gilbride last fall, is the first Sag Harbor justice elected in the village in decades.
Schiavoni earned 58 votes in Tuesday’s election. Including four absentee ballots, a total of 63 votes was cast in uncontested race for village justice, as well as village mayor and for two trustee seats.
Prior to the polls closing at the Sag Harbor Volunteer Fire Department on Brick Kiln Road, Schiavoni – who also serves as a Southampton Town Justice and practices out of the Sag Harbor branch of her deceased father’s firm, Harum & Harum – was reluctant to even discuss possible victory, despite a lack of contenders for her position.
“I have never been unopposed before, so let’s just see,” she said. “I won’t quite believe it until it happens.”
After the votes we tallied, she admitted she is simply pleased to continue to be a part of the court, and its development, as it moves out of its infancy.
“It has been working so well, I am just so happy to be able to continue what we have started here, to make sure we get to the point where it moves like clockwork,” said Schiavoni.
Six months after the creation of the court, Schiavoni said she is prepping for the busiest time of the year, but that opening the court in December was done intentionally, so everyone could get their feet wet before the summer season, which naturally comes with more court cases.
“The more we do it, the easier it flows,” she said.
Schiavoni was not alone on the Sag Harbor Party banner, of course. Mayor Brian Gilbride, Deputy Mayor Tim Culver and Trustee Ed Gregory easily retained their seats on the board.
Gregory received the most votes, earning 59 in his favor. Gregory was followed by Gilbride who earned 55 votes and Culver, who nabbed 55.
“It was what I expected,” said Gilbride after the results were announced. “I never expected to get all 63 votes and I shouldn’t. I remember in the 1970s, (former Southampton Town Supervisor) Marty Lang said, ‘In this job, you make enemies and you lose friends.’ When all is said and done, I work for the village and I am happy to do it.”