By Tessa Raebeck
The deadline at the Hampton Library, where five seats are open, is Tuesday, September 2, by 5 p.m. Four seats will be voted on and filled by Bridgehampton residents; the remaining seat is in Sagaponack and will be voted on by residents of that school district.
Incumbents Jackie Poole, Tom House and Dr. Louise Collins are all seeking re-election.
Elizabeth Whelan Kotz, the board’s president, who has served four three-year terms, will be stepping down after reaching her term limit.
Sarah Jaffe Turnbull chose not to run for re-election due to other commitments.
In order to make sure term limits line up with the library’s annual reorganizational meeting, the terms for the trustees who will join the board this year will run from October 1 to December 31, 2017. Terms previously ran from October 1 to September 30, but will now run for a year and three months for as long as it takes to get all trustees serving three-year, January to December terms.
“The other thing we did this year,” said Library Director Kelly Harris “is in order to make sure that Sagaponack is represented.”
The library’s nine-person board formerly had seven seats reserved for Bridgehampton residents and two for Sagaponack residents, but starting this year, one of the Bridgehampton seats has been switched over to Sagaponack, “so that there’s just a little bit more representation of Sagaponack on the library board,” she said.
Starting in October, three of the trustees will be from Sagaponack, with the remaining six from Bridgehampton.
“Board members are really advocates for the library, but they also represent the community,” Ms. Harris said. “One of the things I’m very proud of at the Hampton Library is we really are a community center and a community library.”
“And we want the library board to not only reflect the community and be a representative of the community,” she added.
The budget vote and trustee election will be held Saturday, September 27, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hampton Library, located at 2478 Main Street in Bridgehampton.
In Sag Harbor, three seats are opening on the board of the John Jermain Memorial Library. The deadline to submit petitions is Friday, August 29, at 4 p.m.
The terms of three board members have expired. Ann Lieber and Jackie Brody are both seeking re-election for their second term, while Toby Spitz has decided not to run for a second term.
Those who win the three-year terms will be in office from January 1, 2015, through December 31, 2017. Candidates can run for two consecutive three-year terms.
The library board meets every third Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. and members usually also serve on committees that may meet monthly depending on the need, but oftentimes do not.
“Formally,” said library director Catherine Creedon, “being a board member entails attendance at the meetings, supervision and hiring of the director, long-range planning and the setting of policy. So, there’s a formal, very narrow charge, but in fact—particularly in a community like Sag Harbor—board members are really the ambassadors for the library.”
“I always think they are the best people to go out and understand our mission, to talk about it, to look at the community and see ways we might be able to better serve the community and bring that information back to the library,” she added.
“Right now, I think is the most exciting time to be a board member at John Jermain,” the director continued, “because we have this gorgeous new building about to open and at the same time, there are all these amazing changes in technology.”
The budget vote and trustee election for the John Jermain Memorial Library will be held Monday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pierson auditorium, located at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor.