Two years ago the mayoral election in Sag Harbor was a one horse race, with Greg Ferraris securing his second term at the helm uncontested. Following the announcement that Ferraris would not seek a third term, this year’s race seemingly sprouts a new candidate each week.
And this week was no different.
On Monday, Sag Harbor Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Michael Bromberg announced his intentions to seek the office of mayor, joining current Trustee Brian Gilbride and attorney Jim Henry in the battle for the seat. Trustee Tiffany Scarlato originally announced she would seek the office, but bowed out in order to support fellow Sag Harbor Party candidate Gilbride.
For Bromberg the decision to run came from a desire to solve some of the village’s larger problems – namely parking and affordable housing – issues he attempted to champion through the luxury condo project at the former Bulova Watchcase Factory.
During the planning process for the now approved restoration and redevelopment of the historic landmark, Bromberg successfully negotiated two parking spaces per unit, despite that the village code only called for one. He also championed for on-site affordable housing – a battle he eventually stepped away from after recusing himself from a decision.
Both are issues he said he would like to take on from a legislative standpoint after what he said was a lack of leadership on both fronts.
“I have a lot more questions than I do answers right now,” said Bromberg on Monday. “I want an opportunity to talk to people and hear what they want before I commit to anything, but I know there are problems in the village with affordable housing and parking … I have seen a lack of leadership in terms of issues I think are important to the village.”
Bromberg noted the parking trust fund has not created more parking, and questioned why more was not being doing to line the coffers of the Sag Harbor Community Housing Trust, a housing trust fund conceptualized over a year ago to help provide workforce housing in the Sag Harbor School District.
Â “These are some of the things I thought I would like to get a handle on and come up with some answers that we can all get behind as a community,” continued Bromberg.
Bromberg is no stranger to the need for workfroce housing, having grown up in a low-income housing project in Fort Greene, Brooklyn before moving to a middle-income housing project in the Bronx when he was about 10 years old.
He and his wife Margaret, a lifelong resident of Sag Harbor, have been married since 1969 and have three children, Isaac, Minna and Simon.
Bromberg has been a member of the zoning board of appeals since 2001, and has served as chairman since 2005. The attorney and law guardian for family court has practiced law in both New York and California since 1969. He has also served on the Sag Harbor School Board and with the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps as a paramedic.
In addition to the mayor’s seat, two trustee positions will also be on the ballot this June 16. Trustee Ed Deyermond has announced he will not seek another term, while trustee Ed Gregory will vie to keep this seat on the board of trustees. Prospective candidates interested in any of the positions have until May 12 to turn in petitions with 50 resident signatures