Tag Archive | "mayor"

Bromberg Joins Chase for Mayor’s Office

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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.

 “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




Looks Like Three for Mayor

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With June elections fast approaching, it’s shaping up to be an interesting campaign season as three prospective candidates have tentatively announced their candidacy for the position of Sag Harbor Village Mayor so far. Current mayor Greg Ferraris, whose term is up in June, told The Express in early February he wouldn’t seek re-election. Also up this June are two village trustee seats, including Ed Deyermond’s position. He, too, said he would not seek re-election. Ed Gregory, who holds the other available trustee seat, is undecided.

 According to Ferraris, one of the chief reasons for his decision to not run again was the amount of time he needed to devote to his mayoral responsibilities while also running an accounting business in recent years.

 “The demands on the position have increased over the three years I have been here, and well over the six years that I have served on the village board,” said Ferraris in February. “[Village] issues have become more complex. The demands on the village board from residents have increased.”

 With the mayoral position up for grabs, the village board might witness a little reshuffling as two Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustee members, Tiffany Scarlato and Brian Gilbride, have announced their intentions to run for mayor — although Gilbride says he hasn’t yet made a formal decision. Also throwing his hat into the ring is Jim Henry, a Sag Harbor attorney, author, business consultant and a 2007 Democratic candidate for Southampton Town Supervisor who recently picked up a petition from village hall and has expressed his intention to run for mayor.

 Scarlato has been on the board of trustees for almost six years, and is serving her third term on the board. Scarlato reported that when she first heard Ferraris would not run again, she “begged” him to reconsider, though he remained steadfast in his decision.

 “After I finished begging him, I decided it was a possibility [for me to run for mayor,]” said Scarlato.

 Currently, Scarlato is an assistant town attorney for East Hampton, though she added she doesn’t believe this will present a conflict of interest should she be elected mayor. Prior to becoming a village trustee, Scarlato said she conducted extensive research to make sure her two positions wouldn’t conflict. Of her interest in becoming mayor, Scarlato added that she has the energy to tackle the position, and ample experience in village affairs. Scarlato was also one of the main village officials who pushed to update the current village zoning code.

 Among the chief concerns for the next mayor, Scarlato said the village budget would be at the top of her priority list should she be elected.

 “I think the biggest issue [for the village right now] is fiscal responsibility,” said Scarlato. “I would focus most of my attention on that. The board as a whole has done a good job to pare down the budget and be as fiscally responsible as possible, but it has to be kept up.”

 Also considering a mayoral run is Sag Harbor Village Trustee Brian Gilbride who has been a mainstay on the village board for the past 15 years, and served as deputy mayor for nearly four years.

 “I am still thinking through it, but I am leaning towards saying yes,” said Gilbride of his mayoral candidacy.

 Aside from being a trustee, Gilbride has worked for the village in many different capacities. In 1966, he was hired by the village as an employee of the highway department, which led to a position with the maintenance department. Previously, Gilbride also served as the chief of the village fire department. He feels that his relationship with the village will help him, if he were to become mayor.

 “I worked with a lot of good people [in the village],” he said. “I have an understanding of how the village works, and I look forward to help continuing the way things are going now.”

 Seven years ago, Gilbride left a position with Norsic, the sanitation services company based on Long Island. As a retiree, Gilbride reports he isn’t “the least bit worried” about the amount of hours the village mayor puts into the position. Of the challenges facing the mayor, however, Gilbride reiterated Scarlato’s belief that fiscal and budgetary issues will be the chief issues the village will face in the coming year.

 “Hopefully the zoning code will be put to bed … Things are a little tough with the economy, but we [the village] are very conservative and started planning a year ago,” said Gilbride.

 Although the other prospective candidate, Jim Henry, hasn’t served on the village board, he has run for town office (Henry lost the 2007 supervisor’s race Linda Kabot), and also has business and economic experience. Henry created the Sag Harbor Group, a consulting firm for technology-based businesses. As an author, Henry has written investigative books on economical mismanagement and also pieces for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Nation, among others. 

 No candidates have stepped forward yet for the two trustee seats.

 In Sag Harbor, prospective mayoral and trustee candidates are permitted to submit signed petitions beginning March 31. The elections will be held on June 16.

 Over the bridge, two North Haven Village trustee seats will be open for election in June. The trustees currently holding the positions are Jeff Sander, a Main Street building owner, and Jim Smyth, the owner of The Corner Bar. In addition, two seats on the Sagaponack Village board will also be up for grabs come June. These seats are currently occupied by Alfred Kelman and Joy Seiger. No candidates have yet come forward to announce their intention to run for the positions in either village.

Above: Photos of Trustee Scarlato, Trustee Gilbride and Jim Henry. 

Make-over for Roofs in Sagaponack

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Some roofs in the village of Sagaponack, will be seeing a transformation in the coming months, including the new village hall located at 3175 Montauk Highway.
Although the village has voter approval to spend $800,000 in renovations, Mayor Donald Louchheim announced on Monday during a work session that the village is hoping to keep their expenses at a minimum. Some $250,000 will be used for improvements at the new village hall including improvements to the roof on the southeast side of the building. Above the future meeting space, the roof needs repair and a portion of the $250,000 will also be used for pavement and curbing improvements.
Louchheim said that prior to acquisition, the building, which is a re-modeled barn, was in need of improvements to the roof because it is sagging and the beams holding the roof up need to be re-configured.
The mayor said that the board of trustees has seen plans submitted by the architect, but decided not to do any major renovations at this time. The plans previously submitted included changes to the existing footprint of the building to add a larger meeting space.
“We are still working on the specifications of the bid package for improvements to the roof and parking lot at this time,” Louchheim said on Monday.
The bid specifications will be available for pick-up from the Sagaponack Village Hall by Monday, December 15. The last date of submission will be on the morning of January 9, 2009 and bids will be opened at 11 a.m. that day. The award will be announced at the board meeting that follows on January 12.
During Monday’s work session, board member and liaison to the architectural review board (ARB), Lisa Duryea Thayer, mentioned that there are other positive improvements to roofs within the village confines. The ARB has seen three applications for permits to allow for green roofing.
“These types of roofs cut down on [homeowners] carbon footprint,” said village building inspector John Woudsma at Monday’s meeting.
The roofs, two of which would be on Daniels Lane in Sagaponack, are made of living plants built over a water-proofing membrane.
“I was impressed,” Duryea Thayer said. Deputy mayor Lee Foster asked jokingly if livestock would be necessary on top of the roofs to help maintain the plant life.
Woudsma explained that the roofs are made with a type of plant material that doesn’t grow very rapidly.
The village of Sagaponack is not opposed to the idea of adding greener building practices to their new village hall. Village Clerk, Rhodi Winchell said that village officials had a representative take a look at the new hall and assess it for solar paneling. According to Winchell, however, the LIPA representative made an assumption based on usage and, at this time, the village will not be going ahead with any plans for solar paneling. Winchell did say the village is considering low energy consuming lights and other alternative ideas to reduce energy consumption for the new building.

Water, water – nowhere to be found on Daniels….
During the public portion of Monday’s meeting, John White a Sagaponack resident, suggested that a water connection be added to Daniels Lane. He cited a recent fire during the summer months, in which the Bridgehampton fire department had to connect to a water main on another street and pull the hoses from another road.
“We can alert homeowners if there is a fire along this road where there is limited access, and tell them there may be no way for us to put it out,” Louchheim said.
White said homeowners along Daniels Lane are looking for a possible hydrant to be put in on the ocean side or adding holding tanks for water in case of a fire. Another option homeowners have is deciding if they want to become a separate water district but it will cost them.
“The commissioners should do a survey and we can bring it to the homeowners,” Louchheim said. “Or we can alert the homeowners and suggest they put a well in.” Another option, according to Louchheim is to authorize a special taxing district and the residents could pay into it for capital improvements.