The Sag Harbor Party has held the full board of trustees and mayoral seat in the village for a number of years, but with as many as seven prospective candidates emerging for two trustee slots and the mayor’s seat, change may be coming to Sag Harbor.
Earlier this year mayor Greg Ferraris and trustee Ed Deyermond announced they would not seek reelection. Sag Harbor Party member, trustee and deputy mayor Brian Gilbride declared his intentions to seek the mayor’s seat shortly thereafter, with incumbent trustee Ed Gregory also planning to fight to retain his seat on the board. The Sag Harbor Party has yet to announce a third candidate to complete its slate.
However, a number of residents have announced they will also seek office in Sag Harbor. Former Southampton Town Supervisor candidate and attorney Jim Henry has said he will seek the mayor’s seat, as has zoning board of appeals chairman Michael Bromberg.
This week attorney Tim Culver, real estate agent Jane Holden and child psychologist Robbie Stein also confirmed they will vie for trustee seats on the board.
“I don’t take the view that I am running against anyone,” said Culver on Wednesday. “This is an opportunity where I feel I can be helpful and I think if you live here you have to speak up and get involved.”
Culver is an attorney with a background in real estate and business law. As a real estate development lawyer Culver was involved in zoning in South Boston, which also underwent a zoning code rewrite during his tenure. He came to Sag Harbor with his wife, Samantha, whose family has lived in the village for a number of generations. But it was his experience with zoning issues in Boston that got him involved with helping members of the business community review Sag Harbor’s own proposed zoning code.
“I think we were able to bring constructive discussion on zoning issues,” said Culver.
Culver said he and Stein share a number of the same qualities, although he was unsure if they would run as an official ticket.
“We are independent thinkers, and both trained to be good listeners,” he said. “I think we both have an ability to bring thoughtful analysis to what is going on in the village.”
“I have been thinking about this for a number of years and something always got in the way,” explained Holden on Tuesday about her decision to run. “I have been attending meetings, watching what is happening and I think we need fresh faces and a fresh perspective on the direction the village is headed.”
Holden was raised in Sag Harbor and has worked in the village as a real estate agent for 29 years. She served on the committee that carried out the Pierson centennial and also on the financial committee for St. Andrews Parrish for 16 years, working as a chair for several fundraisers to restore the church.
Holden says she sees the village sewer system as something the board will need to address in coming years, and also would like to look at the fiscal management of the village more closely. As a member of the board of the Harbor Close Condominiums, Holden said she has developed a working relationship with National Grid officials, something the village will need to continue to forge, she predicted, in coming years.
Stein has yet to put an official petition in motion, but said on Tuesday he was committed to running.
A board member of the not-for-profit Save Sag Harbor, Stein also ran a counseling center in the village for a number of years. A child psychologist, his communication skills helped forge a relationship with Culver and the business community after he served as a liaison between Save Sag Harbor and the Sag Harbor Business Alliance when the National Historic Trust was brought into the village to discuss preservation of the village business district.
Stein said on Tuesday he would like to explore what stimulus monies are available on the federal level for Sag Harbor and would like to explore health care opportunities for residents in the village, as well as the standard issues the village has been facing like affordable housing and zoning. A waterfront walkway is also something Stein would like to see the village accomplish in coming years.
“I would like to run, but my primary motivation is to add a dimension to the village that is not here,” he said. “I do not want to repeat the issues. I would at least like to discover how we can get involved with the schools and with health care initiatives.”