Tag Archive | "trustee"

North Haven Elections Uncontested

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As election day nears, the mayoral and village trustee race in Sag Harbor Village is heating up, but over in neighboring North Haven Village, this year’s election season promises to be quiet as current trustees Jeff Sander and Russell “Jim” Smyth are running unopposed. Sander, a local business owner, is currently wrapping up his first term as trustee and was named as village deputy mayor in 2008. Smyth is a 47-year resident of the village and is entering his third term as trustee. Before becoming a trustee, Smyth served for eight years on the village planning board.
In the coming years, Sander would like to see the village acquire more property for open space preservation. He pointed out that the village recently purchased a 2.2 acre plot of land.
“I hope we continue to use whatever funds are available to buy parcels. This is one of the most important [projects] for the village,” noted Sander.
Although Sander has taken a keen interest in acquiring additional open space for the village, he added that it’s imperative for the village to remain fiscally conservative as the East End faces an uncertain economic future.
“One of our biggest challenges right now is continuing to manage our funds in a responsible way,” explained Sander. “All villages including ours are being impacted by the economy. Revenues are down in part because of decreases in the fees collected for building permits and other permits, though our costs continue to rise. This year we had to replace the heating system in village hall.”
Smyth concurred on the need to preserve open space and practice fiscal responsibility, but added that the board needs to continue keeping the village’s deer population at bay and beautifying various points in the village, similar to the recent round-about beautification project. Over his last term, Smyth said the village has worked on updating its website and improving office operations, and will continue to do so over the next couple years.
“I don’t foresee anything new confronting the village,” reported Smyth. “We just want to continue the work we have been doing. Most of the village projects are things we have been continuing for years and years.”
“The deer is always something in the back of our minds and we are always dealing with waterfront and dock issues,” continued Smyth, who added that the village is relatively small and primarily residential with only one commercial business in North Haven.
Overall, Smyth noted that the current North Haven village board has established a certain rhythm that he would like to see continue in the future.
“We have a strong group of people on the board who have been working together for a while,” said Smyth.
“I can provide some expertise and some good judgment to village politics. I enjoy working on the board,” added Sander of his forthcoming candidacy.
“They are great trustees. I am glad they are rerunning,” said current village mayor Laura Nolan. “They have certainly been an asset in helping me on the board and I am happy there isn’t a contested election this year.”
In fact, the Village of North Haven hasn’t seen a contested election since 2007.

Budget, Three Seats On September Ballot

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On September 16, residents in the Sag Harbor School District will vote on the spending plan for the John Jermain Memorial Library, as well as three seats up for grabs in this year’s library board of trustee contest.

According to John Jermain Memorial Library Director Catherine Creedon, the current trustees whose seats are up for election – current library board president Christiane Neuville, trustee Theresa Ameres and trustee Susan Merrell – will all seek to keep their places on the board.

This year’s proposed library budget is for $989,580, a 9.26 percent increase from last year’s approved spending plan of $905,700. According to Creedon, while the library’s projected budget does show an increase, it is not an increase in spending for children’s books was not factored into last year’s budget and projected costs for fuel did not meet the library’s demand. In this spending plan, purchasing for the children’s section of the library is back in the budget, and the library is attempting to accurately predict what it will spend in fuel and not under-budget for a second fiscal year.

“It costs about $1000 a week during the coldest part of the year to heat this building,” noted Creedon.

She added that other increases in the budget could be attributed to increases in the cost of benefits and health insurance for existing employees at the library. Health insurance premiums are up 12 percent from last year, she said.

“Of our 20 employees, 17 or 18 live in Sag Harbor,” noted Creedon when discussing the rise in costs for employee benefits and health insurance. “At least seven of them went through the Sag Harbor schools, so I really think we are a community library in that sense as well. I am always mindful of that when I think about benefits for our staff. It actually benefits our community more directly than our up-island counterparts who don’t have this same dynamic.”

There are also minimal rises in material costs, said Creedon, and administrative costs are up about $15,000. Last year, she noted, the required annual audit of the library was not factored into the budget. Computer related expenses are also up about $7000.

Petitions for trustee seats are available at the Sag Harbor School District clerk’s office and at the library. Petitions must be submitted to the district clerk by 4 p.m. on August 18 and must have 25 signatures from registered voters in the district.

Above: The John Jermain Memorial Library. (r. odell-shapiro photo)