Sag Harbor’s Mayor talks about why the Village Board of Trustees is hosting its first Saturday work session on October 26 at 10 a.m. and some of the projects Sag Harbor residents can expect in the near future.
What was the impetus for the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees to host its first Saturday meeting?
We just wanted to get more people into the room to be able to hear what is going on with the village – to be able to reach the people who, for one reason or another, can’t get to a meeting on a Tuesday night. There are people who don’t live here during the week, but also there are people who do live here that just can’t get to a 6 o’clock meeting — there is dinner to make, there’s sports kids are involved in, there’s homework. There are so many things going on in people’s lives, that we wanted to give residents another opportunity to come hear what is going on. It will be an opportunity to present a “State of the Village” to a wider audience, although it will not be a formal “State of the Village.”
Basically, you are hoping to update residents on where some of the village projects are to-date.
Exactly. And we will talk about how the hundreds of thousands of people that were here this summer. We don’t have the exact numbers from the [Department of Transportation], but we do know that traffic was heavier than any season before. We know business was bigger than ever before — whether it was better than before I don’t know but I am meeting with the Chamber this week so I will have news from the business community to report. We will talk about the boats — we had more boats than ever. We will talk about how many ambulance, fire and police calls we have had this year, which was also higher than ever before. At the same time, as our service calls are going up, our volunteer numbers are going down, so it is important we talk about outreach for volunteers. We are going to talk a bit about Steinbeck Park and what kind of opportunities will be available down there and how we are going to help finance that. We are going to talk about Long Wharf — and so far, so good. All of our test drilling went perfectly and so far we don’t see any issues as we move forward.
So, from a timing perspective, it looks like that project is on schedule?
We are just starting to put the steel in next week and it has to be in by mid-January. So as long as we don’t have an extended freeze between now and mid-January we should be good. After the steel is in everything else can be done in whatever weather we have except a crippling blizzard. We are hoping to wrap that project up between May and early June.
Will the board also discuss the potential extension of wastewater treatment services?
Yes. And we will also talk about some traffic calming issues – some parking solutions that came up during last month’s work session and how we want to move forward with that. We will also talk about Haven’s Beach renovations and the installation of new sponges down there. Pervious pavement, which is being installed on Bay Street through East Hampton’s Community Preservation Fund water quality program this winter along Marine Park — that is another topic I want to talk about.
You are three months into your first term as mayor and it seems the messaging has been very much about inclusivity and getting the whole Sag Harbor community together to talk about various issues and long-range planning. How do you think it is going so far?
I think it is going well. I do get a lot of comments on the street with people telling me they want us to do this, they want us to do that and I tell them, come to a meeting with the trustees and let us all know what you are thinking about. Tell us, ‘The litter in this town is terrible and I have an idea’ and that is the best way to get something going because talking to me is great, but I can’t do anything all by myself. But as a group, we can keep things moving forward and see if we can make all of things happen.