Budget Passes; DeSesa, Kriegsman and Kruel Elected to School Board

A view of the court and walking path behind Sag Harbor Elementary School. Gavin Menu photo

The Sag Harbor School District budget passed with a majority 1,325 votes in favor with 645 opposed.

The approved budget was for $44.3 million, representing a budget increase of $1.44 million or 3.37 percent with a proposed tax levy of $39.7 million, a 2.71 percent increase, which falls below the state tax cap. The tax rate is set at $4.5 per $1,000 of assessed value, a 1.14 percent increase.

A proposition to allow the district to purchase a school bus out of reserve funds was also passed, 1,325 to 645.

Incumbents Brian DeSesa and Alex Kriegsman were re-elected to the board with former board president Sandi Kruel earning the third seat on the board. Newcomers Ronald Reed and Helen Roussel were unsuccessful in their bids for school board.

Mr. DeSesa captured with most votes with 1,155 in his favor, followed by Ms. Kruel with 1,151. Mr. Kriegsman earned 1,127, followed by Mr. Reed with 891 votes and Ms. Roussel with 810 votes.

Mr. DeSesa, 39, is a former assistant Suffolk County district attorney, who is currently working for the Adam Miller Group, with offices in Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton, focusing on real estate, land use, and litigation. He has lived in Sag Harbor since 2008 with his wife and daughter and is seeking his second term on the board.

Ms. Kruel, 58, a lifelong resident of Sag Harbor, Pierson graduate and mother to three Pierson graduates including her son, Dylan, a member of the Class of 2020, has served 12 previous years on the board of education, including as vice president and president, PTA president, PTSA president, athletic, audit, and building and grounds committees, president of the YARD after-school program, 15 years as class mother, and founder and president of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball league.

Mr. Kriegsman, 48, is the current vice president of the board and was seeking a second term. With three children in the school district, Mr. Kreigsman is on the school’s educational facilities planning and athletic committees and is a former member of the Southampton Town Board of Ethics. Mr. Kriegsman is an attorney in private practice with offices in Sag Harbor and is a former federal prosecutor and commercial litigator.

Mr. Reed, 51, was seeking his first term on the board. An artists and architect who has lead a team of architects artists, engineers, and contractors in implementing large complex projects for both public and private sector clients, had the support of the Teachers Association of Sag Harbor, the union of teachers in the district.

Ms. Roussel has a bachelor of science degree in environmental studies and served on the board of the Sierra Club Long Island Group and on the Sustainable Southampton Green Advisory Committee. She also served on the PTA and was involved in the successful effort to halt the installation of artificial turf at Pierson High School and said she would work to enact sustainable policies in the district.