Corish Throws Hat Into Village Trustee Race

H. Aidan Cornish with his dog, Harry.
H. Aidan Cornish with his dog, Harry.

By Kathryn G. Menu

Three candidates will seek two seats on the Sag Harbor Village Board in village elections this June, with Mayor Sandra Schroeder running unopposed for a second term at the helm of the village.

H. Aidan Corish, 60, a Howard Street resident and businessman, will run for trustee under the banner of the Sag Harbor United Party. He will face incumbent Trustee Ken O’Donnell and former Sag Harbor Fire Department Chief Thomas Gardella, who are running as a slate with Ms. Schroeder under The Residents’ Party banner.

Mr. O’Donnell, the owner of La Superica, is hoping for a third term on the board. Mr. Gardella, like Mr. Corish, is new to the political arena and announced his candidacy last week. Trustee Ed Deyermond confirmed last week he would not seek another term.

District Clerk Beth Kamper finalized nominating petitions on Tuesday.

Mr. Corish is a native of Dublin, Ireland, and a naturalized U.S. citizen. A founding partner at Tangram, a branding firm, he has been a resident of Sag Harbor since 1995.

“The first thing is I love this village,” said Mr. Corish on Wednesday as to why he was seeking public office. “I live here with my wife and my children. And my worst day in Sag Harbor is better than the best day for others in some places, so we need to keep perspective about some of the issues we are dealing with.”

That said, Mr. Corish added he believes Sag Harbor would benefit from a local government that has long-term vision for the village.

“I want to start thinking about where the village will be in 10, 20 years instead of constantly reacting to things,” he said. “We should have strategic plans in place.”

Mr. Corish said with village finances at a premium, and the need to hold the line on taxes, long-term planning would enable local government to tackle quality-of-life and infrastructure issues one by one, with goals to solve a particular problem over the course of several years.

“For example, there is a group of people who would like to facilitate biking and walking in town — what if we created a roadmap where we create building blocks that make that goal achievable over a period of time in an affordable way?” said Mr. Corish, noting that kind of planning would allow projects to transcend administrations.

“I think communication is a huge issue,” he added, calling for greater public dialogue from the village board. “I look at some of the more contentious situations in the village and I think a lot more could have been done upfront with communication.”

To that end, Mr. Corish said he would like to see the village’s website used more dynamically. He also suggested a comprehensive parking plan should be considered by the village, and was not opposed to paid parking — during specific times of the year — in targeted areas, like Long Wharf.

“I just think I offer some new perspective,” said Mr. Corish, later adding, “I think we have to be willing to have these conversations.”

Village elections in Sag Harbor will be held on June 20 from noon to 9 p.m. at the Sag Harbor Fire Department headquarters on Brick Kiln Road.

Unopposed in North Haven

It will be another uncontested election in North Haven Village, where two incumbent trustees, Jim Laspesa and James Davis, have announced they will seek two-year terms on the village board.

Mr. Laspesa has served on the board for two full terms. Before that, he was planning board chairman for 26 years. He said he was focused on keeping the deer population under control and seeing that the state moves forward with repair work near the roundabout on Route 114.

Mr. Davis, who was first appointed to a one-year term in 2013 to complete the term of Jeff Sander who was elected mayor, was elected to a one-year term in 2014 and a full two-year term in 2015. He could not be reached for comment.

Voting takes place from noon to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at Village Hall on Ferry Road.


Down the road in Sagaponack, two incumbent village board members will seek two-year terms and are running unopposed. William Barbour will seek his third term on the board and Joy Sieger is asking for a sixth term. That election will be held at Sagaponack Village Hall on June 16 from noon to 9 p.m.