Letters to the Editor: 5/16/19


Three for the Board

Dear Kathryn,

I am writing to endorse Brian DeSesa, Julian Barrowcliffe and Yorgos Tsibiridis for the Board of Education. With the next board tasked with the important job of selecting a new superintendent, this upcoming election is a critical one. And it is essential that we have board members who put our children and the needs of our community first. These three candidates are well suited for the upcoming challenges.

Brian Desesa is a very well respected local attorney, with a long history of public service as a prosecutor and member of the zoning board of appeals. In just a few months on the board he has shown himself to be a fast learner, hard worker and a great asset. It would be great to have him continue his service. Julian Barrowcliffe is an extremely intelligent parent and community member, whose business background and experience on another school board would serve us well. His fresh ideas and critical thinking would be a valuable addition to the board. Yorgos Tsibiridis also has an extensive business background, which would be a great asset in the budget process. He is a Sag Harbor Elementary School parent who has shown his commitment to the district and to public service through his effective work on the Policy Committee. He would be a great addition to the board.

Please join me in supporting these three excellent candidates and remember to vote on May 21. Thank you.

Alex Kriegsman

North Haven


Supports Tice

To the Editor:

Now and then, if we’re lucky, we meet individuals who have an enduring positive impact on the life of a community. Chris Tice is one of them.

Chris brings her professional executive experience, her nine years of dedicated service as a Board member, her perspective as a mother and long time resident, and her deep love of the Sag Harbor community to every decision.

When my husband Bob Schneider and I moved into Sag Harbor almost 30 years ago we sought a community that is vibrant, caring and beautiful — we found it. Two school principals, we committed ourselves to preparing kids for futures we couldn’t even imagine. He at Pierson and me at Westhampton Beach Elementary School, we worked hard to make this world a better place.

Just like so many others we grew older and retired. As senior citizens we were always happy to support the Sag Harbor Schools, work to pass budgets and bonds, serve as consultants and volunteers and pay our taxes without having children of our own in school. As a widow I continue to do so.

Speaking from the perspective of an educator and senior citizen, I appreciate Chris Tice’s approach to the very complicated role of member of the Board of Education. She listens carefully and asks intelligent well-focused questions. Chris is a champion for kids — each kid, all kids. The Tice family is well stocked with educators; her dad Walter a devoted teacher, powerful union leader and equally powerful member of our Board of Education.

We’re lucky to have Chris Tice hard at work, providing the balance and perspective necessary to face the future of our community. As we search for a new superintendent of schools I can think of no one better to be on the board than Chris.

Won’t you please join me in voting for Chris Tice’s re-election to the Sag Harbor Board of Education?


Marian Cassata

North Haven


Experience is Important

Dear Editor:

I have been honored to be a member of the Sag Harbor School Board for the past nine years, and am running for re-election and ask for your support.

Coming from a family of public school teachers, I am passionate and committed to public education. I’ve lived in Sag Harbor for 15 years, after being a part-time resident since 1965. With three daughters who have attended Sag Harbor schools – two have graduated and one is still at Pierson, I am familiar with our K-12 experience. I love this community, am an active member of the PTSA, was a co-president of the PTA, and I volunteer for many local charities.

I’ve been a strong advocate for expanding educational programs, and during my tenure the board has added universal Pre-K, the International Baccalaureate Program, technology related courses/clubs, college and career readiness programs, and a more holistic approach to student achievement incorporating wellness. I’ve kept an emphasis on improving the district’s fiscal health, resulting in an increase in shared services and the number of tuition-paying students, a rebuild of our reserve funds to healthy levels, and for the eighth straight year a budget below the tax cap while maintaining educational programs.

I am running for re-election because I believe my experience and institutional knowledge is vital on such a new board – I’m one of only two board members who are not in their first term and the only trustee who has experience hiring a superintendent.  As a committed board member, I do my homework and am willing to ask tough questions which is central to accountability and transparency. If re-elected I will continue to work hard to provide an excellent education for every student in our district, while being watchful of the district’s finances to ensure that your tax dollars are well spent.  On May 21st, I respectfully ask for your vote.

Very Sincerely,

Chris Tice

Sag Harbor School Board Trustee: 2010-Present


The Requisite BOE Member

Dear Editor:

I attended the Meet the Candidates Night at Pierson on Tuesday, May 8. I was pleasantly surprised by the passion a few of the candidates have for education, which I feel is one of the most important attributes of a board member. Although I had no problem picking three candidates to support, I feel the support of one of these candidates is of utmost importance.

It takes time to learn the laws, policies, logistics and even the politics of a school district. With Superintendent Graves’ retirement, we may have a superintendent who is not familiar with our district. Three of the four remaining Board of Education members are serving their first term on the Board. The fourth BOE member, Diana Kolhoff, has announced she will not be rerunning next year. The value of having a BOE member with extensive historical knowledge of the district must not be undervalued. In addition to understanding the laws and policies that drive the management of a school district, understanding the budgets, capital projects, contract negotiations and, more imminently, the logistics of a superintendent search are all vitally important.

Chris Tice, who has served on our BOE for nine years, provides the full package. She is passionate about education, has respect for our teachers, administrators, students and taxpayers, and brings with her a vast historical knowledge of our District and its challenges. We have an overabundance of ‘new blood’ on our board. We need a knowledgeable representative! Vote for Chris Ticefor the Board of Education!

Yours sincerely,

Susan Kinsella

North Haven


Education a Big Part of His Life

Dear Sag Harbor Express,

My name is Yorgos Tsibiridis. Aside from being a dad, husband and a real estate agent, I have decided to run for Board of Education in the Sag Harbor School District. Education has always played a big part in my life and helped shape who I am today and what I have achieved. I was brought up in Greece and I moved to the United States about 25 years ago to pursue my MBA in Finance from Columbia University. I wanted to contribute to the school from the first day I moved into the district, by joining the school’s policy committee. Over the last three years, I have worked with community members, school board members teachers and administrators and developed several of the critical policies that were adopted. My previous professional experience for 20-plus years, has been in finance for Fortune 500 companies, developing budgets, forecasts and financial analysis. My strong finance experience and skillset will help the board with better analyzing and overseeing the annual budget and bring more transparency and accountability that will benefit a better informed community. As we continue doing what we do great at the Sag Harbor School, we have to think about the future and the needs of our students going forward. While we keep investing in our school and make this one of the best schools in the state, we have to better balance the budget, so our taxpayers don’t assume the financial burden.

Sag Harbor is a very special place and the school is the cornerstone of the community. This is the place where I chose to raise my two children, Athen who is a third grader and my youngest one Julius will start kindergarten this year at the school.

I have a lot to contribute to the School Board and I am asking for your vote.

Thank you,

Yorgos Tsibiridis

Sag Harbor


Beginning to See the Light

To the Editor,

At the Town Board meeting on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, I addressed the Town Board during the public comment section. Although the supervisor and the three Democratic Council Members appeared to look past me, they must have heard me. They now realize that taxes and assessments impact people’s finances. Although the supervisor has difficulty pronouncing my last name, ROBINS, I am certain he appreciates my efforts for the citizens who pay the bills. As the campaign unfolds, I will continue to educate the supervisor on the real Southampton, outside his privileged circle.

Greg Robins

Republican Candidate for

Southampton Town Supervisor


Wealth of Culture

Dear Sag Harbor Community,

When Bobbie and I picked Sag Harbor as the place where we wanted to live and bring up our family 40 years ago, we knew it was a special place. We were not wrong. And, although it has changed dramatically over that time, it still has the power to enchant, enlighten, and enthrall.

This past weekend I had the privilege of working with twelve of Sag Harbor’s amazing cultural institutions, one charity, six restaurants and a few businesses in putting together the Sag Harbor Cultural District’s fourth annual Cultural Heritage Festival. It would be hard to find a finer group of people, or a more worthy group of institutions anywhere. Thank you to everyone who participated.

But more importantly—and this is the real reason I’m writing—I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend many of the festival events. To say I was deeply moved by both the sheer number of events as well as by the quality of the experiences offered, would be a serious understatement. Sag Harbor is a wonderland of culture and history, and not just during the festival. We Sag Harborites have a wealth of cultural experiences available to us all without ever leaving town. Music, art, theater, film, literature, talks by authors, scholars, historians and other people of varied interests and backgrounds, museum exhibits, preserved homes, famous neighbors both living and dead, great food—it’s all here. What other village of this size can boast all that?

It was an amazing eye- and ear-opening weekend. I hope some of you reading this got to enjoy at least some of the cultural feast in spite of the bad weather. But, if you missed it, don’t’ worry, the opportunities to enjoy culture and history in Sag Harbor abound and continue throughout the year. I hope you will take advantage of the bounty that is available to you by patronizing and supporting our many home-grown cultural institutions.

Your neighbor,

Eric C. Cohen

P.S. If you want to ask me about any of this, you can find me at the John Jermain Library most weekdays.