Library Trustee Races, Budget Votes Approach In Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton

The John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor. Dana Shaw

The six candidates for five open seats on the John Jermain Memorial Library Board of Trustees have been invited to participate in a Zoom candidates’ forum and budget hearing on Wednesday, September 22, at 5 p.m.

The library is facing special circumstances this year because it did not hold a vote last year during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, so two candidates, incumbents Gloria Brown and Bill McCoy, whose terms were extended a year, are only eligible to run for two-year terms.

Incumbent Ann Sutphen is seeking another three-year term. Incumbent Susan Edwards has reached her term limit, and incumbent Nicholas Knab is moving out of the district.

Besides Ms. Sutphen, three other candidates have filed petitions to run for three-year terms: former Trustee Dan Glass, Steve Reiner, and Diane Deger.

The library is also proposing a $3,296,525 budget that carries a 2.8-percent spending increase that falls within the state-mandated tax cap.

The forum was originally planned for an in-person audience, but with recent COVID-related amendments to the New York State Open Meetings Law, the library has opted to go with the virtual setup.

The trustee election and budget vote will take on Thursday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the library.

Hampton Library

The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton will hold a hearing on its proposed $1,569,900 budget, which carries a spending increase of about 4.5 percent, at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 22, at the library. The library froze its budget last year during the pandemic, and the proposed spending increase falls under the tax cap, according to library director Kelly Harris.

As in Sag Harbor, the Hampton Library did not hold a trustee vote last year, so four incumbents, board President Dr. Louise Collins, Mbachi Kumwenda, Jerome Walker, and John Vendetti, whose terms were extended by one year, are running for two-year terms. All represent the Bridgehampton School District. The library, which also serves the Sagaponack School District, still has an opening for a Sagaponack trustee, as Diana Payne moved from the district earlier this year, but no candidates submitted petitions, Ms. Harris said.

The budget vote and trustee election takes place from 2 to 8 p.m. on September 28 at the library.