Low Turnout in Village Elections

Trustee candidates Thomas Gardella (left) and James Larocca await the results from Tuesday’s uncontested election for two seats on the Board of Trustees with Mayor Sandra Schroeder on Tuesday night at the Brick Kiln Road firehouse. Peter Boody photos

An uncontested election for two seats on the Sag Harbor Village Board of Trustees drew only 47 voters to the Brick Kiln Road Firehouse on Tuesday and seven absentee ballots. Former Sag Harbor Fire Department chief Thomas Gardella, in his second bid for a trustee seat, was elected with 51 votes and Trustee James Larocca was reelected to a second two-year term with 40 votes.

There were three write-in votes, one each for Jeff Peters, John Shaka and Rich Bragna.

In North Haven, the election for mayor and two trustee seats also was uncontested. Mayor Jeff Sander won reelection for a third, two-year term with 46 votes. Trustee E. Dianne Skilbred won reelection with 52 votes and Trustee David Saskas was returned to the board with 48 votes.

Sag Harbor Trustee Larocca said he was pleased with the outcome and joked that having no opponent was “the only way to run.” He also ran unopposed in 2016, his first election after having been appointed to the board by Mayor Sandra Schroeder in 2015.

Now that Southampton Town is stepping in to acquire the proposed Steinbeck park property on Ferry Road with Community Preservation Funds, Mr. Larocca said the board will be focusing on the design, development and funding of the park. “The park will be a big focus of my service over the next two years,” he said, “and I’d like to have the whole thing done in this term if we can.”

Finding the funding to rehabilitate Long Wharf will be another priority, he added.

Mr. Gardella could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

“The biggest challenge we have right now,” said North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander, is that “we turned over the whole staff.” He said it was important for him to seek another term to provide continuity. Recently the village hired a new attorney and a new clerk. Interviews are underway now for the clerk/typist position, which functions as initial gatekeeper for all village applications and other matters.