New Mayor Sworn In, Pledges to Restore Public Comment at Top of Agenda

As Trustee Jim Larocca looks on, Sag Harbor Village Clerk Beth Kamper swears-in newly-elected Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy during a ceremony at the start of the village board meeting on Monday, 7/1/19. Michael Heller photo

Kathleen Mulcahy was officially sworn in as the new mayor of Sag Harbor Monday afternoon, July 1, at the annual reorganization meeting of the Board of Trustees and announced during her first stint at the helm that she would restore public comment to the start of regular meetings.

Mayor Mulcahy and the board also voted to add a regular work session to their monthly meeting schedule and to create a Sag Harbor Environmental Advisory Committee. No appointments were made to the new panel.

“One of the things I want to do here in the village is to make us a very environmentally friendly village,” Ms. Mulcahy said of the committee. “So a number of you here in this room I will likely be reaching out to be part of it. It is going to be a key part of what I do working with volunteers and it will be looking not only at our water but our air, our land, from clear-cutting trees to waste management to a holistic look across the board at our environment throughout the village.”

Ms. Mulcahy said after the meeting that the make-up of the new committee was a work in progress and would be the subject of a discussion at the board’s first work session on Wednesday, July 24 at 5 p.m. Theoretically, she said, she would like to see a board with diverse expertise on issues such as water quality, clear cutting and fertilizer use and other environmental issues.

“I would like to keep it a manageable size, but a lot of people have a lot to add to this group,” she said.

Newly elected Trustee Robert Plumb and re-elected Trustee Aidan Corish were also sworn into office during the organizational meeting on Monday, which carried a festive air, the audience of roughly 30 people clapping when the board members first walked into the second-floor meeting room of the Municipal Building. Mr. Corish is beginning his second two-year term. Mr. Plumb, a former member of the village Zoning Board of Appeals, was elected to his first term on June 18. Sitting trustee Thomas Gardella was also sworn in as deputy mayor.

Then-mayor Sandra Schroeder announced in February, 2018, the removal of public comment from the beginning of village board meetings, allowing public comment on non-agenda items only at the end of the session. On Monday, Ms. Mulcahy said public comments would be allowed again at the beginning of the meetings but strictly limited to three-minutes per speaker. A green, yellow and red flashing timer will appear on the room’s two display monitors, she said, seen easily by both the board and the public.

The board also will have a monthly work session, the mayor announced, which will be held on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 5 p.m. in the second-floor meeting room of the Municipal Building.

In other news from Monday’s meeting, the board named Steven Tekulsky as the associate justice for the Sag Harbor Village Justice Court. Mr. Tekulsky joins elected village justice Lisa Rana on the bench. Both are also justices on the town of east Hampton’s court. Tim McGuire will return as the chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. McGuire stepped down from the post in September 2018 while receiving treatment for melanoma. Mr. McGuire and sitting member Hamil Willoughby were appointed to the ZBA, with terms to expire in 2023 and 2020, respectively. Larry Perrine was reappointed to the village’s planning board for a five-year term that will expire in 2024. John Parker and Caroline Fell were reappointed to village Harbor Committee for three-year terms that will expire in 2022.