Sag Harbor Board Members Vow To Work Together

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Mayor James Larocca on election night.

Members of the Sag Harbor Village Board said this week they were ready to give it a rest after ill will from a campaign that grew increasingly testy as the election neared spilled over to the first meeting led by Mayor James Larocca on July 13.

The exchange began after two members of the public urged Mr. Larocca and Trustee Bob Plumb, who had exchanged words shortly before the election, to smooth over their differences and work together for the good of the community.

The topic was picked up as the meeting drew to a close by Trustee Aidan Corish, who criticized the mayor for pointedly leaving Mr. Plumb without any committee assignments. He argued that leaving Mr. Plumb with no responsibilities would handicap a board that has a long to-do list before it.

This week, Mayor Larocca said he was finished discussing the issue. “I would urge you not to extend the pre-election story any further,” he told a reporter. “I’m concentrating on the moment and moving forward. I am open to working with my colleagues, and I again invite them to work with me.”

Mr. Larocca said he had reached out to both Mr. Plumb and Mr. Corish shortly after the election, but that they had not reciprocated.

But Mr. Plumb said on Tuesday that he had not heard a word from Mr. Larocca since he refused his handshake on June 15 after defeating Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy until he received an email from the mayor on July 12, thanking him for his service and informing him that he would no longer be the board’s liaison to the building department.

He, too, said he hoped the matter could be put to rest. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s over,” he said of the dispute, adding that board members had discussed what transpired among themselves and agreed that it had to be resolved.

“My goal is to do the best work I can for the village,” Mr. Plumb said. “I don’t have to be the building department liaison. I’ll be the dog catcher if he wants.”

Mr. Plumb sat largely silent last week as Mr. Corish and Mr. Larocca sparred. This week, Mr. Corish said he, too, had spoken his piece and would not revisit the issue.

Mr. Corish said he had planned to broach the topic of Mr. Plumb’s freezeout even if Nada Barry and Will Sharp hadn’t separately brought it up during public comment periods.

“If we got through the meeting and it didn’t get resolved, it would have only gotten harder to resolve,” Mr. Corish said. “It certainly released a robust discussion. Sometimes, you have to lance the boil.”

Mr. Corish said it was Mr. Larocca’s responsibility to build a team with a good working relationship, and he said he was confident things would shake out in the coming weeks.

Trustee Tom Gardella, who served as something of a referee, urging the board to adjourn when it appeared Mr. Corish and Mr. Larocca were not going to end their discussion amiably, said he believed Mr. Larocca would find a place to use Mr. Plumb’s skills. “It’s going to be resolved — it has to be resolved,” he said. “The mayor will find a place where Bob will fit in the best and contribute the most.”

Although Mr. Gardella said Mr. Plumb had proposed several good ideas for the building department, “for whatever reason, it wasn’t a good fit.”

At last week’s meeting, Mr. Larocca alluded to problems with the building department and said his decision to remove Mr. Plumb from that responsibility was part of his effort to address those problems.

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