Sag Harbor Village Trustee Race To Be Uncontested

Trustee James Larocca, left, and incoming candidate Thomas Gardella, right.

The race in Sag Harbor for two seats on the village board of trustees is officially uncontested, as only two candidates filed petitions seeking to serve by the deadline on Tuesday evening.

One of them is former Sag Harbor Fire Department Chief Thomas Gardella, who lost his first bid for village board by five votes in 2017 to Aidan Corish. The other is incumbent Trustee James Larocca, who was first appointed to the board in 2015 to fill Mayor Sandra Schroeder’s seat after she was elected mayor, then was elected in 2016. Robby Stein, who is in his ninth year of serving on the board, has decided not to seek reelection but said he will remain active in the village.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Mr. Gardella said he is eager to work with Mr. Larocca — a few weeks ago, the two said they planned to run a joint campaign for the two available seats — as well as the rest of the village board.

“I’m looking forward to having a discussion about the issues as they come up,” Mr. Gardella said. “Long Wharf, the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park that we’re looking to secure and just keeping the standard of our village at a high level.”

He said he did not have an opinion on the fact that the trustee race is uncontested, but guessed at its cause.

“I know there are a few issues that have to be brought up and discussed, but I would have to say that means the community is pretty satisfied so far,” he said.

He said he thinks the biggest challenges facing he village are the maintenance of the harbor and preservation of the environment.

“I think the building department has done a good job making sure that the codes are enforced and trying to keep the village up to a certain standard,” he said. “I’m sure there are things that will come up. I’m always willing to listen, to come up with viewpoints and come to a decision with the other board members as to what’s in the best interest of our community.”

Mr. Larocca said Mr. Gardella is “a real asset” and said he “has a strong perspective about the village and how it’s changing, and what we can do to try and preserve the best of the place.”

Mr. Larocca is an attorney and former U.S. Naval officer who worked under four different New York State governors. He served as the state transportation commissioner under Governor Mario Cuomo, served on the board of the Long Island Power Authority and served as dean of Southampton College, among other positions.

Regarding the uncontested race, Mr. Larocca said from the point of view of a candidate, “it’s a nice way to run.”

“It’s gratifying to have the chance to serve again and continue some of the things I’ve been involved in,” he said. “To the larger question, some years are complicated and contested and some years are not, and this is one of those. I hope this means there is some level of satisfaction in what we’re doing.”

Voting is on Tuesday, June 19, from noon to 9 p.m. at the Sag Harbor Fire Department headquarters on Brick Kiln Road.

North Haven Races Also Uncontested

North Haven Mayor Jeff Sander is running unopposed to retain his position, as are incumbent Trustees Dianne Skilbred and David Saskas. Terms are for two years, and voting is Tuesday, June 19, at village hall on Route 114 from noon to 9 p.m.