Six for Three Seats on John Jermain Memorial Library Board of Trustees

John Jermain Memorial Library Sag Harbor
The John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor. Michael Heller photo

The John Jermain Memorial Library Board of Trustees will host a budget hearing and trustee forum on Monday, September 16, in advance of a budget vote and trustee election on Thursday, September 26.

The election is open to anyone who lives in the Sag Harbor Union Free School District.

This year’s trustee race is contested with six candidates seeking three seats on the eight-member board. The only incumbent seeking re-election is Dan Glass, a long time Sag Harbor resident who is active in library programming and who has a daughter, Emily, who attends Pierson Middle-High School. Incumbent board members Alison Bond and Nick Gazzolo are unable to seek re-election having reached their term limits.

Former JJML board member and president Michael Garabedian, an attorney now eligible to run for the board again, is also on ballot. Mr. Garabbedian and Mr. Glass are joined in the race by young-adult author Patricia McCormick, Elliot Sroka, a regular library patron with a background in nonprofit development, Charles Stevenson, another longtime patron of JJML, and Bob Weinstein, who currently serves on a number of local boards including the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum and Save Sag Harbor.

In addition to hearing from trustee candidates next Monday, members of the public will also be presented the proposed $3.092 million budget for 2020, $2,869,889 of which is generated by the tax levy. The budget represents a 2.8 percent increase over the current spending plan. According to JJML Director Catherine Creedon, the average property owner in the library district in Southampton Town will see a zero-percent increase — if the budget is approved by voters — for the second year in a row. Property owners in the East Hampton Town portion of the district, who saw a 0% increase last year, will see a .41 increase per month for a property valued at $500,000, or just under $5 per year.

According to a budget work sheet, the debt service on the 2009 $10 million referendum that helped fund the restoration and expansion of the historic Main Street library, accounts for $905,000 of the proposed budget, with operations making up $1,964,889 — $1,033,640 funding the JJML staff salaries, with an additional $445,800 making up employee benefits and payroll taxes, $185,640 earmarked for library materials and programming, $213,648 covering administrative and office expenses and $308,461 slated to cover building and grounds.

The budget hearing and trustee forum will be held at the library at 5:15 p.m. Voting will take place on September 26, also at the library, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.