clubhouse, east hampton, indoor, tennis, cornhole, bar, happy hour, bowling, mini golf

Story - News

Jul 9, 2019 11:09 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Mayor Of East Hampton Village Will Resign At The End Of The Year

Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. at Main Beach on Friday.   ELIZABETH VESPE
Jul 9, 2019 11:51 AM

East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. announced on Wednesday, July 3, that he will leave his post at the end of this year, before his current term expires. He already announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection in 2020.

“I desire to take this opportunity to offer a personal message to village residents who have supported me in my capacity as a trustee, then mayor, of our wonderful village,” Mr. Rickenbach said at the Village Board’s organizational meeting on July 3.

“It is my intent to resign my position as mayor effective December 31, 2019, at midnight,” he said.

When the mayor resigns, the Village Board will either appoint someone or wait until the June election, according to Becky Molinaro Hansen, the village administrator.

The deputy mayor, Richard Lawler, will assume the responsibilities of the mayor until a new mayor is appointed or elected, she explained.

“This decision comes after much soul searching and contemplation. Having been afforded the opportunity and humbling experience to serve as a public official to a wonderful, caring and sophisticated constituency, I owe our village everything; in return it owes me nothing,” Mr. Rickenbach said.

Mr. Rickenbach has held the mayoral post longer than anyone else in the village. He was first elected to the Village Board in 1988, and became the mayor in 1992 after the death of Kenneth Wessberg, whom Mr. Rickenbach credits with first getting him involved in local government.

The mayor grew up in Jackson Heights and attended school in Great Neck. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His family moved to East Hampton in 1954. After serving with the U.S. Signal Corps in the Panama Canal Zone, he was awaiting appointment to the New York State Police when a full-time position became available as an East Hampton Village Police officer.

He struck up a relationship with Fritz Leddy, former chief of the East Hampton Village Police force, who offered him the job. Mr. Rickenbach left the police force in 1982, with the rank of detective sergeant. Soon after, he became involved in corporate security.

“I think it’s time,” he said of his imminent resignation. “I want to do more with the family, and I’d love to travel a little bit more, God willing.”

You've read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Already a subscriber? Sign in