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Jul 8, 2009 12:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New Sag Harbor mayor stirs changes right out of the gate

Jul 8, 2009 12:44 PM

New Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride, who was elected on a platform of maintaining the status quo in village government, was sworn in to office on Monday—and almost immediately set about making changes.

His first order of business, though, was appointing Dr. Robert Stein to fill the seat on the board that Mr. Gilbride vacated by becoming mayor. A plaque inscribed “Robby Stein,” as Dr. Stein is known, had already been placed at the board’s table.

Dr. Stein, who finished third in last month’s trustee balloting, newly elected Trustee Tim Culver, and reelected incumbent Trustee Ed Gregory were sworn in together and took their seats as Trustee Tiffany Scarlatto was sworn in for the last year of her current trustee term.

When it came time to make appointments to the village’s regulatory boards, the mayor unceremoniously shuffled the deck a bit. He dethroned his campaign opponent, Michael Bromberg, from his seat as the chairman of the Village Zoning Board of Appeals, removed a longtime member of the village’s architecture board, replacing him with the wife of former mayor and trustee Ed Deyermond, and appointed his predecessor, former Mayor Greg Ferraris, to a vacant seat on the Planning Board.

Mr. Bromberg had been chairman of the ZBA for five years. He will remain a board member. Mr. Gilbride, who appointed another veteran board member, Gayle Pickering, to the chairman’s post, said that Mr. Bromberg was still a valued member of the board, but statements he made during the recent mayoral campaign about the pending condominium proposal at One Ferry Road were inappropriate for a regulatory board chairman to make. During a debate, Mr. Bromberg agreed with several other candidates in saying he would like to see the project stopped in favor of preserving the property as open space.

“In a couple of cases he may have gone a little further than he should have as a board member,” Mr. Gilbride said on Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s a huge problem, but Gayle has been a great member of that board, and we both think she is going to do a great job. Mike said he understood completely.”

The new mayor also removed longtime Architectural Review Board member Bob Tortora and replaced him with Bethany Deyermond. Mr. Gilbride thanked Mr. Tortora for his years of service to the village but said he thought it was time for a change. He noted that Mr. Tortora, who is a builder, said two years ago that he would not take on any new construction projects in the village, but has continued to do so. Mr. Gilbride said there have been questions about professional conflicts with Mr. Tortora sitting on the board.

Mr. Gilbride said he called the people involved with each change personally. “One thing you’ll see with me is that if I think there are changes that will serve the village, I’m willing to try some things out,” he said. “The other thing is, it’s good to give other people in the village a chance to serve.”

Mr. Ferraris, who chose not to run for mayor again despite his popularity, will fill the Planning Board seat of Ann Hansen, who recently resigned.

“I like working with [village development consultant] Rich Warren so much,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”

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Great start Brian. The voters of East Hampton Town don't realize the mistake they made in not voting you onto the town board two years ago. It's a mistake we are all paying for now.
By truthinbonac (46), Amagansett on Jul 8, 09 3:29 PM