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May 14, 2019 3:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Kathleen Mulcahy Throws Hat In Ring For Sag Harbor Village Mayor

Kathleen Mulcahey is running for Mayor of Sag Harbor Village.   ELIZABETH VESPE
May 15, 2019 4:18 PM

Early last week, Kathleen Mulcahy announced that she will be running as a member of the Horizon Party in a bid to unseat Sag Harbor Village Mayor Sandra Schroeder, who has been serving in the position since 2015.

Protecting the beaches, enhancing water quality, getting the residents involved and creating open discussions, improving parking and traffic, and creating a comprehensive long-term plan are some of the issues she is running on, Ms. Mulcahy said on Friday afternoon during an interview at Guild Hall in East Hampton, where she works as the gift shop manager.

“I believe that change is on the horizon, and we need to look toward the horizon and start planning,” she said of the meaning behind her party’s name.

She added that she filed a petition to place her on the ballot last week. The petition, she said, contained 100 signatures, double the required 50.

The village election will be held on June 18, from noon to 9 p.m., at the Sag Harbor Fire Department on Brick Kiln Road.

Two years ago, Ms. Schroeder ran for reelection unopposed. “It’s not good for democracy to have people running unopposed,” Ms. Mulcahy said. “If nothing else, I’ll create some conversation.”

In 2016, Ms. Mulcahy and three other Sag Harbor residents founded Main Street Conversations, a monthly gathering of concerned residents who discuss current issues, such as immigration, gun control, and local and state politics.

The group has met with local officials, including State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., former U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, Democratic congressional candidate Perry Gershon, and OLA’s executive director, Minerva Perez, in an effort, she said, to make a difference in the community.

Ms. Mulcahy said she’s been involved in local issues and causes since moving to Sag Harbor nearly two decades ago, and has volunteered with her children in activities that included baseball and theater, and has served on the board of 725 Green and Sag Harbor Kids.

“Change happens from the bottom up,” Ms. Mulcahy said. “I think we need a change in the Village Board. It’s become very insular, very closed in. We need to be collaborative.”

Ms. Mulcahy has been visiting the East End her entire life, she said, and bought a home in Sag Harbor in 1995. In 2001, her family permanently moved to Sag Harbor and both her children Colman, 24, and Kerrie, 21, attended schools in the district and graduated from Pierson High School.

She said her first interaction with village regulatory boards was in 1995, when she began renovating her 200-year-old home in the historic district of Sag Harbor Village near Havens Beach, where she currently lives with her two children and their cat.

Ms. Mulcahy was a marketing executive for most of her career, managing Pepsi-Cola’s and Frito-Lay’s accounts, handling $200 million budgets, long-term strategic planning, sales promotion solutions, and a team of over 250 managerial staff.

After giving up her commute from New York City to Sag Harbor in 2014, Ms. Mulcahy continued to work as a consultant for major marketing firms, and became the manager of the gift shop at Guild Hall. In 2017, she received her real estate license and currently works with Brown Harris Stevens on Main Street in Sag Harbor.

She said if elected, she’d like to make the board more proactive and forward thinking, in terms of climate change and demographic changes in the community.

Ms. Mulcahy said she’d like to increase visibility and transparency by holding meetings at more convenient times, and open communication between the mayor’s office, local groups and the Sag Harbor School Board.

She said she’d like to see “much more openness on the Village Board,” and more collaboration with both East Hampton and Southampton towns.

She said that she believes that Sag Harbor has become a cut-through for traffic going east in the morning and west at night, with a lot of the traffic dangerously going right by the elementary and high schools while students are going to and from school. Union Street is becoming an issue, given how narrow it is, she said, when cars are parked on the street and cars are going both ways.

She said, by next summer, parking is going to be an even bigger issue than it is now, with the addition of the rebuilt Sag Harbor Cinema.

“We’re going to have 200 people at any given night adding to the parking issue,” she explained. “I don’t think I have the answers, but I want to work on it and talk to other villages. Other villages have gone through what we’ve gone through. We’re not alone.”

Ms. Mulcahy said that she “treasures the historic nature” of the village, and she’d like to see real estate agents, and the people moving into Sag Harbor, appreciate that historic charm.

“I’m approachable, and I want to listen. I don’t have all of the answers, but I want to work with the village to find the answers,” she said on Friday. “I want to keep improving Sag Harbor Village, and I think I can do it by working with the residents, the village and the people around us.”

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