Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride won re-election by 11 votes on Tuesday night after a tense contest among four candidates. Sandra Schroeder, a former co-worker of Mr. Gilbride’s who was village clerk and administrator for 20 years, was the runner-up, with 168 votes.
Ed Gregory, an incumbent village board member, lost his seat. His position and the one left open by Timothy Culver in August will be filled by Ed Deyermond, a former village mayor, and Ken O’Donnell, a Main Street businessman.
The air was thick with anticipation before, during, and after the announcement of the votes, and yet there were few predictions, what with so many candidates involved. Several of the dozens of bystanders remained for the calling of 23 absentee ballots, as the vote was so close. In all, 556 residents weighed in, a decline from recent elections.
“I’m glad that so many people got involved in the race,” Ms. Schroeder said after the results were final. “That’s wonderful.”
Finishing third in the mayoral race was Bruce Tait, the chairman of the village’s harbor committee, who received 142 votes. Former Mayor Pierce Hance trailed with 85 votes.
In the race for village board, Mr. Deyermond, who ran on the Progressive Party line, received the most votes, 363. Mr. O’Donnell, who ran on the Citizens for Common Sense line, earned his seat with 336 votes. Mr. Gregory, who has served the board for decades, received 240 votes. Bruce Stafford, who served one term before losing last year to Kevin Duchemin, got 139 votes.
Mr. Deyermond told The Star after the final tally that he was “humbled by the count.” He added, “Now that the drama is over, the work can begin.” Mr. Deyermond has served as mayor as well as a board member for the village in the past, and has retired from full-time government work after 33 years.
“Residents of Sag Harbor Village elected three individuals with three different viewpoints and life experiences to create a level playing field,” Mr. O’Donnell, a 45-year-old father of two young children and the owner of La Superica restaurant, said yesterday. He said he thinks the village will benefit from his business background as well as from Mr. Deyermond’s civic experience as Southampton Town assessor, among other posts.
Mr. O’Donnell said recently that he has worked for and with law firms and managed businesses with up to 125 employees. He now hopes to work together with the board “toward positive accomplishments for the village. I’m really looking forward to getting sworn in on July 1 and getting to work.”
Mayor Gilbride shook the hands of the new board members when the count was over. He will now have a full board to work with after it had operated with an empty seat since the resignation of Mr. Culver, who lives on North Haven. Mr. Deyermond told The Star recently that he had sent the mayor a letter requesting the seat, to no avail.
Robby Stein, who joins Mr. Duchemin in filling out the rest of the board, was present for the action, telling The Star afterward, “There are a lot of negotiations coming up. Brian is a tough negotiator.” He added that he hopes the new members will support issues near and dear to his heart, such as preservation of the wetlands and village parks.
Mr. Deyermond and Mr. O’Donnell will take their seats at the next village board meeting, on July 9.