Gardella Gets Seat on Board

Thomas Gardella Taylor K. Vecsey

After losing his first bid, by just five votes, for a seat on the Sag Harbor Village Board in 2017, Thomas Gardella, the former chief of the village’s Fire Department, had a much happier election night on June 19 when he captured one of two seats on the board in an uncontested election. The other winning candidate, James Larocca, was an incumbent. 

Mr. Gardella, who will serve a two-year term, said on Monday that he had yet to have a meeting with Mayor Sandra Schroeder to discuss his assignments, but he said his priorities were protecting the harbor and water quality. “Our population is growing and we have to keep an eye on the impact that has on the environment,” he said. 

Robert Stein, the board member whose term just ended, had taken the lead on securing grants for the village, and Mr. Gardella said that as a former chief of the Fire Department, he had become well versed in the grant application process as well as crafting bud­gets. 

He said he was particularly looking forward to helping two major projects move closer to becoming a reality, namely the Steinbeck Waterfront Park, the proposed recreational area that will feature a beach, a fishing and small boat pier, and a pedestrian walkway, and the restoration and renovation of Long Wharf, which the village is seeking to make more pedestrian-friendly.  

Since the election, Mr. Gardella said he has been busy tending his plumbing business, which he plans to slowly hand over to his son. “I’m 53 years old and you don’t see a lot of plumbers my age. It’s hard work,” he said. He has also finishing a training course in emergency medical technician critical care. Even before being sworn in, he said he had been hearing opinions and getting advice from constituents.

 “People are already coming up to me on the street,” he said.