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Amagansett Runoff June 25

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 12:17

Two candidates running for the Amagansett School Board this year finished in a tie, and a runoff vote to decide which one will serve the longer term will be held on Tuesday, June 25. The date coincides with the state primary vote for local elections.

The board voted 4-0 on May 29 to set the runoff election date, which by state law is to be held within 45 days of the initial vote. In the first vote, on May 21, Anna Bernasek and William Muchnic, known as Hank, both received 151 votes.

Ms. Bernasek and Mr. Muchnic have both been formally elected to the board, but because there is a three-year term and a one-year term up for grabs, the runoff vote is necessary.

The June 25 date gives the district time to publish legal notices three times in local newspapers. Usually, four legal notices are required, but Sandy Nuzzi, the school’s district clerk, said she had received legal advice that given the circumstances, three legal notices plus posts on the school website and advertisements at the Amagansett Library would suffice.

“Legally, it all has to be completed by July 1,” Ms. Nuzzi said in an email.

On May 29, Ms. Bernasek questioned whether a runoff vote was necessary because it would cost the district money. She said she would have been happy to accept the shorter term. However, Ms. Nuzzi said that the vote is required.

Mr. Muchnic was first elected to the board in 2016. Ms. Bernasek ran unsuccessfully for a seat in 2017, but was appointed to a vacant seat in 2018 after a board member, Patrick Bistrian III, moved out of the district. Another full three-year term was filled on May 21 when Kristen V. Peterson, the sitting school board president, was re-elected with 168 votes.

Because she had previously been an appointee, but has now been formally elected, Ms. Bernasek was sworn in at the board meeting on May 29, with the stipulation that her term would be for either three years or one.

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