Sag Harbor Village Mayor Brian Gilbride on Tuesday night narrowly clinched a third-straight two-year term as mayor, while Ed Deyermond, a former mayor and trustee, and political newcomer Ken O’Donnell won seats as trustees, ousting longtime incumbent Ed Gregory.
In the mayoral race, Mr. Gilbride racked up 179 votes to edge, by 11 votes, Sandra Schroeder, a first-time contender and retired village administrator who received 168 votes. Bruce Tait, chairman of the village’s Harbor Committee, finished third with 142 votes, and former Mayor and Trustee Pierce Hance rounded out the field with 85 votes.
In the trustee race, Mr. Deyermond, a former Southampton Town sole assessor and East Hampton Town tax assessor, received 363 votes, and Mr. O’Donnell, the owner of the bar and grill La Superica, got 336 to each earn two-year terms on the Village Board.
Mr. Gregory, who ran with Mr. Gilbride on the Sag Harbor Party line and was seeking his 13th term, though not consecutive, fell short in his bid, receiving 240 votes. Bruce Stafford, a one-time trustee who was voted off the board last year, finished fourth with 139 votes.
Voter turnout was approximately 32 percent, with 579 out of 1,804 registered voters casting ballots, according to Village Clerk Beth Kamper.
Mr. Gilbride, 65, a Sag Harbor native and manager for Emil Norsic & Son, managed to hold on as mayor despite a contentious year dominated by a stalemate with the village’s police union.
The Patrolman’s Benevolent Association and village entered binding arbitration following mediation and a long stretch of fruitless contract negotiations. Over the past year, the mayor considered slashing the size of the small force and sought proposals from outside law enforcement agencies to help police Sag Harbor, saying the village needed to get a handle on escalating costs, particularly with regard to the expenses of employees’ future medical and retirement benefits. Ultimately, the board laid off one police officer and opted not to replace another who transfered out.
“He’s a conservative Republican, and this is a more Democrat area, but it shows that commonsense conservativism wins,” said Southampton Town Conservative Party Vice Chairman Jeremy Brandt, who turned out at the polling place, the Sag Harbor Fire Department’s main firehouse on Brick Kiln Road on Tuesday night, to support Mr. Gilbride. “And I like the fact that in an election year, he took on a municipal union, the PBA. Not many guys would do that. They would kick the can down the road.”
Surrounded by several family members and supporters, Mr. Gilbride grinned as he was pronounced the winner and quickly shook hands with his fellow candidates and current Village Board members, though Mr. Tait and Mr. Hance had already left.
“I certainly feel bad for Ed Gregory, who’s done so much for the village,” Mr. Gilbride said afterward. “Listen, the people of the village spoke. We continue to move on, and I’m glad this day is over,” he said with a laugh.
The mayor, who said his new term is “certainly” his last, thanked his supporters and addressed his stance with the PBA. “Am I a determined and pretty tough negotiator? I’d say I am,” he said. “I think the facts prove that. But I represent the people in the village.”
Ms. Schroeder said she expected a bigger voter turnout and had also thought neither she nor Mr. Gilbride would be at the top of the vote tally, and that Mr. Tait would have won more votes.
Mr. Tait said he too was surprised by the low turnout, but said it speaks to the changing demographics of Sag Harbor toward more second-home owners who vote elsewhere. “I thought everybody ran a great campaign,” he said. “I’m glad I took part, and I’m glad it’s over. It was a good experience.”
Mr. Pierce did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday morning.
Mr. O’Donnell, meanwhile, said, “I’m excited, humbled and looking forward to getting sworn in so we can get to work.”
North HavenNorth Haven Village voters on Tuesday night kept an incumbent trustee and picked a newcomer to fill two open two-year terms on the Village Board. Incumbent Jeff Sander led all voters with 173 votes to secure a fourth term, while Jim Laspesa, his running mate on the North Haven Party line and the Planning Board chairman, received 172 votes to grab the second seat. Challenger Mary Whelan, who ran on the Daffodil Party ticket, received 74 votes.