Two Poquott village trustees who won their seats last year in a bitterly contested election have resigned halfway through their two-year terms.
John Mastauskas and Michael Schaefer each submitted a letter of resignation saying they were leaving their posts because of personal reasons, Mayor Dolores Parrish said in an email to Newsday.
“The Board of Trustees are volunteers,” Parrish wrote. “It requires a lot of personal time. The trustees who stepped down indicate from the letters sent to the board that this volunteer job required them to sacrifice too much time with family and friends.”
Chris Schleider was appointed this summer to replace Mastauskas, who resigned in July. A replacement for Schaefer has not been named.
Schaefer said in an interview Wednesday that he resigned about two weeks ago. Mastauskas could not be reached for comment Thursday.
“The conflict with getting things done on the board just became too great of a draw against my family,” Schaefer said. “There were so many issues that I thought were a concern. . . . I feel that a full-time trustee needs to be able to address this, and I’m not able to give that amount of energy as a trustee at this time.”
Mastauskas, who ran as a write-in candidate, and Schaefer defeated three other candidates to win their trustee seats in June 2016.
Mastauskas was one of four candidates that year — including Parrish — who had been removed from the ballot because of defective petitions. Parrish, who also ran a write-in campaign, defeated former Mayor Barbara Donovan.
Trustee John Richardson said some village residents have suggested the board appoint Debbie Stevens, who fell two votes short of winning a trustee seat in June, to replace Schaefer. Stevens filed a state lawsuit seeking a recanvass of the vote. She dropped that suit in July.
Richardson said the appointment of Schaefer’s successor “remains to be seen. It’s at the mayor’s discretion.”
He added that the board has met with a full complement of five members only once since June.
“It just seems like a revolving door in that place,” Richardson said.