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Dering Harbor has two open board seats

Dering Harbor Deputy Mayor Heather Brownlie and residents

Dering Harbor Deputy Mayor Heather Brownlie and residents Robert Ferris and Alfredo Paredes are all running for village trustee seats in Dering Harbor. Photo Credit: Courtesy photos

Dering Harbor, the tiniest village in the state at 0.2 square miles, is having a busy election season with two challengers running against two incumbents for trustee seats.

Deputy Mayor Heather Brownlie, trustee Richard Smith and residents Robert Ferris and Alfredo Paredes are running for the trustee seats, which carry two-year terms.

Brownlie, 46, a transportation planning consultant, has served on the board since 1999 and also serves as chairwoman of the Shelter Island village's Architectural Review Board. She grew up in Dering Harbor. She received a bachelor's degree in history from Columbia University in 1991 and a law degree from New York Law School in 1994.

She said the village faces issues with "budgetary concerns, our road maintenance, and water issues." She added, "Our village is very unique and it has its own water system and aging infrastructure and our roads as well. It's a challenge to keep that up for our residents."

Smith, 75, a retiree who has helped produce the Broadway musical "Beautiful," is seeking his fifth term as trustee. He grew up in St. Louis and got a bachelor's in English literature from Yale University in 1961. He has Manhattan and Miami residences, and said his Dering Harbor home, which he's owned since 1988, is his primary residence.

The village's biggest issue is budgetary, he said. "Costs go up and we need to keep the taxes as low as possible," Smith said. "We try very hard to keep zoning issues front and center so we don't get undersized lots or buildings that don't match the zoning codes."

Paredes, 51, the executive vice president and chief creative officer at Ralph Lauren, has a Manhattan residence and bought a Dering Harbor home in 2013. He grew up in Miami and received an associate degree in fine arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta. He's running for trustee because "I feel like if I'm going to put roots down somewhere and be there for a long time, I want to be involved," he said.

He vowed to focus on "more transparency within the way things get done and also protecting the village there," he said. "I don't want to see the village change and I know I'm a newer generation."

Ferris, 64, is a real estate developer who grew up in Boston and has had a Dering Harbor home for the past decade. He is a member of the Architectural Review Board and considers the village his primary residence. He ran unsuccessfully for trustee last year.

Ferris said he wants to "save the village, preserve the village, have more seats for village residents on the boards and have an open, inclusive process to resolve issues."

Voting is Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at 23 Locust Point Rd., Dering Harbor.


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