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Sag Harbor mayoral candidates share concerns over real estate, pollution issues

Sag Harbor trustees Robby Stein, left, and Sandra

Sag Harbor trustees Robby Stein, left, and Sandra Schroeder are competing to replace Mayor Brian Gilbride, who is not seeking a fourth two-year term. Credit: Steve Pfost

Two Sag Harbor Village trustees are running for mayor at a time they describe as critical for their Hamptons community, as officials grapple with a trend of large mansions sprouting on historic streets and concerns about water pollution.

Sandra Schroeder and Robby Stein are vying to replace Mayor Brian Gilbride, who is not seeking a fourth two-year term.

Schroeder, 58, worked for the village for 21 years, starting as a receptionist and retiring as clerk administrator in 2010. She was elected trustee last year, after unsuccessfully challenging Gilbride for mayor in 2013. She is running alone on the Residents Party line.

"I worked during eight administrations," said Schroeder, whose family goes back several generations in Sag Harbor. "You see everything, whether you think it's good or bad or otherwise. You know what has worked all those years."

Stein, 66, a psychologist with offices in Sag Harbor and Manhattan, was appointed trustee in 2009 and has won re-election three times. He is running alone on the Windmill Party line.

"I realized I need to step forward," said Stein, who has lived in the village about 15 years. ". . . In order to meet the challenges facing us, we have to look at the organization of village government and communicating to the public as a whole."

Schroeder and Stein both support regulations to rein in the sizes of mansions being built in the post-recession era; a capital plan outlining repairs to the village's municipal building and wharf; and efforts to combat algal blooms that have appeared in recent years in Sag Harbor Cove.

Stein said his experience as a psychotherapist and serving on various village boards will help him build consensus around solutions. He said he favors new regulations on applying lawn fertilizer and a possible incentive program for homeowners to replace outdated septic systems to reduce nitrogen pollution in waters off Sag Harbor.

Schroeder said working alongside eight mayors gave her the experience to tackle the issues. She said she favors educating the public about water pollution caused by lawn fertilizer.

Both trustees have a year left in their terms, so whoever loses will continue to serve on the village board. The next mayor will have an opportunity to appoint someone to the post.

Voting is Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at the Sag Harbor firehouse.

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