In Sag Harbor Village, trustee Jim Larocca narrowly defeated first-term incumbent Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy, 379-357, in one of the year’s more heated races as village residents across Long Island again went to the polls Tuesday to elect new trustees and mayors.
Larocca centered his platform against a plan to rezone the village’s waterfront and instead called for a comprehensive, villagewide overhaul. He said he saw an influx of out-of-town money amid the COVID-19 real estate boom as a threat to the character of the village, according to his campaign website.
Mulcahy ran on her record, which included developing the waterfront rezoning plan, a moratorium on waterfront development and completing a revitalization of the village’s Long Wharf on time and under budget.
At the heart of their disagreements was land use issues involving the Bay Street Theater and its plans to relocate. Larocca characterized Mulcahy as too supportive of the plan.
"I tried to run a straight campaign and didn’t fight back as hard as I should against the lies and innuendos," Mulcahy said Tuesday night. "At this point, I just want Sag Harbor to heal."
Incumbent Sag Harbor Village trustees H. Aidan Corish and Bob Plumb sailed to victory, winning two-year terms with 572 and 497 votes, respectively. Challenger Bayard Fenwick lost with 250 votes.
In Port Jefferson, Mayor Margot J. Garant credited her victory to efforts during her tenure to boost the village’s economy, especially in a downtrodden area near a Long Island Rail Road station, and steer the North Shore community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Garant won her seventh two-year term by defeating Barbara Ransome, director of operations for the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, by a vote of 913-513.
"There’s always something to do here in Port Jeff," Garant said Wednesday. "There’s more coming," she said, adding that her victory would ensure "continuity" in village government, "and keeping that momentum going, because it’s not easy to do."
She said she and other Port Jefferson officials continue to speak to developers interested in building in Upper Port, a neighborhood in southern Port Jefferson that has struggled with blighted buildings and empty storefronts.
Garant also said the village is contemplating adopting "more flexible" code changes that will allow outdoor dining — adopted to help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic — to become a permanent fixture.