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Four compete for two trustee seats in Sag Harbor

Four Sag Harbor residents are running for two open trustee seats in a village grappling with its growing popularity as a resort destination, concerns over pollution in its bays and the challenges of maintaining a police department on a tight budget.

The next village board will also influence the future of Long Wharf, a pier at the heart of downtown, which Suffolk County gave the village in 2011. The village is awaiting an engineering report outlining necessary repairs to the pier.

Robby Stein, 65, the only incumbent, is running for his third elected term on the Windmill Party line. A psychologist with offices in Sag Harbor and Manhattan, Stein was appointed to the board five years ago to fill a vacancy left when Brian Gilbride became mayor.

Trustee Kevin Duchemin is not seeking re-election to the two-year term.

Stein, who has lived in the village for more than two decades, said his priority is protecting area bays from pollution. He wants the village to explore incentives for homeowners to install high-tech wastewater treatment systems and plantings that could reduce runoff. "Ultimately, if you live by the water, you have to think about the water," Stein said.

Sandra L. Schroeder, 57, retired as village clerk in 2010. She ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year. This year she is running for trustee on the Residents Party line.

Schroeder, a fourth-generation village resident, supports a "complete capital plan" for municipal buildings and infrastructure -- including Long Wharf -- and funding repairs while interest rates are low. "We need to maintain and keep ahead of the curve," she said.

John Shaka, 50, a decorative painting contractor who also farms oysters, is making his first bid for elected office, on the Main Street Party line.

A member of the Save Sag Harbor civic group, he has helped craft "traffic-calming" measures at four busy intersections. "We wanted to make it safer for everyone who uses the roads: cars, pedestrians, bicycles," as the village of 2,200 year-round residents grows busier in the summers, he said.

Shaka, who has lived in Sag Harbor for 15 years, also said he wants to help preserve its historic character.

Bruce A. Stafford, 56, served as a trustee from 2010 to 2012. This year he is running on the Sag Harbor Party line. A landscaper, fire department volunteer and a lifelong resident, Stafford said he supports funding capital projects, such as repairs at Long Wharf, little by little, rather than by bonding.

He also said he'd like to closely watch the police budget, which makes up more than half of the village's overall spending.

The election is scheduled for Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at the Sag Harbor firehouse.

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