Rose Brown Elected to East Hampton Village Board

Bruce A.T. Siska and Lara DeSanti-Siska voted Tuesday at the East Hampton Village Emergency Services Building. Mr. Siska's father, Bruce Siska, lost his re-election bid. Durell Godfrey

Making her first bid for a seat on the East Hampton Village Board, Rose Brown was the high vote-getter in the village election on Tuesday, winning a seat on the board along with her running mate, Arthur Graham, and ousting Bruce Siska, a board member since 2011. Ms. Brown will become the second woman in history to serve on the board, joining Barbara Borsack.

Ms. Brown won 277 votes, Mr. Graham 225, and Mr. Siska got 83.

Ms. Brown, who is a member of the East Hampton Village design review board and the former chairwoman of the planning board, was born and raised in East Hampton, and she and her husband, Greg Brown, a detective sergeant in the village police force, have three children, one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school.

“As a younger person raising a family in the village, I have a different perspective and a different voice that would make the board more well rounded,” she told The Star in an interview during her campaign. Ms. Brown said that she and Mr. Graham share the same determination to make the downtown more dynamic by allowing for more food shops and restaurants to flourish. “Everyone agrees that would bring more people into the village,” she said. She also promised to prioritize protecting water quality, and cleaning up both Herrick Park and the mess created by the stacks of free magazines that accumulate in front of stores during the summer.

First elected to the board last June in a race to fill out the final year of the late Elbert Edwards's term, Mr. Graham, who is known as Tiger, positioned himself in this election as an “activist who wants to take on new stuff.” Identifying the need for a sewage treatment plant as the key to addressing many of the village's challenges -- including protecting water quality, revitalizing the commercial core, and creating work force housing -- Mr. Graham promised to lead an effort "come hell or high water" to build the plant. He also embraced the idea of devising a new comprehensive plan for the village.

Mr. Siska, who was appointed deputy mayor in 2016, has been involved in village government for 24 years. Before joining the village board he was first a member of the planning board and then served on the zoning board of appeals. 

Being a board member appealed to him, he said during the campaign, because "you do the job that's in front of you, there's no politics, which is really nice. I just want to go in and do the job." He cited the village's actions to protect the health of Town Pond and Hook Pond as noteworthy accomplishments during his tenure. He also prided himself on protecting the quality of life of village residents. As for his years in public service, he said, "I've enjoyed every minute of it."