Library to Pierce the Cap

    The Hampton Library in Bridgehampton will hold its annual budget vote and trustee election on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    Residents of the Bridgehampton and Sagaponack School Districts will weigh in on a $1.55 million spending plan for 2014, which includes a debt service of $560,000. Total spending is up $29,100 over this year’s budget, and taxpayers will be asked to contribute an additional $30,100 next year. The library expects to raise $10,500 through fines and fees and $13,600 in investment income.

    The budget is up 1.97 percent, but because the New York State Comptroller’s Office “lowered the tax cap to 1.66 percent,” according to the president of the library’s board, Elizabeth Kotz, the 2014 budget will, if passed, pierce the state-mandated 2-percent cap on property tax increases. It was “a surprise squeeze for institutions like ours that follow a January through December fiscal year,” Ms. Kotz wrote in the library’s fall newsletter. While the board reviewed the budget again following the comptroller’s announcement, it ultimately decided “that further cuts would jeopardize the quality and extent of the services that our Bridgehampton and Sagaponack patrons have come to rely on,” Ms. Kotz wrote.

    Three people are running for three seats on the library’s nine-member board; two will represent Bridgehampton district residents and one will represent Sagaponack. Two Bridgehampton trustees, Gail Davenport and Elise Quimby, are completing their final three-year terms. Both have served since before the board instituted a four-term limit. Ready to step into their spots are Sandra Ferguson, who is also vice president of the Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt, and Mary Lee, a member of the Friends of the Hampton Library.

    For Sagaponack, Bruce Kaplan is set to serve his final three-year term. “He’s been a great asset to the library board, including getting us through our building expansion, which was completed in 2009,” said the library’s director, Kelly Harris.

    Voting will be at the library. Absentee ballots are available from the school district clerks or the library director