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Larsen to Run for Second Term as Mayor

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 17:12
East Hampton Village Mayor Jerry Larsen
Durell Godfrey

There was no big announcement, or surprise, only a letter to residents of East Hampton Village, circulated by Mayor Jerry Larsen along with an absentee ballot application, indicating he will be on the ballot for the June 18 village election. Deputy Mayor Christopher Minardi and Sandra Melendez, a board member, will also run for re-election.

Mayor Larsen was first elected in 2020. While the letter touts his accomplishments, most of it provides instructions on how to fill out the application to receive the absentee ballot. “My wife, Lisa, who is also my campaign manager, will act as your agent and make sure you receive your ballot and that your ballot is delivered to Village Hall,” the letter says.

“I give absentee ballots to everyone,” the mayor said this week in the course of a long phone call.

“We’ve been campaigning and fund-raising all summer,” he continued. “We’ve raised $115,000, which surpasses what we raised four years ago, and we still have a few months left.”

“I personally find the job very rewarding,” Mr. Larsen said, “and I think we’ve accomplished many of our goals. Even though this is considered a part-time job, I consider it a full-time job. People have invested millions in their properties and businesses. If I can help them in any way, I will. We’ve brought back the feeling of community to the village. People go to our events, like the concerts we do on Tuesdays in the summer, and meet people they’ve never had the opportunity to meet. We’ve increased public safety and changed a lot of the zoning regulations that have allowed residents to use their properties more effectively, all while lowering taxes.”

He mentioned the refurbishment of the fields and courts at Herrick Park as his administration’s “biggest public accomplishment — all through private donations.”

One goal not yet accomplished? The placement of a wastewater treatment plant on village property, which would allow for more “wet uses” in the business area. “We’ve worked tirelessly on it,” Mr. Larsen said. “A year into the process, the State Environmental Department of Conservation denied our application to put it in the long-term parking lot. That whole process wasted time and cost us $150,000, which we were able to secure through a grant.”

The village board is still moving forward on the project, he noted, with its likely location to be 172 Accabonac Road, home of the village’s Department of Public Works. Because that land is in East Hampton Town jurisdiction, the Town Planning Department will have to approve the application, something the village hoped to avoid.

Another key focus of a second term, said the mayor, is traffic-calming — a difficult task. “Many village roads are being used as bypasses. The real goal is for the state to pass legislation that would allow us to ticket unlawful drivers with our cameras. In the meantime, we may install more speed-bumps and place more stop signs at four-way intersections.”

Speaking of tickets, Mayor Larsen also said the village is thinking about establishing its own justice court, which would give it more control over the tickets issued for parking and traffic violations.

As yet, there is no challenger for the mayor’s seat. The terms of Sarah Amaden and Carrie Doyle, two other village board members, are not up this year.

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