“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Abraham Lincoln


Frequently Asked Questions

What does a village trustee do? What's the village's budget? When are the Yankees going to call to ask you to be their starting shortstop? You have questions...we have (almost) all the answers. 


Sea Cliff Village Elections FAQ

“Village” of Sea Cliff. Is that just an adorable name or does it actually mean something?

Short Answer:  

A village is a clearly defined municipality – which is to say it provides the services closest to the residents – you know, garbage pick up, road fixin’, building codes, etc.

Long Answer:  

In New York State, a village is an incorporated area within the jurisdiction of one or more towns. This differs from a city, which is independent of a town, and therefore has more autonomy than a village.

As mentioned, a village provides the services closest to the residents. Municipal services not provided by the village are provided by the town containing the village (in our case, the town of Oyster Bay). There is no limit to how large the population in any particular village can be, but in the state of New York a village may not exceed five square miles, and must have a minimum of 500 residents.

Who is running things around here?

Short Answer:

A board of trustees. 

Long Answer:

Our village board of trustees is governed by five elected positions (a mayor and four trustees). One of the trustees also serves as deputy mayor, filling in for the mayor when he/she is not available.

Currently the board is comprised of the following officials:

What Are these people up to anyway?

Short Answer:  

The board volunteers their time to keep things running and worry about the details so that you don't have to. Not all heroes wear capes!

  • Mayor: Boss, jefe, big kahuna...the mayor runs Village meetings, upholds the law, and always pays his/her (Village) debts.
  • Trustee: Mayors can't run anything without a team of these folks who have been “entrusted” (trustee, get it?) to vote in the best interest of the people.

Long Answer:

The mayor presides at all Trustee meetings, provides for the enforcement of all our local rules and laws, appoints officials (non-elected officers, other department employees, and the Village Clerk), intervenes to protect the right of the village inhabitants, as well as signs orders to pay claims, execute contracts, and cut checks (Source: NY Consolidated Laws, Article 4-400 - 4-414, 2012).

In a trustee model, representatives are “trusted” by the electorate to consider facts as well as the views of their constituents before voting on any particular legislation. However, at the end of the day these representatives can vote however they see fit. In this model, constituents are not obligated to maintain an active role in policy.

This is different than the delegate model, for example, which leaves no room for judgment and compels representatives to vote strictly according to the majority wishes of their constituents.

So, within our trustee model, it is critically important that the electorate stay informed and maintain communications with their representatives. 

is our current board mostly republicans or democrats?

Short Answer: 

Neither, so don't go to the polls thinking you don't need to know anything because you'll just vote along party lines (we know you do this, stop pretending!).

Long Answer: 

Actually, the main party currently running the Board of Trustees is the Civic Progress Party. Per a Northword News article from 2015, the party claims, "We are not Democrat, Republican, Liberal, or Conservative.  The Committee uses the many Sea Cliff organizations, groups and committees as a 'farm system' to identify capable, competent, and conscientious people who have demonstrated these qualities in past public service."

In February 2017 the Sea Cliff Open Government Party was introduced by way of candidate Deb McDermott. Per her website, "Sea Cliff Open Government Party believes that communities are best served by an informed, engaged electorate. We believe this is accomplished through open, transparent, and collaborative government culture, processes and technologies. The intention driving open and transparent actions in government are to make it easy for people to be informed and that it is desirable to have as many people as possible in the community informed of and engaged in legislative and governmental matters affecting this community."  

In the past there have been independent parties like the Property Owners Party and Alliance Party, to name a few, but they are not currently running candidates.

I'm interested in getting involved in local government, where should I start?

Short Answer:

Send an email to our mayor Ed Lieberman at elieberman@seacliff-ny.gov

Long Answer:  

There are lots of ways to get involved (from just attending a few meetings to see how stuff works to joining a board or task force with a mandate to solve a specific issue). Right now, your best bet is to start with reaching out to the mayor (who is a very friendly, helpful guy). 

When is the next election?

Short Answer:

  • Date: Tuesday, March 21
  • Time: 12pm - 9pm
  • Place: Stenson Memorial Library (a.k.a Sea Cliff Children's Library)

Long Answer:  

There are three positions up for election this year. Click here to learn more about the upcoming election!

How long are terms?

Short Answer: 

Two years.

Long Answer: 

Mayors are elected every two years, period. However, to ensure continuity (i.e. making sure there is never a "brand new" board of trustees with no previous board experience), trustee elections are rotated. Meaning two trustee positions are elected one year, then the other two trustees are elected the following year. 

what is at-large vs. large and in charge voting?

Short Answer: 

At-large voting is a system used in Sea Cliff which determines how votes are tallied. This is different than large and in charge voting which is when you show up at the polls, vote and then feel so incredibly empowered you actually grow three centimeters.

Long Answer:

First of all, good for you! That's why you're here, right - to start knowing stuff! So stick with us and we promise you a picture of a tiny hamster dressed as pilgrim, eating Thanksgiving dinner, because ... America.

First, "running as a slate"...
Until now you thought "slate" was a blue-gray color, a type of stone, or a liberal leaning news outlet, but now that you're getting into politics, it's time you learned its other definition. Running as a slate essentially means that a group of candidates are listed together on the ballot, typically because they share similar political views. They may also pool their campaign resources - think things like listing names together on lawn signs and flyers, or hosting events together. Running as a slate, however, does not mean a voter is or should be compelled to vote across the slate. That is entirely up to the voter to determine.

Now, a word about "at-large voting"...
As your grandma always said, there's more than one way to skin a cat. Graphic, sure, but apropos in this case, because as it turns out, there's more than one way to tally a vote.

In Sea Cliff elections like this one, we practice a system called "at-large voting."  

At-large voting is used primarily in local elections. Typically an entire town, or in this case a village, is considered to be one large district, and all candidates for office run together against each other.

In at-large voting, voters have the same number of votes as the number of seats to be filled. The candidates with the highest number of votes win. 

Here's your reward. You earned it.

Here's your reward. You earned it.

what is a slate?

Short Answer:

There are many definitions. A blue-gray color, a teaching tool in the early 1900s, but in this case running as a slate essentially means that a group of candidates are listed together on the ballot, typically because they share similar political views.

Long Answer:

Candidates who run on a slate may also pool their campaign resources - think things like listing names together on lawn signs and flyers, or hosting events together. Running as a slate, however, does not mean a voter is or should be compelled to vote across the slate. That is entirely up to the voter to determine.

what's the point of voting? 

Short Answer: 

All the cool people are doing it. 

Long Answer:  

Sea Cliff is a small incorporated village of roughly 5,000 people. Every. Vote. Counts. If you want to make an impact in your community, voting in local elections is by far one of the best ways to ensure your voice is heard. If you are happy with the status quo, you should vote to ensure things remain unchanged, and if you're unhappy, you should vote to change things. 

Can you guarantee all the information on this site is 100% fact-based?

Short Answer:

Nope.  Pobody's Nerfect.

Long Answer:

We can assure you we are doing our best to make sure whatever information here is factual to the best of our knowledge, abilities and resources publicly available. We do not post information that is not able to be publicly referenced and strive to keep our opinions to ourselves. Of course, we are humans so errors are possible...even likely. PLEASE reach out if you see something that looks wrong or seems unbalanced in any way. We welcome your feedback.