Kelsey Elected New Mayor of Dering Harbor 

Dering Harbor Village Hall
Dering Harbor Village Hall
Ghristopher Paparo/Fish Guy Photos

Village of Dering Harbor voters have elected a new mayor and two new trustees to lead the tiny community on Shelter Island.

Deputy Mayor Karen Kelsey was elected mayor on Friday, May 27 after her predecessor Patrick Parcells declined to seek re-election to a second term. Trustee Brad Goldfarb was re-elected and Samuel Ashner won the seat Kelsey vacated. All three ran unopposed and won with all 24 votes cast in the race.

“We have a terrific board and approach our work as a team,” Kelsey told Dan’s Papers.

Dering Harbor is the least populous village in New York State. Its election was the first this season on the East End, with the bulk of other village elections slated for June.

Kelsey’s main goal has been to improve the quality of living for residents. She noted that five years ago, the village was in “serious financial distress, the water system was failing, and communications to residents were minimal.”

Since 2017, however, property taxes have decreased, a water system infrastructure project has also been completed and improvements have been made to village streets. Now, the new administration is eying historic preservation.

“Our major initiative for the upcoming year will be related to maintaining the sense of place that we share in Dering Harbor,” she wrote in a letter to residents. “There has been much discussion about the historic character of the village and the need to determine our goals related to preservation…. It is clear that we need to develop a path forward.”

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