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Jun 21, 2016 1:49 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Another New Face Joins Westhampton Beach Library Board

Mitchell Schecter BY ERIN MCKINLEY
Jun 21, 2016 1:49 PM

Another new face will be joining the Westhampton Free Library Board of Trustees, an appointed board that has seen a fair share of turnover in recent months.

At its most recent meeting on June 15, the board accepted the resignation of Eric Mirell, a software engineer who was only appointed to the seven-member board in February, along with Robert Santucci and Mary Anne Yutes. All three were appointed in the wake of several resignations, including that of former longtime President Joan Levan whose tenure ended abruptly late last year, and prompted calls from certain members of the public that the board switch from an appointed to an elected one.

On Friday morning, the board announced the appointment of Mitchell Schecter to replace Mr. Mirell, who is moving to Florida. When reached this week, Mr. Schecter, a retired attorney, said he recently moved to Westhampton Beach full time and was looking for a way to serve his new hometown.

“After meeting with Mr. Schecter, the board was impressed with his record of community service and the board looks forward to putting his talents to good use,” Westhampton Free Library Board President Thomas Moore said in a statement last week.

Prior to stepping down, Mr. Mirell was at the center of an email controversy involving Sabina Trager, a former library employee who was wrongfully fired by Ms. Levan and later allowed to collect unemployment insurance. Apparently, Mr. Mirell had circulated an email—which Ms. Trager’s husband, Robert, was mistakenly copied on—stating that Ms. Trager, who has submitted multiple requests seeking information from the library board, should be ignored and her “importance diminished.”

When addressing the board at last week’s meeting, Ms. Trager asked for an apology but did not receive one. Mr. Mirell was not present at the meeting. Several days later, Mr. Moore sent Ms. Trager an apologetic email.

As for Mr. Schecter, he is excited to take his place at the dais. Originally from Manhattan, he said he started visiting Westhampton Beach about five years ago before moving to the village full time late last year. He said he applied for the library position in April.

Mr. Schecter said he was interviewed during last week’s executive session before being appointed the same night.

“I want to reach all of the elements of the community,” Mr. Schecter said. “I do speak Spanish and that is a very important group of people in our community, and I want them to feel welcomed and embraced. I am retired, so I have the passion, the time and the experience.”

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Visit www.wflelectedboard.org to read Eric Mirell's "oops" email, Tom Moore's "apology" that added insult to injury, as well as my reply email highlighting how appointed boards of taxpayer funded institutions thwart democracy. Details are on the Welcome page as well as in posts under the News tab.

In addition, prepare for the renovation of the first floor of our brand new Library. Last week the Library's Long Range Planning Committee--comprised solely of three appointed trustees and the ...more
By st (125), westhampton beach on Jun 23, 16 9:37 AM
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