2022 Annual Budget Hearing and Trustee Forum

Our Annual Budget Hearing & Trustee Forum is Wednesday, September 21st at 5:00 pm. This event will be streamed via zoom. Click here to join. Questions may be submitted in advance by emailing kharris@johnjermain.org. Those wishing to ask questions of the candidates or about the proposed 2023 budget must be in person at the meeting to do soThe Executive Order allowing for virtual participation in Open Meetings has expired. Open Meetings Law requires participation to be in person at the location of the meeting. 

Click here to learn more about the vote and election. 

Meet the Trustee Candidates 

Michael Garabedian

Michael received his B.A from New York University in 1982, and his Juris Doctor from Union University, Albany Law School, in 1985. He is admitted to practice law in New York State, in both federal and state courts. He is a former prosecutor in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, and currently a partner in the law firm of Egan & Golden, LLP, with offices in Bridgehampton and Patchogue. 

Michael sits on the Board of Directors for Operation International, Ltd., a not-for-profit international surgical aid organization that performs surgeries and provides medical care to under-served people in Africa, Asia and South America. 

He also serves as the President of the Board of Directors of Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc., a Hague Convention accredited, not-for-profit international adoption provider dedicated to orphan relief and adoptive placement of children with special needs in the U.S. and abroad.

Michael previously served on the Board of the New York Armenian Home, a not-for-profit senior assisted living facility in New York City. 

Finally, Michael is 3-term board member at the John Jermain Memorial Library.

Robyn Obler 

I moved from NYC with my family to Sag Harbor in 1992. Over those thirty years I lived in three different neighborhoods. My children went to the local schools and I served as a Vice President in the PTA when they were in the elementary school. 

Professionally I’ve been a dancer, college teacher, Pilates instructor and book seller. Up until the pandemic, I worked as an anthropologist involved in research for Native American tribes across the country. This work required spending time in many local, academic and national libraries and archives. Currently I’m an assistant to the executive director of Hamptons Doc Fest. I’ve also been volunteering at the local food pantry for over five years. 

Since moving to Sag Harbor, my family and I have been avid patrons of the John Jermain Library. I’ve been a member of one of the book clubs for close to 10 years. My daughter, who is currently in graduate school for library science, worked at the library for about a year. In the “old days” of books on cassette tape, I probably borrowed a few book cases worth of tapes to listen to while driving. And there were many days I spent in the Rotunda, needing a quiet place away from home, preparing for courses I was teaching. 

My interest in being a library trustee is to help further the library’s mission to provide access to information to all members of the community. Particularly in the current climate of censorship, disinformation, distrust of intellectualism, misunderstandings about history, and lack of critical thinking, people need a place where they can find the information they need to understand the events occurring in the world.

Elliott Sroka

By this brief introduction – and the accompanying petition of my Sag Harbor friends and neighbors – I am seeking a spot on the ballot for JJML Trustee election this fall. 

Permanent, year-round residents since our retirement in 2015, my wife Karen and I live around the corner from Pierson, and enjoy an easy walk to our polling place at the Fire Department on Brick Kiln Road. Weve been Library Members and frequent users since 2003; in recent years we’ve become donors, and gotten to know a number of Library staff and Trustees personally. Just this past week I had the pleasure of meeting with our new Executive Director in her office. 

My education and work experience in the arts and culture prepare me well for the role of Trustee. Having earned BFA and MFA degrees in Drama at Carnegie Mellon and a Ph.D. in Drama and Humanities at Stanford, I began my career in teaching, at San Francisco State University. From 1981-86 I served as Director of public arts programming at New York‘s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. I came to Long Island in 1986 as Executive Director of Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU’S C.W. Post Campus in Brookville, where I served for nearly three decades. As a proven senior manager for cultural nonprofits, I understand both the challenges and the opportunities such institutions present. 

Performing arts centers and libraries serve their communities in much the same ways, both intrinsically (as cultural institutions) and functionally (as venues or gathering places). All such institutions have been sorely tested during Covid, and are particularly in need of dedicated, enlightened staff and lay leadership today. In that context, Kelly Harris’s vision of public libraries as “models of resiliency and agents of change” is inspiring. I would welcome the opportunity to support her efforts in service to Sag Harbor as a John Jermain Memorial Library Trustee.

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