By Adedamola Agboola
Six weeks after getting re-elected to a Roslyn Estates trustee position he never filed to run for, Sandy Joel Siff said Thursday he has turned down the position.
“I am not going to accept the position of trustee because of my family commitments. My wife has retired last year and we are going to be doing some more traveling,” Siff told the Roslyn Times.
He said he has informed Roslyn Estates Mayor Jeff Schwartzberg and Trustee Brian Feingold of his decision and they have both wished me well.
“He’s been a member of the board for 12 years and I’ve worked closely with him for five of those years and he’s been a wonderful member of the board,” Schwartzberg said.
Schwartzberg said he will appoint someone to replace Siff in the next 30 days.
“I’ve had some conversations with him (the replacement) but I’m not ready to reveal who it is,” Schwartzberg said.
Schwartzberg said he would have loved to have Siff back on the board.
“I mean he did get 15 write-in votes. He was out liaison to the fire department and I’m going to miss him,” Schwartzberg said.
“It’s a bitter experience because I have enjoyed working on the board with all the trustees, the clerk and the buildings inspector,” Siff said.
Siff said he took time to speak with his wife, four children and considered all his options before making the decision to turn the position down.
“They were influential in cheering me on and giving me input and they were very pleased in what I was doing,” he said.
Siff said another reason he decided not to accept the position was his strong belief in term limits.
“Before this, I served 10 years as trustee on the board of the Bryant Library and I understand how having different people serve can be beneficial to the community,” Siff said.
He said the Roslyn Time’s April 1 article reminded him about comments he made in 2014 about term limits which has further solidified his decision to not accept the position.
Siff indicated back in 2014 after winning re-election for a sixth term that he was willing to step down two years earlier because he would like to see the next generation of the village’s leaders emerge — even if it meant losing in the polls.
“We should have constant change at this level, we should have people moving on and I would gracefully step aside and support them and help them continue,” Siff said at the time.
Siff decided to retire after serving 12 years on the board but was re-elected with write-in votes in the March 15 village elections.
After learning of his unexpected re-election, he said in March that he was undecided as to what he was going to do.
“Right now, I don’t have a definitive answer only that I will evaluate the situation as time goes on with my family,” Siff told the Roslyn Times on March 31. “We’re still planning and talking to individuals and I make my decision, I will let you know.”
Village clerk Brian Rivera said in March that if Siff declined the position the mayor and the Board of Trustees would select someone to serve in Siff’s place.
Siff, who have served 12 years as trustee — eight as deputy mayor — said his proudest moment as trustee was during Hurricane Sandy.
“When Sandy hit, I was deputy mayor at the time and the mayor was away. I was up there 24 hours with the commissioner on the roads,” Siff said. “It was exciting as it was monumental.”
He said he has also worked with other trustees to beautify the village and address traffic issues by installing speed bumps and street lights.
“There was a single street light when you turn from The Locusts onto Northern Boulevard and we had a number of accident at that intersection,” Siff said. “As far as I know, there hasn’t been any accident since an extra light was installed at that intersection.”
Siff, 73, has resided in Roslyn Estates with his wife Carolyn for 46 years, raised four children and is raising 15 grandchildren.
A son, a rabbi lives in Port Washington, another son works for Citi Group and lives in Pleasantville, and third is a pilot for JetBlue. His daughter another is an adjunct professor at Westchester Community College lives in Ryebrook,
Siff said he’s going spend more time with his grandchildren.
“We try to spend as much time with each other,” Siff said.
Siff said he’ll be travelling to Ryebrook in Westchester County to see his granddaughter play a lacrosse game.
“I’ll be going to Philadelphia next week to see another one of my grand kids at University of Pennsylvania. Another one is a junior at Shrieber High School and he’s running a relay race.” he said.