During a public meeting on Monday, Feb. 6, Village of Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant announced her retirement from public office. Her 14-year uninterrupted tenure presiding over the village government will come to its conclusion this June.
Garant’s mother, Jeanne, served three terms as mayor starting in 1999. Unlike her mother, who had previously sat on the board of trustees, Margot Garant was a first-time elected official upon entering the mayor’s office.
“We’re going to give the community back to the residents,” Garant told a group of supporters the night of her first election win in 2009.
Six successful races later, Garant has been at the seat of power longer than any other in the village’s nearly 60-year history. And during that window, the village has undergone considerable change.
For over eight years, Garant’s administration engaged in a widely publicized legal battle with the Long Island Power Authority over the assessed valuation and property tax bill on the Port Jefferson Power Station. The tax grievance case was settled in 2018.
Colloquially known as the “Glide Path,” the village and LIPA agreed to an eight-year phasing out of the public utility’s local tax contribution, with a 50% reduction in revenue by 2027.
Known for her ambitious building philosophy, Garant facilitated the construction of numerous construction projects, including large-scale developments along Port Jeff Harbor and near the train station.
The development of Upper Port has been a core tenet of her administration. The seven-term incumbent also moved ahead the envisioned Six-Acre Park along Highlands Boulevard, with plans in place to preserve the last remaining tract of undeveloped land as open space.
Garant’s boards have been forced to confront the crippling effects of coastal erosion at East Beach, which presently endangers the Port Jefferson Country Club’s catering facility at the edge of the bluff.
Construction is currently ongoing for a toe wall at the base of the cliff. Most recently, Garant announced the injection of federal funding to subsidize the upland phase of the bluff stabilization project.
The race to fill Garant’s seat is now underway, with candidate announcements expected in the days and weeks ahead. Village elections will take place Tuesday, June 20.
This is a developing story.