Trustee seats uncontested in Village of Old Field
Rebecca Van Der Bogart and Morgan Morrison are seeking second terms on the Village of Old Field’s Board of Trustees. The two are unchallenged in the March 21 election.
Rebecca Van Der Bogart
Van Der Bogart ran for village trustee for the first time in 2021. A global account manager for the furniture company MillerKnoll, the trustee and her wife have lived in the village since 1997. Before her time on the board, she volunteered with the Crane Neck Association and was on the zoning board of appeals. She is also one of the founding members of Friends of Flax Pond.
As trustee, Van Der Bogart is in charge of municipal buildings and parks, and oversees the maintenance of trees on the sides of village roads, including sending out BID requests to local arborists. She has also been active in restoring the Old Field Point Lighthouse.
Born and raised in Old Field, Morrison has worked in IT and technology for nearly 15 years, which has provided him with the opportunities to travel extensively. He is currently a technical and horticultural consultant, and recently joined the Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County board.
Morrison, acting streets commissioner in the village, ran for the first time in 2022 for a one-year term for the seat that Adrienne Owen was appointed to after Bruce Feller stepped down as mayor and Stephen Shybunko replaced him, leaving a trustee seat vacant.
Old Field Point Lighthouse
Van Der Bogart said continuing on the lighthouse project is one of her top priorities.
The candidates said the village is responsible for the facility’s upkeep, which includes Old Field’s Village Hall, even though the U.S. Coast Guard owns the lighthouse. If not maintained, the Coast Guard can take back the facility.
Morrison said he and the trustees look forward to restoring the lighthouse to its “former glory.”
“We’re really excited to break ground in restoring the lighthouse,” he said.
While it will not be altered, Van Der Bogart said renovations are extensive and will include repairing leaking lanterns, replacing light panes and the roof, regrading and more.
“It’s not a big building, but it’s a complicated thing because you have a working lighthouse,” she said. “It’s used as a navigational point.”
Van Der Bogart said the board has been working well together, “attacking the restoration and renovation of the lighthouse to tighten up the building envelope so water doesn’t penetrate and it’s going to last another 200 years.”
Morrison agreed that the lighthouse is a priority for the trustees.
“All of the trustees are one big unified team, everybody is on the same page about making progress with this project,” Morrison said.
Van Der Bogart added the trustees have been fiscally responsible in approaching the work on the lighthouse, and taxes in the village won’t be raised. The local nonprofit Lighthouse Foundation is raising funds for its restoration.
Morrison said while knocking on doors in the village, he and Van Der Bogart have also heard from many residents who are concerned about the spotty cellphone coverage in the village.
Morrison said it’s noted that most people don’t want an unattractive cellphone pole in their neighborhood.
“We’re working on finding a solution that works,” he said.
Morrison said one of the options they are looking into are miniature cell sites that cover a few square miles.
Old Field residents can vote for two trustees on Tuesday, March 21, from noon to 9 p.m. at the Keeper’s Cottage, 207 Old Field Road.