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Last Updated: June 12, 2018
The following article - and more - can be found in our print edition:
Muttontown Village Election Heats Up
• Loriann Cody
Muttontown residents who head to the polls will have two choices for mayor: current Village Trustee Julie Albernas and Dr. Jim Liguori of the Neighbors for a Better Muttontown party. For the three open Trustee positions, Dr. Sufha Prasad, Brian Fagan and Chris Economou from the Neighbors for a Better Muttontown Party are running; as are current Trustees Carl Juul-Neilsen and Sal Benisatto, and Santosh Mathai, running on the Preserve Muttontown ticket.
Recently, The Leader reached out to Mayoral Candidate Dr. Jim Liguori, who was inspired to run for office after speaking with his neighbors about the falling property values and ineffective permitting process currently in the Village. He noted, “because the current administration has made the permit process difficult, and is sometimes adversarial, residents are afraid to apply for help.”
If elected, one of the first items he intends to address is that permitting process. By taking cues from the best practices of other villages, Dr. Liguori plans to streamline the permit process and offer an amnesty program, with no retribution or penalty. This would generate funds, promote safety and ultimately raise property values as improvements are made to properties. In regards to the budget, Dr. Liguori feels that the current administration spends too much money on legal fees, and he would re-allocate those funds to other areas. By opening better lines of communication, he aims towards maintaining a better working relationship with the Village Police, whom he feels are disgruntled.
Dr. Liguori has lived in the Village for more than 15 years and has three grown children. When asked why he’s running for office he said, “I have the time and resources now, and I want to step up and give back to the community. Muttontown is ready for change.”
Julie Albernas, Mayoral Candidate from the Preserve Muttontown Party has lived in the area for 18 years, and has been a Village Trustee for the past four years, and she was part of the team that created the Muttontown Police Department. Since the Department’s inception she has held the volunteer position of Police Commissioner. She feels that after years of community involvement, she can now be of greater service to the community by stepping up as a full-time mayor. She feels her record of fiscal oversight and responsible management of tax dollars has
been proven through multiple years with no tax increases.
“This election is about the future of our village. We need stability and experience, not personal agendas. We need an administration that continues to take an active role in our village. I have the experience, commitment and track record to ensure that Muttontown remains the community that we love and are proud to call our home,” She said via her website.
Meet the Bavyille Mayoral Candidates
Robert (Bob) De Natale
Taxpayers’ Party of Bayville (TIP)
For more than 60 years Bob has called Bayville home. The former marine and retired businessman settled in Bayville because of the great quality of life. His four sons all attended the Locust Valley School district and have settled in the area as well. He’s excited about running for office and representing all of Bayville’s 7200 residents.
“I’ll listen fairly and do whatever I can to make the Village better.” Bob noted, “I realize that you can’t hold up development, but you can have development that’s smart and environmentally sound.”
When pressed about why he’s running, Bob referenced the Village meeting held in 2015 at Bayville Intermediate to discuss the change in zoning laws that permitted apartments in Bayville business. ”I’m not a political person, but I’m angry at a mayor that displayed bad behavior and disregarded the majority of the residents who were in the audience. If elected I’ll drop the Village’s appeal of the lawsuit against the zoning laws.”
As trustee, Bob has been the liaison to the Boating Committee and has worked to repair docks at West Harbor and slips at the Creek Marina. Bob also serves as the liaison to the Water Committee, and has worked to develop and implement a five-year Capital Improvement Plan, assuring quality water service for the future.
As for Cuomo’s plans for a Cross-Sound Tunnel, Bob’s pledged to work with all members of the board, political party notwithstanding, to do whatever is necessary to stop the tunnel from happening. “It’s not just bad for Bayville, it’s bad for the North Shore, Long Island and all of the state.”
Running on the Taxpayers Party (TIP) line for the trustees position are: David Wright, 51, an attorney; Valerie Belcher, 59, a special education teacher; Peter Valsecchi, 55, a machinist and former Bayville Trustee; and Patricia Farnell, former executive and current realtor.
Bayville Revitalization Party (BRP)
Current Trustee and retired businessman Joe Russo settled in Bayville in 2000, after living in neighboring Sea Cliff. Serving as Trustee for four years, Joe hopes that his experience resonates with the voters,“Being on the Board has given me experience and desire to give back to the community.”
Joe worked in New York City in the Finance and IT sectors. His son attended St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay, and Chaminade High School, and Joe became more involved with the community at that time.
If elected as Mayor, he plans to continue to work on improvements to infrastructure and the parks. “West Harbor received a state grant, through Assemblyman Chuck Lavine, and the plans that go though 2018/2019 include improving drainage and reworking the landing dock.”
For four years, Joe has worked with the Water Department, reworking the organizational structure, and acknowledges that the department is now on the right track. Joe is also a member of the Anti-Tunnel Committee, and he noted, “It’s not a political issue, it’s a state issue.”
The Bayville Revitalization Party candidates for trustee are: Jen Jones, 41, a marketing executive; Al Avazis, 50, who works in financial services; Christopher Pflaumer, 55, and Erika Bruno, School Board Trustee.