Sea Cliff Election Turns Nasty


By Chris O'Neill


Dina Epstein successfully won re-election in the March 16th Sea Cliff Trustee election with 699 votes. But in the race for the second Trustee seat, James Versocki “won nasty” with 582 votes, defeating third generation Sea Cliffer James Mozer, who came in third with 468 votes and thus did not win a seat.

Sea Cliff is a pretty seaside village of 5000, but apparently all is not without controversy in this square mile of attractive homes nestled alongside Hempstead Bay.

A fourth candidate, Eugene Alletto, who was supposed to be in the race for Trustee, was knocked-off the ballot by supporters of Versocki, who challenged Alletto’s candidacy based on “technicalities” in Alletto’s petitions.

In a scathing letter denouncing Versocki as a corrupt machine politician, distributed to Sea Cliff residents, Alletto described Versocki as a person "trying to achieve power for himself" who would bring "pettiness and unprofessionalism" to the village. Versocki was previously a candidate for Oyster Bay Town Board, and lost in a bitter 2017 election.

According to Alletto, for “Versocki to engage in this kind of hard-ball Washington-style politics is abhorrent.”

Alletto has been an active Sea Cliff resident over the years. At a Sept 11, 2018 Board of Trustees meeting on changing the village’s code, for instance, Alletto urged caution while Trustee Epstein felt that changing the code would be a “no-brainer.” Alletto called then for proposals to be presented “in great detail, and we should be ensured that those making decisions for our beautiful one-square mile are qualified.”

The candidates did not return calls regarding the Alletto letter and the charges made against Versocki.

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