11 running unopposed in 3 Port village elections

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(From left to right) Flower Hill Mayor Bob McNamara, Baxter Estates Mayor Nora Haagenson and Port Washington North Mayor Bob Weitzner

Eleven trustees in three Port Washington villages are running  for re-election on Tuesday. None are opposed.

In Flower Hill, Mayor Bob McNamara and Trustees Jay Beber, Frank Genese, Kate Hirsch and Brian Herrington are running for re-election.

McNamara, who was appointed mayor following Elaine Phillips’ state Senate victory, is running for a one-year term to finish out Phillips’ term.

“My commitment to the board out of the gate was to complete Elaine’s term,” McNamara, a resident of Flower Hill for 35 years, said. “We’re in good shape now in the village. We’ve replaced some trustees and got some good ones on the board. We’ve been bringing in some heavy hitters on the various committees, and we’re putting together a strong team.”

Kate Hirsch is also running for a one-year term after being appointed to the board in October to fill the seat of Karen Reichenbach, who died in May.

“I think the Village of Flower Hill is a wonderful place to live, and I’m excited to get more involved with the community,” Hirsch said. “I’m ready to step up and do my part.”

McNamara’s newly appointed deputy mayor, Brian Herrington, who has served on the board for two years, is running for a two year term.

“We have a great team on the board that is very collaborative along with 10 village employees and 27 volunteers,” Herrington said. “We hope to continue to build on the sound financial base we have created over the past few years and continue to improve our community.”

Frank Genese, who filled McNamara’s seat when he became mayor, is running for a two-year term.

“The role of trustee, although new, really builds off of what I was involved in prior to my appointment,” Genese said. “I have begun to get more and more involved in some new initiatives and will continue as I gain more experience.”

Jay Beber, a board member since 2015, is running for a two-year term.

Beber said he’s proud to be a resident of Flower Hill, because of its low crime rate, system of filtering water that eliminates pesticides, its schools, its rankings as “one of the best places to live,” its park with “beautiful walking trails” and its designation as a Tree City USA.

Flower Hill elections will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at the Flower Hill Village Hall at 1 Bonnie Heights Road in Manhasset.

In Port Washington North, Mayor Bob Weitzner and Trustees Sherman Scheff and Matthew Kepke are running for re-election for two-year terms.

Weitzner, who was elected as a trustee in 2002 and became mayor in 2005, has been a big part of the village’s effort to usher in new businesses, including the newly planned Target in the Soundview Marketplace.

Weitzner, who is also commissioner of finance and human relations for the Town of North Hempstead, said he proud of the job the Port Washington North board has done over the years.

“I still love being Mayor Bob and as far as I’m concerned, there is more to do and unfinished business,” Weitzer said. “As long as I enjoy serving the village and the village residents enjoy having me serve, I want to be here.”

Scheff  joined the board in 2008 and said he wants to continue helping bring new businesses to the village in hopes of revitalizing the Soundview Marketplace.

Kepke, who is running for a two-year term, was first elected to the board in 2014, said he believes he brings a unique voice to the board, providing input from a lawyer’s point-of-view.

“I think we’ve accomplished a lot over the last couple of years,” he said. “But there is a lot more that needs to get done and a lot of challenging things ahead of us.”

Port Washington North elections will run from noon to 9 p.m. at village hall at at 3 Pleasant Ave. in Port Washington.

In Baxter Estates, Mayor Nora Haagenson and Trustees Charles Comer and Chris Ficalora are all running for re-election.

Haagenson, who became a village trustee in 2011 and mayor in 2015, was a high school English teacher for 35 years before getting involved with the Board of Trustees.

She is running for a two-year term.

In her time as mayor, Haagenson said she has secured over $250,000 in state grant money for capital improvements, and was awarded $13,500 from the 2017 Justice Court Program.

Teaching in the North Shore School District, Haagenson was a union representative and was named a Teacher of Excellence by the state’s English Council.

Known as the village “handyman,” Charles Comer, who was elected to the board in 2001 and named deputy mayor in 2007, is running for a two-year term.

Comer is one of the village’s Manhasset Bay Committee members and has served as the village’s environmental officer, emergency management officer, snow commissioner and is a Board of Zoning Appeals member.

Chris Ficalora is running for re-election for a two-year term.

He has served on the board since 2015 and is the board’s budget officer, where he said he has educed village expenses by eliminating outsourced vendors for internal vendors, and vetted bond companies and secured low interest rates for the village’s Bird House bond.

Ficalora is also the village’s communications liaison to the residents.

The candidates outlined goals in a flyer sent out to residents, highlighting “Fight those who want to dissolve the village: avoid governance solely by Town of North Hempstead; Continue the reduction and consolidation of village operating expenses; Strengthen capital fund for road improvements and repairs; and continue to pursue state grant money for roads and capital projects for 2018-2019.

The Baxter Estates election will run from noon to 9 p.m. at village hall at 315 Main St. in Port Washington.

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