While planning for the possibility of Mayor Elaine Phillips becoming a state senator, the Flower Hill Board of Trustees needed to appoint a trustee, devise a succession plan and vet candidates for another board replacement if she won.
Days after Phillips’ victory was certified, the board passed a resolution clarifying that Deputy Mayor Bob McNamara would become mayor.
Now, three months after being appointed, McNamara is running unopposed for a one-year term in a special election in March to finish out Phillips’ term, which was to expire in 2018.
“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.”
McNamara, who is retired from the credit card industry, appointed Brian Herrington, who has been on the board for over two years, as his deputy mayor in January after working on various projects together, including a traffic plan in front of a house that puts on an extravagant holiday lights display.
Herrington is running unopposed for a two-year term.
Herrington, who was drawn to the board after meeting Phillips at his son’s karate class, said he’s running for re-election because he believes in public service. “I love my community and wanted to give back and I believe public service is a great way to do that,” Herrington said. “Second, my wife and I have two small children and I want to make sure they and all the residents have a great community to grow up in.”
Herrington has lived in Flower Hill for four years with his wife, Maria, who grew up in the area, and their son, Michael, 8, and daughter, Kailyn, 5.
He also serves on the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee and the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee.
“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.”
When Phillips resigned from the board, McNamara appointed Frank Genese, an architect who has lived in Flower Hill for 15 years, to the empty seat.
Genese is running unopposed for a two-year term.
Genese has served on the village’s architectural review board and planning board, after serving as the Munsey Park village architect consultant for 11 years, and said “my main objective is to continue the path laid out by Mayor Phillips and now continued under Mayor McNamara.”
“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.”
Genese currently works at N2 Project Management, a division of N2 Design + Architecture in Port Washington, which provides management services, advising and representation to owners building new projects.
Genese said the combination of strong financial management and thoughtful ideas “is what has made Flower Hill what it is.”
“It is not secret that Flower Hill is one of the most desirable villages to live in on Long island,” he said. “This is not by accident, since one of the driving forces behind our status is that the village is run by dedicated people who have no personal agenda and who are always striving to improve things.”
Jay Beber, a board member since 2015, is running unopposed for re-election for a two-year term.
A resident of Flower Hill for 33 years, Beber recently retired from the printing and marketing industries, and said he’s “privileged” to be a trustee in a village that is a “world class place to live.”
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.
“This was all accomplished with only nine paid employees and 23 volunteers who work every day to make our village a safe and wonderful place to live,” Beber said.
The village runs smoothly with strong communication, Beber said, “and if re-elected I will focus on making sure information is both available and accessible to our residents.”
A month before Phillips resigned, she appointed Kate Hirsch to fill Karen Reichenbach’s seat. Reichenbach died in May.
Hirsch is running unopposed for a special one-year term.
Hirsch, who has lived in Flower Hill for 16 years and is originally from Connecticut, has been an attorney for over 20 years, currently working with insurance claims at Administrators for the Professions, which provides administrative and claims services to insurance companies.
Early in her career, Hirsch practiced employment discrimination law and then worked in insurance defense, concentrating on civil rights and medical malpractice.
“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.”
Elections will take place on Tuesday, March 21, from noon to 9 p.m. at the Flower Hill Village Hall at 1 Bonnie Heights Road in Manhasset.