Munsey Park will have at least one new trustee after the elections on Tuesday.
Trustee Jennifer Noone is the lone incumbent running for two at-large trustee spots.
Trustee John Lippmann, who was elected in 2014, has opted not to seek another term.
Noone, who was also elected in 2014, and Sabino are running alongside unopposed village Justice John Turano on the Residents for a Better Munsey Park. Dunning and Yakaitis are running on the same platform but are not affiliated with a party.
Dunning has been a Munsey Park resident for about 16 years and said his campaign stems from the behavior he has seen from Mayor Frank DeMento and the trustees, including the appointment of DeMento’s brother-in-law, Daniel Breen, a village utility worker, as village administrator without a job search.
The village clerk-treasurer, Barbara Miller, said at the time that she was not made aware of the appointment before the meeting and was “shocked” that the creation of the position was not mentioned on the meeting’s agenda.
Breen declined the position two weeks later in May 2017 after a public uproar, and Miller was replaced.
“I’ve been watching closely what goes on in Village Hall more than when I first moved here, and there have been a lot of things I’ve objected to and thought could be handled a lot better,” Dunning said Friday. “They’re really not good at communicating, and unfortunately, that has been the tone of this particular board in its various formats since they took office in 2013. The irony of it is they ran on a platform of being more user-friendly and more transparent, and very much the opposite has been the case.”
Dunning also ran for Munsey Park village justice in 2014.
Noone said in her two terms as trustee, she has creatively used grants, state funds and donations to complete improvement projects, such as a road improvement project with the village’s $300,000 annual free cash flow after the $2.5 million bond from 2007 is retired in two years.
While Noone said the road improvement is important for the village, she said she sees a more important goal of “returning civility and inclusiveness to Village Hall.”
“Many of our Board of Trustees meetings are attended by the same handful of former village officials who challenge every decision we make,” Noone said. “Whether it is renovating parks or planting trees or something else, the dialogue is often uncivil. Clearly, the board needs to do a better job of explaining what is happening and what is being considered and why certain decisions are being made. That’s a job for the board and for me.”
Sabino, who said he has never run for public office, has lived in Munsey Park since 1990 with his wife, fellow attorney Mary Jane Catherine Sabino, where the couple has raised their two sons.
Sabino said if elected, he would work to respect the rights of Munsey Park homeowners, the rights of due process and fairness, and strive to be a member of an open, accountable government.
“Village government must be open to you, accountable, and responsive to your voices,” Sabino said. “I pledge to you that, if elected, I will strive to fulfill those worthy goals.”
Yakaitis, a 28-year resident of Munsey Park, said this is her first run for public office, and she is seeking the seat to bring more open meetings to the village.
“This board goes into executive session far too frequently, and there’s not adequate reporting to the public about any decisions reached in those executive sessions,” Yakaitis said. “We’ve had no guidance from them about the tree policy, and we’ve been discussing it at meetings since the summer. Still, there’s no definitive policy. I would like to address those issues right away.”
While the village used to specify that trees in the right-of-way were under the care of the village, the policy has since been debated by residents and trustees, and Trustee Lawrence Ceriello said at the February meeting that the village was working to define a new policy.
Munsey Park residents can cast their ballots from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall at 1777 Northern Blvd.
In the Village of Plandome, Deputy Mayor Ray Herbert and Trustee Andrew Bartels, both running on the Citizens Party line, have filed to run for re-election.
Bartels was appointed to the board in 2011 to finish the term of the late Trustee Peter Kenny and was elected to a full two-year term in 2012.
Herbert was first elected in 2002.
Voting will take place at Village Hall at 65 South Drive.
Plandome Heights Mayor Ken Riscica is running for re-election unopposed as well as Trustees Alvin Solomon, Dianne Sheehan and Silva Ferman.
Riscica was first elected in 2012 after serving two two-year terms as trustee.
Solomon was first elected in 2006, and Ferman was elected in 2004.
Sheehan was elected to her first term in 2016 when former Trustee Lynee Aloia decided against seeking re-election.
Voting will be held from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall at 37 Orchard St.
In Plandome Manor, Trustees Tony DeSousa and Patricia O’Neill are running unopposed in the March elections.
Residents can cast their ballot at Village Hall at 55 Manhasset Ave.
In Flower Hill, Mayor Robert McNamara is running unopposed as are Trustees Kate Hirsch, Randall Rosenbaum and Gary Lewandowski.
McNamara was appointed to the position in December 2016 after state Sen. Elaine Phillips was elected to fill the 7th District seat.
Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall at 1 Bonnie Heights Road.