After 26 years, Munsey Park resident gives village office run another shot

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Lawrence Ceriello, who is running for a position on the Munsey Park Board of Trustees, has sought village office before.

In 1991, Ceriello was part of a community effort to prevent the development of the Bonwit Teller Building site, near the corner of Port Washington Boulevard and Northern Boulevard, which now hosts a Whole Foods.

A developer proposed to demolish the buildings and “build a large-scale shopping center,” Ceriello said.

“I thought the proposal was unwise and would have a deleterious effect on life in Munsey Park,” he said.

Ceriello sued the village over its approval of the development and challenged the incumbent mayor, Arthur Schulteiss, in “a spirited election,” he said.

“I lost the election but ultimately prevailed on the development,” he added.

On March 21st, Ceriello will run unopposed for the trustee seat vacated by Frank DeMento, who is running unopposed for mayor.

Sean Haggerty, the current mayor, chose not to run for reelection.

Ceriello, and his wife Jeanne, moved to Munsey Park in 1987.

“Like many of our neighbors and friends, we moved here from Manhattan to start our family,” Ceriello said.

Ceriello commutes to work in Manhattan at  Morrison & Foerster LLP, an international law firm called where his practice focuses on commercial real estate finance.

He also volunterers as the president of the board of directors for the Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders, he said.

Jeanne Ceriello, meanwhile, is a Eucharistic minister at St. Mary’s church and is involved with high school counseling programs for New York City public school students through Fordham Law School, among other volunteer activities, he said.

“Hopefully, her good works reflect well on me,” he added.

Ceriello said his renewed interest in joining village government stems from his concern over some quality of life issues, which he raised with village officials, he said.

“I think the roads need attention,” he said. “That’s not surprising given their age and use.  The village has done a good job repairing roads as needed but perhaps it’s time to take a more holistic view of the situation and consider various options for repairing the roads.”

“We also need to consider ways to reduce the property crimes that ticked up recently in Munsey Park,” he said.

Ceriello said he is unsure if security cameras are a good solution for the village, and he “needs to learn more” about them.

“One thing that I am sure about is that we need to keep our homes and families safe,” he said.

With respect to taxes, he said he thinks “there needs to be a good balance between providing the required services that residents have a right to expect and keeping taxes low.”

In response to a question about whether he would eventually seek a second term on the board or a first as mayor, Ceriello said, “26 years ago, I promised my wife I would never run again. Ask me in 26 years.”

Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at Munsey Park Village Hall at 1777 Northern Blvd.

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