William Hannan wins Manhasset Library trustee seat in tight race

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William Hannan was elected to the Manhasset Library Board of Trustees Wednesday in an election with an unusually high turnout. (Photo courtesy of the Manhasset Library)

On Tuesday, Jack Hannan turned 18. On Wednesday, he cast his first ever ballot and voted for his father.

His ballot made a difference. William Hannan was elected to the Manhasset Library Board of Trustees with 289 votes, only four more than his opponent Mukul Puri.

“I would say there was a stroke of relief at the outcome given how close it was,” Hannan said.

With nearly 600 voters, the election drew about double Manhasset Library’s average turnout, and the results required a recount, said library Director Maggie Gough.

The library’s 2019-20 budget was also on the ballot and passed with 402 votes in favor to an opposing 142. The $5.5 million budget is a 2.69 percent increase from the current one. 

Hannan, who is an insurance brokerage director, also ran for a library position last year, which was an even closer race than the one that elected him. The 2018 race against incumbent Charles Jettmar came down to one vote.

As a trustee, Hannan said he plans to examine what costs the library considers to be fixed to see if some could instead be modified. He supported the budget that was up for a vote yesterday, he said.

“I have a sense of responsibility to the Manhasset community,” said Hannan, who worked in public finance for 25 years. “I tend to be fiscally conservative, and I will be mindful of the expenses incurred to maintain the library relative to how it affects the taxing of the Manhasset community at large.”

Hannan’s campaigning was mostly through word of mouth, he said. Given that it is a fairly apolitical volunteer position, Hannan said he wasn’t sure what would sway voters.

“I think that there was very large support for both candidates and it showed,” Gough said. “They were two qualified members of the community that are truly interested in serving and I think that their support groups just came out for them.”

Hannan said his son rallied some friends to go to the library and vote.

“They got a real flavor of democracy in action,” Hannan said. “I think they have an even deeper appreciation of the whole notion of every vote counts.”

Regardless of the election outcome, it would have been a special day for their family. Hannan and his wife celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary Wednesday.

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