Thousands cast their ballots for village elections

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By Maylan L. Studart

Two incumbent trustees in the Village of Floral Park on Tuesday easily defeated a challenger who had raised concerns about how the Board of Trustees had handled allegations against the police commissioner.

Trustees Lynn Pombonyo and Frank Chiara held onto their seats, receiving 1,401 and 1,231 votes, respectively.

“I am extremely happy with the re-election of our strong Village Board team and thank all the residents who came out to support us,” Chiara said via email. “Working together we can all accomplish the common goal of keeping our Village a great place to live now and for generations to come.”

Chiara said the Floral Park Village Board of Trustees will continue to be laser-focused on current issues facing the village, such as the Third Track and the Belmont Project.

Challenger Nadia Holubnyczyj-Ortiz raised concerns during her candidacy about how the board dealt with Police Commissioner Steve McAllister being named one of 10 unindicted co-conspirators in a New York Police Department corruption case that went to court last year. Before becoming Floral Park police commissioner in 2010, McAllister was a NYPD inspector.

Holubnyczyj-Ortiz, former president of the Hillcrest Civic Association, said the board’s private meetings with McAllister and village officials where it was decided that McAllister had committed no wrongdoing showed a lack of transparency and lack of priority to protecting residents.

Holubnyczyj-Ortiz said even though she did not win, she is pleased with the results of the election after getting a total of 834 votes. “The residents are clearly aware of the behaviors of the administration and they feel that the board of trustees needs to be held accountable for its actions,” she said.

“My supporters certainly are not going away and they will continue to hold the administration responsible, will always ask questions and expect respectful dialogue,” Holubnyczyj-Ortiz said. “This faction will continue to grow.”

Mayor Dominick Longobardi, who ran unopposed and was re-elected to Floral Park’s top post Tuesday with 1,576 votes, said last week that there was no credible evidence presented to the board that McAllister was guilty of any crime. McAllister has denied that he did anything improper.

In another race, Floral Park Village Justice Douglas Hayden ran for a sixth term and was re-elected with 1,570 votes.

“As village justice for the past 20 years I’m honored that residents again voted in great numbers for my re-election,” Hayden said. “My plan is to continue to run the court as effectively and as fairly as a court should be run and as I’ve done for the past 20 years.”

Floral Park village officials said about 1,800 people turned out to cast their ballots.

In New Hyde Park there were three trustee seats open for election, with all incumbents running unopposed.

Trustee Richard Coppola was elected to finish Donald Barbieri’s four-year term, replacing Rainer Burger who ran for a full trustee term himself. Burger had been appointed to Barbieri’s seat in February 2018, when the 18-year New Hyde Park trustee died from complications due to multiple sclerosis.

Coppola received 123 votes and will serve on the New Hyde Park Board of Trustees for two years while Burger received 112 votes to serve a new four-year term.

Village Trustee Donna Squicciarino was also re-elected to a four-year term with 106 votes.

A New Hyde Park official said 130 people voted and there were no write-in ballots.

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