Husband and wife challenge Mineola trustees in March election

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Husband and wife challenge Mineola trustees in March election
Incumbents Paul Pereira and Paul Cusato are running unopposed for village trustee in the Mineola elections next week.

Former Mineola Mayor Larry Werther will be joined by Regis and Cristi Gallet on the My Home Party of Mineola ticket in the March 20 village election, the party announced last Monday.

The husband and wife duo will face off against current Trustees George Durham and Dennis Walsh, who announced their bids for re-election in January on the New Line Party ticket.

Werther is facing Mayor Scott Strauss, who is also seeking re-election as a member of the New Line Party.

The Gallets are new to Mineola politics – but not to the village itself.

Regis Gallet has been a Mineola resident since 1985 and graduated from Chaminade High School. He went on to get his undergraduate degree at St. John’s University and his law degree from Touro law school.

He is a practicing attorney and a sergeant in the Mineola auxiliary police.

“What more could you want?” Werther said of Regis Gallet’s qualifications for the board. “He gets bit by all of the problems we all do, and plus it’s not bad to have a slightly different perspective, a legal perspective on the board, too.”

Cristi Gallet is a local business owner with a bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Oswego.

Werther said that having a woman on the board would help provide a different perspective  than having an all-male board.

Regis Gallet said because of his time in the auxiliary police he knows the village like the back of his hand, both geographically and in terms of issues.

He said he is familiar with issues plaguing the village, such as a homeless population, many of whom he said he knows by first name, and crime areas.

As business owners, he said, he and his wife are also aware of parking problems.

The Gallets are the owners of the Recovery Room, a bar and grill located at 214 Station Plaza North.

“My business is right by the train station,” Regis said. “The parking situation there everybody knows is a mess, it’s terrible.”

Regis said he is also cognizant of taxes because he gets hit with school taxes twice, as both a homeowner and a business owner in the village.

As members of the My Home Party of Mineola, the Gallets agree with Werther about not giving tax breaks to developers.

Werther has debated in the past with Strauss and members of the board over the long-term property tax breaks the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency awarded for apartment buildings built on Old Country Road.

Werther also said that there will be less industrial development that, according to a party news release, is “turning Mineola into something that looks like a [borough] of New York City.”

Regis said when he came to the village in 1985 it was much nicer. Now, he said, it seems too industrial.

He added that some development is good, and he would like to build up the downtown so that businesses are opening rather than closing.

“Basically, I’d like to make Mineola a place I want to stay,” Regis said.

Strauss said that while he doesn’t agree with how the Industrial Development Agency does everything, when Werther says that the village doesn’t receive anything from the agency that is “totally inaccurate.”

Strauss added that whoever becomes mayor has to manage the downtown revitalization project.

“The person to manage it needs to be someone who believes in it,” Strauss said.

Strauss is seeking his fourth term as mayor.

Durham and Walsh previously beat Werther in a three-way race in 2013, when Werther lost his spot on the board.

Werther was elected as a trustee in 2003 and served as deputy mayor under then-Mayor Jack Martins. In 2011, after Martins was elected to the state Senate, the board voted to make Werther mayor.

Werther served out the rest of Martins’ term and ran for trustee that year when Strauss ran unopposed to succeed him as mayor.

Village Justice John O’Shea is also up for re-election on March 20 in an uncontested race.

 

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