Parente unnopposed for East Williston mayor; three seek two trustee seats

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Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente runs unopposed for mayor and two new faces seek seats on the board. Trustee James Iannone seeks re-election. (Photos courtesy of the candidates)

East Williston residents Raffaela Dunne and James Reichman are hoping to sit on the East Williston village board for the first time.

There are two trustees seats up for grabs March 19: One is vacant and one is currently occupied by Trustee James Iannone,  who is seeking for re-election.

Iannone is on the same ticket as Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente, who is running unopposed for the mayoral seat.

Mayor David Tanner decided not to seek another term.

Dunne has been a resident of East Williston since 2006, and while living in Mineola before that had been a parent in the school district since 1996.

She is employed at a boutique real estate development advisory company in Manhattan, where she has worked for the last 13 years.

Dunne became involved in the village when she began leading the Teen Safety Committee 10 years ago on which she dealt with the issue of teenagers congregating and harassing residents.

Following her work on the committee, Dunne was asked to serve as a liaison to the village’s recreation committee. She now serves on the village’s planning board.

Dunne is running for a seat on the village board to further expand her role in the community, she said.

“East Williston Village undeniably has unique characteristics that largely define why many residents chose to move here and continue to reside here,” Dunne said. 

Reichman, a former lieutenant in the New York Fire Department and veteran of the U.S. Army, currently works out of Manhattan and moved to the village five years ago. He now volunteers with the East Williston Fire Department.

Reichman said he will be able to help the board tackle the issue of water quality inconsistencies with the help of his experience in various contracting trades.

“Someone’s got to roll up their sleeves and take a close look at it,” Reichman said. “That’s me.”

If he is elected, Reichman said he would get further involved with the issue to try and better address it.

Iannone, who is completing his first four-year term as a trustee, said his role in the negotiations between East Williston and neighboring Williston Park about water rates is one of his best accomplishments as a member of the village board.

When Iannone was elected, there was a deadlock between the two villages over water rates and a new water tower in Williston Park. After the board decided that a new water tower for East Williston would not be beneficial to residents, Iannone worked with the board to forge a long-term contract that protects residents from unbalanced rate hikes.

Iannone is an attorney with his own practice in Williston Park. He has also been involved with the East Williston Fire Department and the Little League.

If re-elected, Iannone said he wants to continue to foster the sense of community that is distinct to East Williston by engaging new residents to involve themselves in both traditions and new ideas alike.

“It’s what makes East Williston East Williston,” Iannone said.

Parente said her experience as the village’s deputy mayor of the last eight years has prepared her to take on the role as the East Williston mayor.

She said that being involved in the community and elections is a key part of civic life in East Williston, which she would continue to foster as mayor.

Professionally, she has been a labor attorney for the last 25 years. She served on the village’s zoning board for two years and has been involved with Girl, Boy and Cub Scouts, village Little League and other community organizations.

One of her priorities is to work on the efficiency of the village’s building permit process and to make it “user-friendly.”

Other priorities she noted are to help the East Williston school district’s board with the possible installation of a fence at the North Side School and to tackle the village’s water quality issues.

Parente said her plans to address the village’s water quality issues will have to wait until Williston Park’s new water tower is complete. The Village of Williston Park sells water to the Village of East Williston.

Once the project is finished, she said the board will map out the water problems over a period of a few months in order to formulate a systematic approach on how to remedy them.

Parents has not considered who she will appoint as her deputy yet at this point but said that the experience of Trustee Christopher Siciliano has been invaluable to the board and village residents.

“Many residents might not be aware of all that he does, because he isn’t looking for the glory, but I have great admiration for him,” Parente said.

The village election will take place Tuesday, March, 19 from noon to 9 p.m. at village hall.

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