Plandome mayor-elect wins through write-in campaign

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Village of Plandome mayor-elect Thomas Minutillo. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Minutillo)

The Village of Plandome has a new mayor, and his name is not the one that was on the ballot.

Through a write-in campaign that village Clerk Barbara Peebles said came as a surprise, Thomas Minutillo won the seat that Trustee Andrew Bartels was running for in an uncontested race.

Bartels got 35 votes and Minutillo received 71. There were 113 voters total, which Peebles said was completely unexpected. In last year’s uncontested election, there were fewer than 40.

“I love the Village of Plandome and the people who live here,” Minutillo wrote in an email. “I am honored to have the opportunity to volunteer my time and energy to serve.”

Minutillo will replace M. Lloyd Williams, who has served as mayor for 14 years. Williams declined to comment on the results of the race.

Bartels has one year remaining in his trustee term. Trustees Mary “Katie” Saville and Donald Richardson each won their uncontested races with 93 and 80 votes respectively.

“I look forward to working with Tom to help make his term as a mayor a success,” Bartels said.

The villages of Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, Munsey Park and Flower Hill also had uncontested elections Tuesday, but none had surprise outcomes.

In Plandome Heights, 30 residents voted and Trustees Daniel Cataldo, Gus Panopoulos and Norman Taylor all won.

Plandome Manor had 71 voters and re-elected Mayor Barbara Donno, Trustee Matthew Clinton, Trustee James Baydar and village Justice Saul Kobrick.

The village’s two write-in candidates did not receive nearly as many votes as Plandome’s Minutillo did; James Bond only earned one vote for village trustee and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg claimed one for village justice.

A total of 47 voters in Munsey Park elected Trustee Lawrence Ceriello as the village’s new mayor and Joseph Williams to fill his trustee seat. Trustee Antonio D’Angelo was re-elected.

Flower Hill re-elected Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington, Trustee Jay Beber, Trustee Frank Genese and Village Justice Dennis Reisman. There were 50 voters.

Tuesday’s election was Peebles’ one-year anniversary as Plandome’s village clerk, and vastly different from the election she worked last year.

The Village of Plandome has about 450 homes and last year only had 39 voters, Peebles said.

This year, when the 50 ballots she had printed were running out, she knew something different was going on, she said.

“I printed more ballots, and I came back and thank god I did print more ballots,” Peebles said.

Around 9:45 p.m. she announced the results to those waiting in the lobby and realized her new boss was among them.

Bartels was out of town during the election and said he started hearing rumors about what was happening, but didn’t think much of them.

“It clearly was a rude thing to do,” he said of the write-in campaign. “If you’re going to run, then run with enough time to be on the ballot. Run with enough time to have full discussion of credentials.”

Minutillo, 52, works in finance at Whitaker Securities. He has been a Manhasset resident for over 20 years and has lived in the village for the last seven, he said. He has three children.

As mayor, he wants to enhance communication between the village’s government and its residents to increase transparency, he said.

Bartels said he congratulated Minutillo Tuesday morning, and the mayor-elect apologized for not running on the ballot.

“I would like to thank Andy Bartels for running in the 2019 mayoral election,” Minutillo said. “His time served to our community should be recognized.”

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