Old Westbury Trustee Leslie Fastenberg is not seeking re-election after serving four years on the village board, and resident Jeffrey Brown is running for her spot.
Fastenberg cited tension with the mayor and other trustees as her reason for stepping down the morning after Monday’s meeting, where she announced her decision.
“Politics is a sticky wicket,” she said. “I would say there has been a persistent campaign to diminish my participation.”
Fellow members of the board often do not return her calls or update her on village happenings, she said. No one told her, for example, when email addresses for village officials changed. At Monday’s meeting Trustee Marina Chimerine said there will soon be a new village website, which Fastenberg said she had never heard about.
“It was just too difficult to do normal business,” Fastenberg said.
Brown will run unopposed on June 18 along with current Trustee Cory Baker, who is seeking a second term. They are both running under the same party name: the Old Westbury Party.
Brown works on employment cases as a civil rights lawyer and is a partner at Leeds Brown Law. He has lived in the village for about five years and said he has four young children attending schools in the East Williston district.
“I’m invested in this community,” Brown said. “This is my home, my community, the place where I’m raising my family, and I want to have a voice that’s reflective of someone with kids in this community that is really going to be here for the next 20 to 30 years.”
He has served on the village’s zoning appeals board for about a year.
“I think he’s a lovely guy, and truly I wish him every success,” Fastenberg said. “I wish the whole board success, but they’re public officials and public servants and they need to hear the community without such resistance.”
Fastenberg was elected to the Board of Trustees as a write-in candidate in 2015 along with Baker and Chimerine. Fastenberg was the only one of the three to not be announced a winner after the election.
The case went to the state Supreme Court, which determined the race was a tie. Fastenberg won after a revote.
Successes during her time in office include the creation of a beautification committee, road repaving, a water system upgrade and building code updates, Fastenberg said.
In a prepared statement at the end of Monday’s meeting, she called upon the village board to pursue four things upon her departure: increasing public accessibility to pending laws, changing the newspaper of record from the Westbury Times to the Roslyn Times, the rezoning of a property that is currently untaxed and on the market and tending to fencing around the pond that she said is in disrepair.
These are efforts she tried to pursue, she said.
“You can look back in the transcripts,” she said. “The vote is 4 to 1 every year when the newspaper of record comes up.”
Next month’s board meeting is the day before the village election. Fastenberg said she will not be attending it.