Seats on Mineola, East Williston boards of ed on line in May

Six seats on local school boards will be up for election in May, including that of Mineola Board of Education President Artie Barnett, and at least four incumbents say they will run for re-election.

In Mineola, both Barnett and Vice President Christine Napolitano will see their three-year terms expire next month.

In an email, Barnett declined to say if the two plan to run for re-election. Instead, he said it is “customary that the [Mineola] Board does not comment on elections until after petitions are filed.”

The deadline to file petitions for a spot on the ballot is April 20.

Barnett first won a seat on the board in 2012. He was the co-founder of a group called PEACE that supported district reconfiguration, which led to Mineola closing and leasing the Cross Street School and leasing space in the Willis Avenue School. The district also moved eighth grade to the high school and fifth grade to the middle school.

Napolitano, who was board president at the time, was also a member of PEACE.

In East Williston, the seats of Leonard Hirsch and board Vice President Robert Fallarino will expire in May. Both say they plan to run for re-election.

Last Friday, Hirsch that he had collected signatures but had yet to file petitions. Fallarino said he had collected some signatures but planned to collect more this weekend.  

Hirsch, who grew up in East Williston, was first elected to the board in 2012. The chief financial officer of a New York investment fund, Hirsch had previously served on the district’s financial advisory committee.  

“It’s been a very good experience. I think we’re in a pretty good place right now, and I have personally been able to bring some value to the board,” he said, noting his experience as an accountant.  

He added that he is also a voracious reader and looks for any small way he can contribute to the school district while sifting through “all the data that comes my way.”

“I (always) think there’s more to do, more to learn — there may be one small thing the school may not have considered,” he said.  

Fallarino, a medical malpractice attorney, will be seeking his third term on the board.

“I came on at a time where there was a lot of flux in the community and there were a lot of issues, and I think what I helped bring was a vision and stability,” said Fallarino, who has two sons still in the East Williston school system. “And now I want to do that for the future, and make sure the 2 percent cap doesn’t negatively affect the students.”

Hirsch said the current East Williston board members collaborate as an effective team.

“We work well together…. there’s been no drama whatsoever from what I’ve experienced,” he said. “It’s been excellent and I just want to keep moving forward in that direction.”

From Herricks, Brian Hassan and Nancy Feinstein both plan to run. Feinstein said she has already submitted her petitions for a spot on the ballot.

Both Hassan and Feinstein won open seats in 2012 when two incumbents decided not to run.

Hassan, a longtime engineer with the Long Island Power Authority and National Grid, played an integral role in the district’s transition to gas heating six years ago. He also served as co-vice president of the Herricks Athletics Boosters.

Feinstein is a former co-president of the Denton School Parent Teacher Association, Herricks Council of PTAs and Herricks Middle School PTA.

About the author

James Galloway

Share this Article