“Muito obrigado, muchos gracias, thank you very much.”
Those were the last words by Mineola Trustee Dennis Walsh before he officially resigned from the village board Wednesday night. Walsh is the councilman-elect for the Town of North Hempstead’s 3rd District, representing parts of Garden City Park, Mineola, Williston Park, Garden City and parts of New Hyde Park.
Mayor Scott Strauss appointed Janine Sartori to succeed Walsh.
Walsh reflected both on his tenure as a trustee, which began in 2013, and attending meetings as a resident long before. He said he strove to be a mainstay in village functions even before being elected, attending every meeting he possibly could except for two, when he was on vacation.
“The most important things I have ever learned have been in this room, sitting up here and among the public,” Walsh said. “It’s been an honor serving the residents and Village of Mineola.”
Each trustee had kind words to say about Walsh, wishing him good luck.
“Mineola’s loss is the Town of North Hempstead’s gain,” Strauss, whom Walsh referred to as his hero, said. “They are more than lucky to have you.”
Upon his resignation, the remaining trustees presented Walsh and his family flowers and a small statue for his service. Walsh will take his spot on the Town of North Hempstead’s council in January.
To appoint his replacement, Strauss said he had many conversations with qualified residents in what led to one of the toughest decisions he had to make as mayor. Ultimately, he decided upon Sartori to serve on the Board of Trustees until March, when Walsh’s term was set to expire.
Strauss said the Staten Island native’s experience in the village includes the PTA for different schools, Mineola Athletic Association and other parent groups. More recently, Sartori has been on the Village Board of Zoning Appeals for about four years.
“Thank you for your willingness to serve our residents and business owners. I’m sure you will be a great asset to us all,” Strauss said during his report.
Sartori’s appointment makes her the one trustee who did not graduate from Mineola High School, a fact Trustee Paul Pereira said he believes will be to the board’s and village’s benefit.
“I believe it is time for a fresh perspective, and she is more than capable of providing that for us,” he said.
After taking the oath of office in front of her family, with the help of Strauss, Sartori took her spot on the board, sitting between Trustee Paul Cusato and village Attorney John Gibbons, where Walsh used to sit.
During her report, Sartori said that Mineola, which she moved to 17 years ago, provides a different avenue to involvement than the outer boroughs.
“I am flattered to be part of this board and continue making Mineola the best place to live,” Sartori said. “One of the things that attracted me here is that you have exposure to the people affecting your daily life. I know in the school district we like to use the term ‘Mineola proud,’ but I hope the work I do in this room with these people can make residents proud to be in Mineola.”