Mineola Trustee Dennis Walsh was showing up to village board meetings before he decided to run for office.
Since winning his first term in 2013 and swapping his spot in the audience for his seat on the board, Walsh said he hasn’t missed a single meeting.
Walsh is seeking re-election for his third term during the March 20 election on the New Line Party Ticket, along with Trustee George Durham and Mayor Scott Strauss.
Walsh first served a two-year term and is currently finishing out a three-year term.
Trustee and mayor terms were two-years up until 2013 when they were changed to four-year terms, according to Village Clerk Joe Scalero.
The terms were phased in over multiple elections, pursuant to state law, and mixed in two-year, three-year and four-year terms between 2012 and 2016, Scalero said.
All terms are now four-years.
Walsh said he enjoys being on the board because he enjoys being active in Mineola – the village where he grew up, graduating from Mineola High School, and raised his own kids.
Ensuring the land is used well is a main responsibility of the board, Walsh said.
Land use isn’t just an issue for current residents but also for subsequent generations, he added.
“For the future of Mineola I always want to make sure things are going well,” Walsh said.
For Walsh, the trustee position extends beyond the walls of Village Hall and the length of the meetings.
He said he tries to go to all the events in the community.
“There’s very little that I miss … because I think that’s part of the job,” Walsh said. “you can either go or not go, and I choose to go.”
Durham, a fourth-generation Mineola native, said he’s proud to serve his community.
Durham was first elected to the board in 2011 and is running for his fourth term.
He served two two-year terms, and a three-year term following his 2015 win.
He first got involved in village government as chairman of the downtown revitalization project.
Durham said the project is without a doubt his proudest achievement on the board.
“We’re working on making [Mineola] a very nice place to live and improving the quality of life,” Durham said. “I think we have a good board right now and we’re working well together to take and accomplish a lot of that stuff.”
Walsh and Durham face two challengers for the open seats – Regis and Cristi Gallet, married owners of the Recovery Room bar and grill by the Mineola train station, who are making their first run for office as members of the My Home Party of Mineola.
Durham said that the board has heard limited complaints from residents in recent months.
“I think a majority of the people in the village are happy with what’s going on,” Durham added.
The My Home Part of Mineola ticket also includes former Mineola Mayor Larry Werther, who is challenging Strauss.
In 2013, Durham and Walsh beat Werther in a three-way race for the two spots on the board.
Village Justice John O’Shea, first appointed in 1996 and elected to subsequent four-year terms in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014, is also up for re-election in an uncontested race.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated Regis and Cristi Gallet were running on the New Line Party ticket, they are running on the My Home Party of Mineola ticket.