East Williston Trustee Anthony Casella said Tuesday that he is stepping down from the village board.
Mayor Bonnie Parente said Casella, a former mayor who is 82 years old, decided to step down from the board prematurely because he wanted to allow Parente to appoint a trustee with whom she can work well.
His replacement is East Williston resident James Lark, a vice president for Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. in New York City. Lark recently helped charter a Boy Scout troop for girls at the Community Church of East Williston.
Casella, who said he has been in and out of local government since the 1970s, said he felt it was time for other people to get involved.
“I think we have a lot of very creative people, and they’re smart people, in this whole area and they should get involved in village government,” Casella said. “It’s the only way you keep the community great.”
Casella said he first ran for trustee in 1970 but lost “big time.” He was subsequently appointed by the trustees to the library board. Eventually however, Casella said he was eventually elected as trustee and served until 1991, when he became mayor of East Williston.
After his term as mayor, Casella said that he believed that his political career was over and continued working at his law firm.
Casella said he decided to run again in 2014 after seeing a “water crisis” emerge over whether East Williston should build its own water system. Casella said that after doing some investigation he concluded, “If we build our water system it would cost millions of dollars.”
“I ran for trustee again and I won,” Casella said.
Parente said that while Casella is no longer a trustee, he and his wife, Margaret, will still help on projects in the village.
Lark said he is serving until the spring election for trustee. On whether he plans to run for trustee, Lark joked, “Ask me that question February.”
Parente said that Lark is an “active voice” in the community and that while they do have disagreements she felt he was a person she could respectfully disagree with.