Williston Park residents elect mayor, trustees Tuesday

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Williston Park's mayor is running for re-election Tuesday against the husband of the woman he defeated during the last race and the man who was on his team in that election.

Incumbent Ludwig Odierna defeated Doreen Ehrbar four years ago and now faces a challenge from her husband, Paul Ehrbar. During the last race, Odierna ran with Alan Reardon, who was elected as village justice and is now vying for mayor.

This time, Odierna, 72, a mortgage broker, is running with trustee candidates Susan Redding, 51, a mortgage banker, and Kevin Rynne, 49, postmaster of the Hempstead Post Office.

Reardon, 70, a trial attorney who resigned in January as village justice to run for mayor, is running with trustee candidate William Lorusso, 60, chief physician's assistant in orthopedics at Glen Cove Hospital.

Ehrbar, 62, a retired Nassau probation supervisor, is running alone, as is trustee candidate Teresa Thomann, 55, administrative assistant to the executive staff of the Nassau County Department of Health.

"I think it's great there's so much choice," said Thomann, who was a village trustee from 1994 to 1998 and a prior president of the Herricks school board.

Voters Tuesday will select a mayor and two trustees who will serve four-year terms.

Reardon said that if elected, he would propose cutting the mayor and trustee stipends by 25 percent. Ehrbar, who is a Herricks school board member with a term ending in June, said he plans to be a full-time mayor because he's retired. Village officials said the mayor is paid $10,000 per year while trustees receive $5,000.

All the candidates agree that a major issue is repairing roads in the village. Odierna said work will begin this spring, thanks to a federal grant recently released from the state Department of Transportation with help from Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn Heights). His opponents said the grant had been secured during the previous administration.

If Odierna and his team are elected, they would like to make the village more environmentally friendly, with solar panels and energy-efficient lighting for village streets and buildings.

"In the long run it would be cheaper for the village," Redding said.

Rynne and Redding said they would also like to improve the village's Web site by making it more interactive and providing direct links to officials' e-mail addresses.

Reardon said he'd like to cut back on village attorney expenses and wants to set up committees for specific groups such as senior citizens, the youth and working families.

Lorusso promised to be a trustee free from influence. "No one in the village owes me and I don't owe anyone in management in the village," he said, "so I think we can bring a fresh attitude to village hall."

Voting will be noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday at American Legion Hall, 730 Willis Ave.

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