Poquott voters will see only three candidates running for mayor and two open trustee seats when they peruse the ballot in the village elections on June 21.
But four additional candidates, led by incumbent Mayor Dolores Parrish and trustee Sandra Nicoletti, are running write-in campaigns after a state judge threw out their nominating petitions due to illegible signatures and other errors.
The court battle over the petitions added another spark to a heated campaign featuring a rematch of the 2014 election, when Parrish unseated former Mayor Barbara Donovan.See alsoSearch Poquott’s 2014 payroll
Donovan, 68, is seeking to win back her old job, which she had held for 12 years before she lost to Parrish.
Former village clerk Joan Hubbard and village planning board member Michael H. Schaefer are running for two trustee seats currently held by Nicoletti and John Pesek. Hubbard and Schaefer are opposed by Nicoletti and fellow write-in candidates Gary Garofano and John Mastauskas. Pesek is not seeking re-election.
Terms for mayor and each trustee seat are two years. Elected officials in Poquott are not paid.
Donovan, Hubbard and Schaefer are running on the Unity and Respect Party line. They have said village politics have become disrespectful under Parrish.
“I think the board is lacking respect for the people who come to the meetings. I will bring that back,” Donovan said in an interview. “I want to put a smile on everybody’s face.”
She said during her time as mayor, she introduced single-stream recycling, raised money through grants and led village cleanups following superstorm Sandy and other storms.
Parrish, 48, has defended her record and said she had cut costs by recruiting volunteers and receiving $250,000 worth of donated supplies and services. Parrish said during a May 24 “Meet the Candidates” forum that a controversial park renovation had been an urgent necessity.
“I feel the park needed the makeover,” Parrish said. “Every night, there’s more and more people in there.”
Hubbard, 74, said in an interview she would seek to make village government more responsive to taxpayers.
“The main thing that I want to do is really pay attention to what the people want,” she said. “I don’t think that’s being done at all now.”
Schaefer, 67, a retired Suffolk County environmental inspector and assets analyst who also has served on the Brookhaven Town Board of Zoning Appeals, said he decided to run after attending village board meetings. “I would go to meetings and give them suggestions, and they wouldn’t listen,” he said.
Garofano could not be reached for comment.
In an email, Mastauskas said he supports “positive change and an end to division for the improvement of our village’s valuable parkland, for traffic safety, for fiscal responsibility, and for a bright future for all residents of Poquott.”
Nicoletti had served several terms as trustee before losing her re-election bid in 2014. She was appointed to the board later that year after trustee Edward Schmidt resigned.
At the May 24 forum, Nicoletti said she was “appalled by the negativity” surrounding the election. “We should be positive,” she said.
Voting is noon to 9 p.m. June 21 at Village Hall, 45 Birchwood Ave.