Preserving quality of life in Stewart Manor has emerged as a major issue in the upcoming village election, where an incumbent and two first-time candidates will vie for two trustee seats.
Incumbent John Egan and challengers Michael Onorato and Mary Carole Schafenberg are running for the four-year seats on March 19.
Egan, 74, a father of three, has served on the board for 12 years. He is also police commissioner and is in charge of code enforcement. He said he has lived in the village for 27 years and is running on the Unity Party line.
Egan said he decided to run again because "I love my village and I wanted to see it run properly and do the right things for the people." He owns and runs a butcher business and is also a volunteer firefighter and Navy veteran.
He said one issue the board will face is how to pay for new equipment needed by the village. Stewart Manor is buying a new garbage truck and is due for a new fire truck, he said.
When he took office, he said there was one code enforcement officer and now there are five. He said he has been working to toughen village code and he hopes to continue to do so.
Onorato, 64, moved to the village in 2006 to be closer to his daughter, who lives in Stewart Manor with her husband and three children. Onorato has three other children.
"I want to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of the village," he said. "I want to provide superior quality of life to all the residents."
He said he wants to keep tax rates "as low as possible" and that "sensible spending is crucial." He said he also wants to make sure "seniors are well provided for," noting that they are concerned about the cumulative impact of taxes levied by the village, schools and Nassau County.
"The village is run fine . . . I just want to continue in that frame," he said.
Onorato, retired from Con Edison, is running on the Village Party of Stewart Manor line. After retirement, he worked as an energy consultant and was a general manger at a local contracting firm. Since 1998, he has been an adjunct professor of management and marketing at St. John's and Pace universities. He became a full-time professor in the School of Business at SUNY Old Westbury in 2007.
Schafenberg, 63, a principal at an elementary school in Long Island City in Queens, said she is running because "I just thought it would be a great opportunity to work for the good of this village because it is a delightful village." She is running on the Village Party line and has lived in Stewart Manor for eight years.
She said a "few big-ticket items that need discussing" are a new fire truck, garbage truck and ambulance.
"These are major things for the good of the village residents," she said. "You need to address these things now before they completely fall apart" and cost more money.
She also said activities at the village country club should be enhanced to increase resident participation.
Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 120 Covert Ave.