Longtime Mastic Beach resident and political newcomer Nicholas Busa helped persuade residents to vote to incorporate the village in 2010. Now he wants to assist in leading it.
The 24-year resident is running against incumbent trustees Gary Stiriz and Carol Bissonette for two seats in Tuesday's election.
Busa, 60, said his top priority is cracking down on absentee landlords who haven't taken care of their tenants or properties.
"Everyone should have a nice house to live in whether you're on public assistance or not," said Busa, who spent eight years as a New York State marshal and nearly 30 years as a Nassau County Court officer. "Landlords aren't taking care of their homes and tenants and some of these houses seem disgraceful."
Stiriz said helping Sandy victims get federal funds to rebuild and lift homes above flood levels are his most pressing issues.
"We want to help the residents who had their homes damaged in Sandy," especially along the waterfront, said Stiriz, whose own home was flooded in the storm. "There are an awful lot of frustrated residents and so far, not much has come forth for them."
Bissonette spent two years on the Brookhaven Town Council and was appointed to the Mastic Beach trustee board by Mayor Bill Biondi in 2011.
She's pushing for a long-term plan addressing revitalization and quality of life.
"We have yet to put out a plan to address basic issues such as paving roads, replacing missing street signs and attracting new businesses with incentives," she said.
In an interview, Busa said Bissonette does not work hard and is not visible in the community.
"In order for the village to move forward, we need people who are going to be in the game. You have to be around," said Busa, adding he has visited Village Hall every day for several months and has seen every trustee of the five-member board except her.
"I don't go around patting myself on my back," Bissonette responded. "People will know that I did something good for them and that's all that counts."
The two incumbents touted their work on the board.
As liaison to the department of public works, Stiriz praised the village's quick snowplow response to last month's blizzard.
"We had a definite plan, we followed the plan and it worked beautiful," Stiriz said.
He also takes credit for spearheading the village's five-year, $1.2 million garbage contract he said saved taxpayers $800,000.
Bissonette cited her more than two decades in government and said she is the lone trustee willing to say something when "it is not good for the people to hear." She cited her failed attempts to get anti-nepotism rules adopted to stop awarding contracts to family members of elected officials.
Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. at Mastic Beach Fire Department, 265 Neighborhood Rd.