Oceanside area residents elected challenger Ed Scharfberg over 15-year incumbent Michael Sullivan to a commissioner position on a local sanitation district board.
The contested election was a rarity in Sanitary District 7, which serves more than 13,000 households in Oceanside and parts of Baldwin and East Rockaway.
But Scharfberg, who ran on a promise to better involve the community in district budgeting and decision making, handily won the five-year seat, a spokesman for the Nassau Board of Elections said Friday. Scharfberg won by a count of 852-475, not including 188 affidavit ballots, the spokesman said.
Scharfberg, an Oceanside Fire Department member and retired New York Police Department detective, said residents sent a message that they want more transparency on the board.
"I want to make them much, much more transparent," Scharfberg said. "I feel that there should be more, in this day and age, open government so the taxpayer sees where their dollar is spent."
Scharfberg said he was sworn in on Thursday night, after the election.
Attempts to reach Sullivan, who is also a special park district supervisor with Hempstead Town, were not successful.
The commissioner post on the five-member board pays $7,500 per year. Scharfberg works part time for the Oceanside Fire Department, performing dispatch and other duties, which pays him up to $285 per week for up to 19 hours per week of work.
The sanitation district also serves 950 commercial businesses and has an annual budget of about $8.65 million, district officials have said. Its coverage area is more than 5 square miles.
Services provided include garbage collection and recycling pickup. The average homeowner in Sanitary District 7 pays about $600 in taxes per year, district officials have said.
District officials did not return phone calls seeking reaction to the election.