Four candidates vie for 3 Flower Hill seats

Flower Hill Village Hall on July 27, 2012. Flower Hill Village Hall on July 27, 2012. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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A longtime Flower Hill resident who spent a dozen years on the local school board is challenging a full slate of three candidates for a seat on the village board.

Dr. Roy Nelson, who has lived in Flower Hill for 29 years, faces incumbents Tab Hauser and Robert McNamara and newcomer Eileen Mills, who are on the Flower Hill Party line, in the March 19 election for three two-year positions on the seven-member board.

Nelson, 71, who specializes in open heart surgery, said "the most immediate concern" if elected on the Civic Party line is to address issues raised in a state audit.

In January, the state comptroller's office said the village, between 2006 and 2009, adopted unreasonable estimates in budgets, threw out financial records that should have been saved, and did not adequately control insurance and other benefits provided to board members.

Hauser said the problems stemmed from the "poor performance of a previous village employee." He added, "The audit also clearly states that the village immediately started to correct its problems once its staff was replaced with highly trained and experienced village administrators."

Nelson said he could bring a "different perspective" to the board although "there are many similarities between the roles of trustee in the village and in the [Port Washington] school district, especially when it comes to understanding budgets."

In addition to his medical degree, Nelson has a degree in public administration from the New York University Graduate School of Public Service and serves on the boards of four charities.

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Hauser, 54, a village resident for more than 20 years, served on the Board of Zoning Appeals for two years before being appointed to a vacant village board seat in 2002. He was named deputy mayor last year and is also emergency manager for the village. He was president of an electronics company and an alarm parts supply company that were sold last year. He is a freelance writer, photographer and travel consultant. He has a master's degree in business from LIU Post.

During his tenure, Hauser said, he assisted in the modernization of the village code to halt overbuilding on undersized plots. He said the board renovated Village Hall and the garage, rebuilt every road and revitalized the commercial strip.

He said the village created a pocket park to prevent the housing of known sex offenders, created a new website and replaced the village's aging fleet of trucks.

McNamara, 68, who has lived in the area for nearly 60 years, has been on the board since July. He retired from the financial services industry in 2006. As chairman of the finance committee, he said he would continue to work for increased transparency.

Mills, 40, who has been teaching English at Paul D. Schreiber High School since 2000, is making her first run for office.

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She said her primary goal would be to improve communications and relations with residents. "There have been situations over the past few years that have led to negative feelings about the board," she said, such as the health insurance provided for the trustees. "I would like to work on re-establishing trust through greater transparency," she said.

Mills said she also wants to review the permits system and fees "to ensure that all fees are reasonable and sound."

Voting is March 19 from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 1 Bonnie Heights Rd.

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