Freeport's new mayor, Robert Kennedy, is sworn in

Freeport's new mayor, Robert Kennedy, is sworn in

Freeport's new mayor, Robert Kennedy, is sworn in at a ceremony held at Freeport Village Hall. (April 1 2013) (Credit: JOHNNY MILANO)

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Freeport's newly installed leadership will focus on making village officials more accessible to residents and creating a new capital improvement plan, new Mayor Robert Kennedy said Monday at his swearing-in ceremony.

"The glass doors are being removed in village hall," Kennedy said during a brief speech.

Re-elected trustee Carmen Piñeyro, new trustee Ronald Ellerbe and new village Judge Vincent R. Cacciatore were also sworn in.

Kennedy said his administration has also begun addressing consistent flooding in south Freeport.

He defeated Mayor Andrew Hardwick last month, garnering about 54 percent of more than 8,300 votes in the March 19 village election. He will be paid $124,989 as the village's mayor, which is a full-time position.

Kennedy was elected as trustee in 2009, when he and Piñeyro ran on Hardwick's ticket. The two trustees quickly became Hardwick's adversaries during the village's often contentious public meetings, and infighting has dominated village government for the past few years.

The village board is now entirely made up of Unity Home Rule Party members. The board of trustees named Piñeyro deputy mayor, a largely ceremonial position.

Members of the Unity Home Rule Party have said one of their first goals will be to work with political opponents to unite the village.

Kennedy said during his speech that residents will start to see village officials focus on government services immediately.

"We said when we were running that we were going to get to work right away, and we have been," he said.

In a court case initiated shortly after the election, Hardwick questioned what he said was a potential discrepancy between the number of voters and the number of residents who signed in to vote at polls. But Justice Edward Maron dismissed the case in Supreme Court in Nassau County last week.

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