"It was very difficult to replace Harry," Mayor James Altadonna Jr. said Monday. "We wanted someone who was community-minded to fill the position, because Harry was very community-minded."
Jacobson died June 12 at age 89. Altadonna had for months left Jacobson's name placard on the village board desk in front of his empty seat.
Pearl's experience as a volunteer firefighter helps to qualify him as a public official, Altadonna said.
Pearl, 40, said he has lived in Massapequa Park for 13 years. He serves as deputy commissioner of Oyster Bay's environmental resources department and worked formerly for its community and youth services department, he said. He has been a town employee for 18 years and a volunteer with the Massapequa Fire Department also for 18 years, he said. He is married with three sons.
"I'm excited," Pearl said of becoming a trustee. "I love the direction the village is going in and I want to get all the information" necessary to make decisions about the village.
Pearl said he supports Altadonna's quest to establish an emergency health-care facility in the area.
"Being in the fire department, I know that we need something that's a little more local," he said.