Island Park attorney Glenn Ingoglia is running for mayor of his hometown with a message that the village's ruling Unity Party has been entrenched for too long and allows local government to function like a private club.
His opponent, Mike McGinty, a member of the Unity Party, said he and his slate of trustee candidates have a better understanding of village government and a better chance of helping the 4,600-resident village continue to recover from superstorm Sandy.
Ingoglia and McGinty are running for mayor in a year of turnover in Island Park government. Mayor James Ruzicka, a Unity Party member, is retiring after eight years, and two trustee seats are up for grabs. Four candidates are vying for the two seats.
The election is the first contested one in Island Park -- where the Unity Party has controlled Village Hall for decades -- in more than 20 years.
Ingoglia, a Democrat running on the Voice Party slate, said the Unity Party harbors a bias in favor of Republicans.
"What we notice from our local village is they will only deal with Republican officials," Ingoglia said. "We need to take the politics out of village government."
McGinty, a Republican, said the village's government represents everyone.
"I'm running for mayor because I don't have a political agenda," he said.
Ingoglia, 45, practices family, personal injury and commercial law. He is also president of the Island Park Chamber of Commerce.
Ingoglia's Voice Party slate includes trustee candidates Columbia Ciccimarro and Laura Hassett. Ciccimarro, 39, is a special-education teacher in the Herricks school district. Hassett, 39, is a registered nurse at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.
"It's just dominated by that one party," Ciccimarro said.
McGinty, 60, was a finance and budget director for the Nassau County Legislature, and its precursor, the Board of Supervisors, for about two decades, ending in the mid-2000s. He has also worked as chief deputy receiver of taxes in Hempstead Town for about five years in the 2000s and is a former Island Park zoning board member.
McGinty's running mates are trustee candidates Matthew Paccione and Joseph Annarella. Paccione, 27, is government liaison for Assemb. Brian Curran (R-Lynbrook).
Annarella, 56, a nine-year trustee, is the only incumbent in the race. He is also the superintendent of sanitation for Hempstead Town.
"The thing that's important is the revitalization of the downtown," Annarella said.
The winning candidates will join two Unity Party members -- Irene Naudus and Stephen D'Esposito -- on the board of trustees.
The election is from noon to 9 p.m. on March 18. The polling places are village hall, at 127 Long Beach Rd., and the Island Park Fireman's Exempt Hall, at 432 Long Beach Rd.