Six vie for two trustee seats in Mastic Village
Former Mastic Beach Village Mayor Paul Breschard, who resigned midway through his first term, has returned to the ballot box seeking a trustee seat against five other candidates.
Breschard, 64, who assisted in organizing the village's code enforcement and public works departments, said he left in February 2012 largely because of health issues brought on by friction between trustee members.
"It was either resign or wind up in a hospital," he said.
Six candidates are vying for two trustee seats in the March 18 village election. Incumbents Gail Cappiello and Robert Morrow are running on the A United Party line; challengers Breschard and Frank Fugarino are running on the Founders Reform party line, and Bruce Summa and Maura Spery are running of the New Horizons Party line.
If elected, Breschard, a retired English teacher who taught at William Floyd High School, said he will work to cut down on municipal spending. Those challenging him don't believe he should come back.
"I think it's a mistake. He failed as a mayor and made promises he couldn't keep," said Cappiello, 68, who retired in 2002 from a job as a Stony Brook University grant writer.
Breschard, the village's first mayor, said, "We promised a fully municipal government with a court and no tax increases. We walked in with nothing."
Spery, 54, has spent 20 years working in the painting and plastering business. She said she wants to hold the board accountable for not recording public meetings despite receiving a $10,000 grant from Cablevision to do so three years ago.
"We have an opaque government that doesn't want the public to know what they are doing and they violate open public meeting laws," she said.
Morrow, 67, a retired Verizon field technician, would serve a third term if re-elected. He touts as accomplishments the board moving into a new village hall and the trustees cracking down on blight. He also said he wants to replenish sand dunes, raise houses that are threatened by storms, and improve wetlands.
Summa, 60, who works part time as a hairstylist, maintains village officials haven't provided services such as picking up litter or sweeping streets.
"No quality of life can improve until you can drive down the street and not be depressed by litter," he said.
His vision for the village includes tearing down blighted homes, creating pocket parks or selling the lots to a contractor for development for owner-occupied homes.
Fugarino, 69, is a part-time consultant with the New York City Board of Education and president of Pattersquash Creek Civic Association in the village.
He believes the board "hasn't set the right priorities, adequately addressed housing concerns or quality-of-life issues and must fairly award contracts."
For her part, Cappiello said her two years on the board hasn't been long enough to implement all of her ideas.
"I want to finish the work that I started," she said.
She wants to start a program to bring military families and businesses willing to hire veterans to the village.
Residents can vote from noon to 9 p.m. at 265 Neighborhood Rd.