Three vie for trusteeships in Saltaire
Fire Island's Village of Saltaire has scheduled its election Friday, with three candidates -- all of whom identify as lifelong summer residents -- vying for two trustee seats.
Incumbent Hugh O'Brien, 60, is seeking his 12th two-year term. O'Brien, who is vice president of the Fire Island Association, said the biggest issue facing the village is rebuilding after superstorm Sandy crushed dunes and destroyed the village store, its boardwalks and some homes.
"I think this is a crisis where everything I've learned and done over the years can really be put to good use," he said.
O'Brien said a hot issue for Saltaire is its village market, which is for sale, condemned after Sandy damages. He said he hopes to secure a private owner/operator, as opposed to the village operating the store.
Incumbent Alexander K. Chefetz, 50, an investment banker and Manhattan resident with a home in Saltaire, is also seeking another term. Chefetz declined an interview, but according to his candidate statement on the Saltaire Citizens Advisory Association website, he favors the village rehabilitating the market, but thinks it should be privately run. He also favors selling "nonstrategically located parcels of village-owned open land" to increase Saltaire's cash reserves.
Ann Connolly, 60, is a professional management consultant from Pelham. She ran unsuccessfully for village board last year, but said her professional experience could help the village solve many of its post-Sandy logistical and financial problems. "What I do for a living is analyze difficult situations and come up with workable solutions," Connolly said.
Voting is scheduled for between 12 and 9 p.m. at Village Hall.