Voters to choose mayors, trustees in nine contested village elections

Long Beach residents voting at Lindell Elementary School Long Beach residents voting at Lindell Elementary School in Long Beach on Nov. 5, 2013. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

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The direction of nine Long Island villages will be determined this week as voters head to the polls.

Eight villages, from Nassau's Gold Coast to the East End, have contested races for mayors or trustees Tuesday. Westhampton Beach voters will go to the polls Friday.

In Manorhaven, mayoral candidates James M. Avena and John O'Reilly are trying to unseat Giovanna Giunta, the incumbent of two years. Six trustees are running for two positions. At issue are legal challenges, vacant storefronts, and a state audit singling out the village as one of four statewide in "significant fiscal stress."

Atlantic Beach's 18-year incumbent Mayor Stephen Mahler faces a challenge from George Pappas, who said Mahler has become too comfortable in the job. Mahler said his opponent is inexperienced.

In Bayville, Mayor Douglas Watson is being challenged by trustee Paul Rupp, who said village finances have been mismanaged. Watson said his priority is to find federal funds to mitigate storm risks. Six candidates are running for three Bayville trustee spots.

Brightwaters' mayor of 18 years is retiring, and Deputy Mayor Denise Gibson faces fellow trustee Joseph McDermott. Gibson said she would push for infrastructure improvements and find ways for the village to earn more revenue. McDermott has vowed more communication between village leaders and residents. Four candidates are running for two Brightwaters trustee seats.

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In Huntington Bay, a proposal to pay village board members led resident Elizabeth "Betty" Wood to challenge 10-term incumbent Herb Morrow, who has sought to secure pay for the mayor, trustees, the road and police commissioners and zoning board members.

Muttontown incumbent Mayor Julianne Beckerman faces a challenge from Pericles Linardos. Beckerman said she can help strengthen the village's finances while Linardos has alleged taxpayer funds have been mismanaged. Six Muttontown trustees are seeking three seats.

A three-way trustee race in Port Jefferson has two candidates challenging an incumbent for two spots. At issue is the future of a power plant that accounts for about 30 percent of village's property tax revenue.

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On the East End, four Sag Harbor residents are vying for two trustee positions. Addressing pollution in the bays, managing a police department on a tight budget and dealing with a population that has swelled as it becomes a resort destination have loomed large in the campaign.

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