It's a good thing Gary Stiriz is not seeking re-election. If he did, voters in Mastic Beach would be compelled to turn him out.
Stiriz, a member of the village's board of trustees, has been AWOL -- in Florida -- since the middle of January. It's the second winter in a row that Stiriz has left Mastic Beach for an extended period.
Not only is he flunking one of the fundamentals of employment -- that you actually, you know, show up for the job -- he also has abandoned his obligation to serve the village residents who elected him.CartoonMatt Davies' latest cartoon: Red planetCommentSubmit your letterReader essaysGet published in Newsday
Making matters worse, Stiriz agreed to be responsible for supervising the plowing of village streets after snowstorms, and you know how that's been this winter. But he has been absent for the last four storms, with another looming Wednesday night. Last winter, Mastic Beach officials say, he was gone for four months. Whether the plowing was done appropriately or not under Mayor Bill Biondi is beside the point -- it's Stiriz's responsibility, he should fulfill it.
Stiriz' absence would be a problem even if the position were a volunteer job, but it's not. Trustees are paid $6,000 a year.
Stiriz, who won his seat in the young village's first election in 2010, has decided not to run in this year's contest, to be held March 18.
Good riddance. Mastic Beach will be better served by someone who is in Mastic Beach.