In Bellport two incumbent trustees are running on a slate against a pair of challengers also running as a team.

One-term incumbent Ray Fell and four-year trustee Sherry Binnington hope to maintain their seats, sought by Alison L. Neumann, a retired insurance administrator, and Dorothy A. Terwilliger, a social worker with Islip Town.

The top two vote-getters will win two-year seats on the village board, which includes four trustees and a mayor.

Fell, also the village's deputy mayor, and Binnington touted the board's efforts to keep taxes down via state and federal grants. In the past two years Bellport has received nearly $800,000 in grants, which helped pay for projects such as storm cleanup and equipment such as new highway department vehicles, the incumbents said.

The grants are necessary because town revenues, such as golf course fees and mortgage taxes, are down, Fell said. "Revenue is down, and you have to replace the revenue and cut services," he said. "We've done a combination of both."

Terwilliger and Neumann have criticized the incumbents for failing to listen to public comment at board meetings and spending too much time on procedural issues rather than repairing village infrastructure.

Terwilliger, who has been on the zoning board for about six years, cited "a total disconnect between what the residents want and what the village is providing." She also criticized the village board for shepherding a law - which she called unpopular with residents - that requires permits for outdoor fundraisers.

"In general, if you go to a village meeting and raise your hand and want to ask a question, you get frowned upon, scowled at, not treated in the way a citizen should be," she said.

Binnington, a former teacher, said she believes the board has reached out to residents - especially young people - to foster "pride and community spirit like many of us have in the village." She cited a partnership between the village and Eastern Suffolk BOCES to build a boardwalk at Ho Hum Beach at Fire Island.

Binnington also touted the board's decision to eliminate health insurance for elected officials as evidence that trustees have the taxpayers in mind.

Neumann, a lifelong Bellport resident, said trustees must do a better job listening to community groups. "If you're not communicating, I don't care how good your financial situation is. You're not going to be able to bring in that cohesiveness."

Voting takes place Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Bellport Community Center, 4 Bell St.

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