Three candidates are vying for two trustee seats in the Village of Saddle Rock this month in the first elections since longtime Mayor J. Leonard Samansky died last year.
Then-Deputy Mayor Dan Levy became mayor after Samansky's death in July. Trustee Avery Modlin then stepped into the role of deputy mayor. Levy and incumbent trustee David Schwartz are running unopposed for re-election on the Saddle Rock Village party line.
The trustee race on March 20 pits newcomer Sasha Masri against incumbents Avery Modlin and Bob Steinberg.
Masri, 31, an accountant in Great Neck, said he had considered running for mayor for his first attempt at public office. "I've always been intrigued by village government and how it works," he said. After discussing it with others, he instead decided to "start from the bottom up and become a trustee."
Masri, who is running on the New Generation Party line, said public documents such as the proposed village budget should be made accessible to residents. "There's no transparency in our government," he said.
Masri, who has set up a campaign website, pledged to improve "the value of our local tax dollars."
Steinberg, 71, began serving on the board of trustees in December 1993. He rejoined the board as an appointee in June 2009, and then was elected to a full term in March 2010.
He is a retired general contractor.
Steinberg, a former zoning board member, building commissioner and highway commissioner, said one of the main issues for the village is the need to repave roads. He said the village is using a state grant to make the repairs, which he called "a smart way to improve the village while not increasing expenses."
Steinberg said he is running "to keep progress in the village moving as it has been."
Modlin, 40, who is chief executive of a boutique real estate firm in Manhattan, has been a village trustee for two years. He is involved in other organizations including the Great Neck Synagogue.
Modlin said he wasn't seeking to promote himself or launch a political career, and he declined to be photographed or to submit a photo. "I do a lot of charity work, community work," he said. Modlin said residents "keep asking me to do more and more. I'm always happy to represent my fellow residents if they would like me to."
Modlin and Steinberg are running on the Saddle Rock Village Party line.
Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall.