From left to right, East Williston's candidates from trusee: John...

From left to right, East Williston's candidates from trusee: John Ferro, Christopher Siciliano, Robert Vella Credit: Handout

Three candidates are running for two seats on the East Williston Village Board in next week's election.

Incumbent John Ferro and challenger Robert Vella Jr. are running on the Community Party line. Challenger Christopher Siciliano is the Neighborhood Party candidate.

With summer nearing, one major issue that has emerged is the summer scene on the Village Green. Officials say the green last year became a hangout spot for teenagers from East Williston and neighboring villages who sometimes harassed passersby.

Ferro, 60, an accountant and fire commissioner, said he supported the Teen Safety Committee, which began meeting last fall to seek solutions.

The approach is "an idea I came up with a few years ago," he said, as an alternative to proposed legislation imposing fines on loiterers. Last year the village hired a security guard and installed security cameras; the Safety Committee is now considering advertising the cameras' existence and organizing activities for the village's open spaces that would bring out residents whose presence would discourage poor behavior.

"We're bringing teens' ideas into focus in the village so we can work with them and not just seem like an oppositional force," Ferro said.

Vella, 47, a lawyer specializing in litigation and an adjunct law professor at St. John's University who served as assistant district attorney for Nassau County for more than two years, called for robust oversight of the Green.

"There have been too many incidents where our own children have been bullied or confronted," he said. "We have to remain vigilant, and if that means a curfew or loitering signs around the area, I'm in favor of that."

Vella said his professional experience would be an asset. "People come to me with their most difficult problems and I work to solve them," he said. "I don't make decisions until I have all the information necessary to make them, and I come in with no preconceived agenda."

Siciliano, 49, runs a moving company, is co-chairman of the village Historic Committee and prior chief and commissioner of the East Williston Fire Department.

He reluctantly supported enforcement of no-trespassing rules in public spaces after dark, but said it was necessary to protect both teens and other residents. "It's a shame it had to go that way," he said. "I'm in favor of not having these kids hanging out in the streets; someone could get hit by a car."

At the fire department, Siciliano said, he gained budget and recruiting experience; at the Historic Committee he helped put together projects like a walking tour and speakers' series that brought together longtime and new village residents. "We have so much talent in this community," he said. "We just have to get them involved."

Voting is Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall.

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