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Four candidates vie for two open trustee seats in Stewart Manor

Two incumbents and two challengers are vying for the two open trustee seats in Stewart Manor.

Incumbents William Grogan and Mary Carole Schafenberg are running separately for the four-year terms. Challengers Orlando Sa, who served as an interim trustee for five months, and Peter Genova are running on the Village Party line. Trustees earn $2,000 a year.

Grogan, 77, of the Independent Unity Party, was elected in 2014 to serve the remaining year of a previous trustee's term. He grew up in New York City and received a bachelor's degree in computer systems from Fordham University. A former Marine corporal, he has lived in the village for more than 40 years and is a retired IBM senior project executive. He's also a volunteer firefighter and former captain of the Stewart Manor Fire Department.

Grogan pointed to his work helping to produce a projected surplus in the current budget, and said the village board should strive to balance low taxes with resident services. "It's incumbent we keep expenses at the level we want to and keep the quality of service that taxpayers want," he said.

Schafenberg, 65, of the People's Party, was first appointed to serve a year as trustee in 2013. She was then elected in 2014 to finish the remaining year of a trustee's term. A Brooklyn native, she received her bachelor's degree in education from St. John's University. She received a master's in education from CUNY Staten Island, and a postgraduate degree in administration and supervision from St. John's. A New York City elementary school principal, she has lived in Stewart Manor for a decade.

The village's main challenge was that "we always look to raise revenue without raising taxes, and keep providing the old-town quaintness of this village," she said. "It really is one of a kind. We try to maintain this atmosphere here."

Sa, 52, served as an interim trustee from November 2013 to March 2014, when he lost a bid for election. He grew up in Queens and is a retired NYPD sergeant. He's lived in the village for more than 20 years. Sa said if elected, he would like to improve downtown. "I see a lot of other villages beautifying and putting in more pavers," he said. "If you do that, you can entice more people to come and shop."

Genova, 62, ran once for trustee in 2001. He grew up in Queens and has lived in the village for more than 20 years. He received a bachelor's in computer science from St. John's University and his nursing degree from the former Catholic Medical Center in Queens. A senior project manager at North Shore Long Island Jewish system, he has also previously served as a volunteer firefighter with the Stewart Manor Fire Department.

He said the village needs to find a way to reopen the local library branch instead of relying on the Elmont library system.

The election is from noon to 9 p.m. at village hall, 120 Covert Ave., Stewart Manor.

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