Freeport voters will go to the polls March 19 to elect two out of five candidates vying for village board trustee seats.
Incumbent Jorge Martinez will look to defend his seat while the other candidates seek a seat vacated by trustee Bill White, who served for two years to finish the term of former trustee Debra Mule after she was elected to the Nassau County Legislature. Both seats are at-large.
Candidates said they will try to hold the line on taxes, increase transparency and improve the village infrastructure.
Martinez, 56, has served 11 years on the village board. He said he has worked with the board and Mayor Robert Kennedy to keep taxes down amid rising pension costs and contractual salary raises.
“We want to continue fiscal responsibility and run the village with a zero percent tax increase, which we’ve achieved for six years in a row,” Martinez said.
He is running on the Unity Home Rule party line with Christopher L. Squeri, 46, who owns two Freeport yacht marinas and is a member of the Freeport Community Development Agency.
Martinez touted the hiring of 20 police officers and a reduction in crime, in addition to bolstering the village’s 350-member volunteer fire department.
The village will look to continue paving roads and preventing floods after adding tidal valves and other flood mitigation tools, Martinez said.
Freeport school board president and retiring police officer Michael Pomerico, 58, is running for trustee on at-large seat on the Village First party line.
Pomerico is a lifelong Freeport resident and has served 12 years on the school board, including four as president, where he touted no tax increases under his helm.
He has been on the Freeport force for 30 years and is the acting executive director of the Freeport Police Activity League.
Pomerico said the village will need to address multiple-owned properties, the Freeport Armory and replacing the Moxey Rigby apartments. He called for more transparency in the village budget.
“I think an outside voice on the board would be good and not a rubber stamp,” Pomerico said.
Joseph Gambino is running with Jennifer Winters on the Residents Stand United party line. Gambino, 39, is president and founder of the South Freeport Civic Association, and Winters, 35, is vice president.
Gambino is a chiropractor and serves on the Nassau Police Commissioners Council, the Freeport Chamber of Commerce and Operation Splash. Winters is a finance professional with New York Life.
He said their ticket will focus on transparency and improving infrastructure in the village, including roads, water mains and sewer lines. Gambino said the village should post all contracts online and open contracts for competitive bids.
“I think I have new ideas that are helpful to the community, and we need new faces on the village board,” Gambino said.