Glen Cove’s new mayor, Pamela Panzenbeck, and six council members were sworn in on New Year’s Day, officially ending two years of one-party rule by an all-Democratic council that is now dominated by Republicans.
"My team of council members and I have a lot of work to do," Panzenbeck said during her inaugural speech inside the auditorium of Glen Cove High School. "We will work hard. We will work together to turn our goals into achievements."
In November, Panzenbeck, the city’s first GOP mayor in almost three decades, defeated incumbent mayor Timothy Tenke, and four Republicans — Joseph Capobianco, Kevin Maccarone, Jack Mancusi and Barbara Peebles — won council seats.
Several council members said they want to work together in bipartisanship after the swearing-in ceremony, which was attended by about 300 people, including Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and new Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
"I definitely want to take a team approach," said Marsha Silverman, a Democrat who won re-election in November. "We're going to work across the aisle to meet on common ground and move the city forward."
Silverman and Danielle Fugazy Scagliola are the two Democrats on the council.
Capobianco, a former councilman who lost a re-election bid in 2019 but won a seat in November, said local governments are more about delivering essential services.
"I think there's getting … back to the middle," Capobianco said of the pendulum swing in party control of the council. "I'm fond of this quote as [former New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia] said many years ago, there's no Republican or Democratic way to pick up the garbage. So that's the way I look at it."
Panzenbeck thanked Tenke, who was not present at the ceremony, for his service. One of her goals is to bring more businesses to the city’s downtown, she said in a follow-up interview.
"I want to get some more businesses into the downtown business district," she said. "We need to beautify our downtown."
Capobianco said his top priority is improving residents' quality of life by cracking down on illegal housing and enforcing the code against other violations.
"We need to start focusing on code enforcement," he said. "There’s some illegal housing. There are some other code violations out there. And we'd like to do an active enforcement and improve the quality of life for Glen Cove."
Mancusi, a retired police sergeant from the Glen Cove Police Department, noted development as one of the biggest issues the city faces.
"As far as development goes, bigger is not always better," Mancusi said. "I want to do smart development. And if we have to take a pause, I'd like to take a pause so that we can really get a master plan for the city and do it smart instead of piecemeal, of building here and building there."