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Munsey Park election sees 4 candidates for 2 trustee seats

Transparency in government, road repair and tree maintenance drive candidates to run in March 20 village election.

Munsey Park Village Hall, shown Friday, April 25,

Munsey Park Village Hall, shown Friday, April 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Three residents and one incumbent trustee are running for two at-large trustee seats in the March 20 election in Munsey Park, where infrastructure improvements and transparency have been emphasized as key campaign issues.

Brian Dunning, Anthony Sabino, incumbent Jennifer Noone, and Nathine Yakaitis will be on the ballot.

Dunning, 54, an attorney, said he is running with Yakaitis, although they are not affiliated with a party ticket. After observing the village administration over the past year, Dunning said he realized that the village had a “nepotism and cronyism problem” and hopes to change it. He highlighted the May 2017 creation of a new village administrator position and the board’s subsequent appointment of Mayor Frank J. DeMento’s brother-in-law to the post.

Dunning said that if elected, he would prioritize transparency and compliance with state open meetings regulations, and also try to foster an environment where residents felt heard.

“You have to have the constitution to deal with people politely and patiently, and to explain things to them and treat their concerns seriously even if you think they are not valid,” Dunning added.

Yakaitis, 63, a former attorney, said the village’s “overall failure of transparency” was the reason she was running for trustee. She is not on a party ticket. Yakaitis proposed steps to increase transparency such as publishing agendas before meetings and advertising open village positions.

Yakaitis said road repair should be undertaken in a more comprehensive, need-based fashion instead of a “piecemeal way.” She also said she would establish a consistent tree maintenance policy governing responsibility for trees in village rights of way.

Sabino, 59, an attorney, is running on the Residents for a Better Munsey Park ticket. He is a member of the village Building Advisory Committee and also on the village Board of Ethics. He said he believes Munsey Park is “in fine shape” and that he hopes to help maintain this, such as by working to keep “the status quo” on the current village tree policy.

Sabino said as an attorney and a board member, he was “well experienced in according citizens due process, full and fair hearings, and respecting their rights and viewpoints.”

Noone, a former attorney, who did not provide an age, is seeking a third two-year term on the Residents for a Better Munsey Park ticket. She said she wants to “continue to move the village forward” and complete projects such as road resurfacing plans. She said that “returning civility and inclusiveness to Village Hall” was also an important goal.

“Clearly, the board needs to do a better job of explaining what is happening and what is being considered and why certain decisions are being made,” Noone said.

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