A tax activist who has filed a $1-million lawsuit against Sea Cliff over a building inspection at his home is running for one of two open seats on the village's board of trustees.
Anthony Losquadro, 47, who faces $2,750 in village fines for allegedly building a shed and dog run without a permit, is seeking to unseat either trustee Thomas Powell or fellow incumbent Peter Hayes.
Losquadro, who owns a security services company, said he decided to run after the village board held a public hearing on overriding the state's 2 percent cap on property tax levy increases. About 100 people attended after Losquadro sent postcards encouraging residents to participate. The board has not voted on the override.
"I believe the village should abide by the 2 percent cap. I think we need to keep our expenses down," said Losquadro, who is running under the Property Owners Party banner. "The cap enforces financial discipline on local villages . . . [I] don't think it should be unceremoniously tossed out."
Powell and Hayes, both 62, who are running together on the Civil Progress Party line, said the board must keep its options open in case it must raise taxes more than 2 percent. But they said they hope to avoid exceeding the cap.
"We're trying to keep it flat," said Powell, who co-owns an environmental testing lab. "We've been cutting costs and finding efficiencies, pretty much maintaining services as they've been . . . but it's difficult because the state increases mandated costs without reimbursing us."
Added Hayes, a consultant for a Manhattan accounting firm: "We're more than willing to live with the tax cap."
Losquadro said Hayes missed at least 10 of the board's 24 meetings in the past year, which Hayes does not dispute. Hayes said he was out of town for three months last year because of a work assignment.
"I was in contact regularly" with village officials while away, Hayes said. "A lot of work gets done behind the scenes. I was totally informed and up to speed about what was going on."
Losquadro responded, "That's not the way government is supposed to be run, over the telephone . . . This guy doesn't show up for the meetings, I don't know why he's running."
Losquadro said he sued the village last year because a building inspection at his home was "unconstitutional." The inspection led to charges that Losquadro's shed and dog run violated the building code. He said he has appealed his conviction on those charges and has not paid the $2,750 in fines.
Mayor Bruce Kennedy, who supports Hayes and Powell, said the lawsuit was "frivolous."