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Two challengers, two incumbents vie for Manorhaven village trustee seats

Two incumbent trustees seeking re-election in Manorhaven are facing a challenger who says the village needs his financial expertise and another calling for a return to basics in the race for two two-year at-large board seats.

Incumbents Lucretia Steele and Rita DiLucia are running under the Manorhaven Revival Party banner against James M. Avena and John S. Popeleski of the Manorhaven Residents Party.

Steele is an independent seeking her third term and has been deputy mayor since 2013. DiLucia is serving her fourth term and said she has no national party affiliation. Avena is an independent and Popeleski a registered Republican. The board consists of four trustees and the mayor. Trustees are paid $3,000 a year.

Steele, 66, has lived in the village for four years and for 30 years was a New York City special education teacher. She has a master's degree in education and Spanish from Queens College and is an exam proctor for the Vincent Smith School in Port Washington.

"We have the village on such firm ground and our finances are excellent," Steele said, noting a comprehensive plan is being developed that includes strategies for maintaining viable residential and business areas in the village.

DiLucia, 47, is a 20-year resident of the village and graduate of Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington. She has an associate degree in business and works as an education assistant in the Port Washington school district.

Avena, 71, said Manorhaven needs help conducting village business. Avena, a former president of Cantor Fitzgerald, has an accounting degree from Long Island University. He has lived in the village for five years and unsuccessfully ran for trustee in 2012 and 2013. Last year he made a bid for mayor.

"I have a strong financial background," Avena said. "I think the village needs to review all of its expenses."

Popeleski, 55, is a graduate of Carle Place High School who has been a Port Washington firefighter for 15 years and is president of its Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1. He ran unsuccessfully for trustee last year and has lived in Manorhaven for 16 years.

"You've got to start at your basics," Popeleski said. "If you don't, the budget will be blown apart." He said his 30 years managing water and sewer operations for Port Washington and Mineola taught him about maintaining infrastructure.

Voting will be June 16, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Village Hall.

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