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Woodsburgh election sees 3 candidates for 2 trustee seats

Candidates for Woodsburgh Village trustee said they want to maintain the municipality’s quality of life and charm, especially in the face of potential residential development of the Woodmere Club, a golf club.

Three candidates in the June 20 election are running for two open seats on the village board. The top two vote-getters will win the seats. Each term lasts two years. Trustees are not paid, according to the village clerk.

Incumbents Gary Goffner and Jacob “Jake” Harman are running for re-election on the “Friends of the Village” party slate with incumbent Mayor Lee Israel, who is running unopposed.

Jeffrey Smith, who moved to the village about three years ago, is running for a trustee spot on the “Unity Party” slate.

The three trustee candidates each said they would look into the possibility that the Woodmere Club could be developed into homes, which they said has become a contentious issue in the village. While the club itself lies outside of Woodsburgh, the village board may have to vote to approve future actions.

Goffner, 52, is running for his third term. He currently serves as the deputy mayor. He has lived in Woodsburgh for 20 years and is the chairman of the board of trustees for Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn. He also owns a Brooklyn pharmacy.

Goffner said he and the current board of trustees have worked to beautify Woodsburgh by adding new lighting, plantings, and updated street and village signage. The board also collaborated with nearby villages to get full-time police coverage from retired officers who patrol the area.

“I’d like to continue to make it a safer, cleaner community,” he said.

Harman, 62, is also running for his third term on the village board. He was previously the Woodsburgh budget officer, an appointed position, for six years. He is the vice president of business affairs and chief financial officer at Yeshiva University in Manhattan. He has lived in Woodsburgh for more than 20 years.

Harman noted the board has not raised taxes for the past four years. He said he’s worked on safety issues in the village, including the retired patrol force and license plate reader cameras.

“We’re enhancing the village without putting any additional burden on village residents,” he said.

Smith, 31, is running for the first time. He moved to Woodsburgh from Manhattan and works in real estate operations and asset management.

Smith said his goal is to give back to a community that welcomed him when he moved into it. He said he wants to see if there are ways to reduce taxes in Woodsburgh, upgrade infrastructure and look into expanding cable providers in the village.

“I think that people have done a great job so far, but I think new eyes would be a good thing,” he said.

Voting is at the Keystone Yacht Club, 190 Woodmere Blvd. South in Woodmere, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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