The race for two seats on the Babylon Village board of trustees pits two incumbents against one challenger in an election that threatens the Better Babylon Party’s longtime control of village government.
Trustees Kevin S. Muldowney, 72, and Mary E. Adams, 55, are campaigning on the Better Babylon Party ticket against Joan Crockett, 69, the former village treasurer of 10 years, who is running as a member of the Babylon Tax Party.
Crockett said she wants to improve financial management and make government more transparent. The election is March 21.
“The village is a beautiful place, but it’s not perfect,” said Crockett, a retired accountant who also briefly worked in the Babylon Town Comptroller’s Office. Chief among her concerns is how the village treasury is run, Crockett said.
“They constantly overestimate expenses and underestimate revenue,” she said, citing a budget surplus of around $2.5 million at the beginning of the current fiscal year.
She also said the village has been slow to file financial disclosures to the state and to commission independent audits. The Village Board accepted its latest financial audit — for its 2014-2015 fiscal year — at a meeting this month, according to the Village Clerk’s Office.
Muldowney, a trustee of 28 years who also serves as the deputy mayor, attributed the delay to the extensive paperwork that accompanied the complex and costly cleanup from superstorm Sandy. “The treasurer’s office was just inundated with reports and paperwork,” he said.
Muldowney also noted that the village has not raised taxes in the past two years.
As for the budget surplus, Adams said that much of it went into a reserve fund.
Adams, a real estate broker, was appointed by Mayor Ralph Scordino in July after former trustee Carol Amelia resigned.
Adams said she has taken on a number of responsibilities since her appointment, including overseeing the village’s parks, summer concert series and children’s programs, and the greenhouse and tree-planting program.
Muldowney, a retired telecommunications technician, oversees the village’s nine-hole golf course, the 440 boat slips it rents to residents, and the village government’s IT and communications networks.
Babylon Mayor Ralph Scordino and the board’s two other trustees are also members of the Better Babylon Party. Crockett said single-party control of the board and mayor’s office has reduced public debate on local issues and obscured the decision-making process.
Trustees rarely cast dissenting votes or debate resolutions at board meetings, she noted.
Adams said the mayor and other village officials have an “open-door policy.” Muldowney added that his party’s years in power have benefited the community.
“We’ve become one of the most desirable places to live on the South Shore,” he said. “It all happens for a reason.”