Brightwaters vote: status quo vs. time for change
In the Village of Brightwaters, one trustee running for re-election Tuesday wants to keep the village on its current course, while another incumbent trustee and a challenger want to consider some fresh ideas, most notably gearing programs to the growing demographic of young families.
Trustee Charles Fischer, the proponent of the status quo, is on the ballot with fellow incumbent Mary Susan Belford and challenger Frank Maffucci for a pair of two-year seats. Mayor Joseph A. McNulty is running unopposed for re-election.
"We haven't raised taxes in 10 years, and we also have no debt. That probably makes us one of the top villages in the state," said Fischer, who has served as trustee and chief financial officer for the village for the past 10 years and as deputy mayor for the past four.
Fischer was vice president of finance for HSBC for three years and occupied the same role at JPMorgan Chase for 20 years. He left the banking industry last year and now works as a project manager for Brightwaters-based B.J.L. Electric, a commercial electrical business. He holds a bachelor of science degree in management with a minor in finance from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University and an MBA from Dowling College. He served three years on the village planning board and six years as vice president of the Bay Shore Brightwaters Little League.
Fischer, a third-generation Brightwaters resident, said his top priorities are maintaining the village's financial stability, improving its parks and continuing to repave roads.
Maffucci, a local business owner, is calling on the village government to become more transparent, and said the board of trustees - and its priorities - should reflect the village's changing demographics.
"There are more young families now," he said, adding he'd like to see improvements to the village's website and upgrades to village parks, many of which he said have been unchanged for decades.
Maffucci attended Uniondale High School and owns and operates Alltech Security & Communication Systems, a business based in Brightwaters that installs home and business security systems, home theaters and communication systems.
"We need to enter this century," he said, noting he would like to create more opportunities for residents to ask questions and submit feedback by e-mail and through the village website. He said the village should better educate residents on the building permit application process, and allow residents to check their application status online.
Maffucci was a founding member of the village's beautification society and served on the committee that developed and implemented a plan to combat erosion around village lakes after Hurricane Gloria knocked down lakeside trees.
Belford, a drug and alcohol counselor for Smithtown's Horizons Counseling & Education Center, has served on the Brightwaters board for 15 years and, as the trustee of lakes and parks, chairs the Brightwaters Improvement Group.
After overseeing improvements to Wohseepee Park, she said, she would next focus on new playground equipment for Walker Beach and a cleanup of the sand and seaweed.
Belford, who holds a bachelor of arts in history from Molloy College, is a former Bay Shore High School PTA president. She said she would push for energy-efficiency initiatives and more family-oriented activities, such as a pilot reading program for preschool children scheduled for next month. A lifetime resident of the village, she said she would like to see "new people involved in the village. New ideas are great."
Voting will be Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 48 Seneca Dr.