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Long IslandPolitics

No decision in Flower Hill on who will succeed outgoing mayor

Elaine Phillips, is seen awaiting election results from

Elaine Phillips, is seen awaiting election results from Nassau GOP headquarters in Westbury, late in the evening, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

Officials in Flower Hill have not disclosed who will succeed Mayor Elaine Phillips, who was elected this week to the State Senate, or when the transition will happen.

On Tuesday, Phillips, a Republican, defeated Democrat Adam Haber in a close race for the 7th District Senate seat vacated by state Sen. Jack Martins (R-Old Westbury), who ran unsuccessfully for Congress.

In March, Phillips, 56, was re-elected to a third two-year term as village mayor. Two days after her Senate victory, she declined to discuss a succession plan, including shifts in the village board.

“No reason to respond — we don’t owe Newsday anything,” Phillips wrote Thursday in an email.

Village employees said they were not authorized to talk to the media, a reversal of previous policy. Village Clerk Ronnie Shatzkamer said the succession plans were up to the board of trustees and that employees could not discuss policy matters.

“We cannot speak for the board of trustees. It’s their decision,” Shatzkamer said.

Six trustees and the mayor serve on the village board. It is unknown whether Deputy Mayor Robert McNamara will step up to fill the vacancy. McNamara also did not respond to a request for comment.

A village employee said it was possible the matter would be discussed at an upcoming board meeting. The next one is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m.

The village code does not appear to include provisions for succession plans.

As mayor, Phillips has told Newsday that she reformed the ethics policy, planted hundreds of trees post-superstorm Sandy and exercised solid fiscal management.

The State Senate, which now counts 31 Democrats and 31 Republicans, reconvenes in January. During Phillips’ campaign, she said she would work to address Long Island’s heroin epidemic, reduce property taxes and boost school funding.


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