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Brightwaters mayor’s race could open up trustee seat

Trustee John Valdini is running against Mayor Joseph McDermott for the two-year term as mayor.

The Village of Brightwaters Vilage Hall is shown

The Village of Brightwaters Vilage Hall is shown in March 2017. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

A Brightwaters village trustee is challenging the incumbent mayor in the June 19 election.

Trustee John Valdini is running against Mayor Joseph McDermott for a two-year term as mayor in a race that could open up a board seat.

Valdini, 60, is running on the Unification party line with the candidates for two open trustee seats: incumbent trustee Carmine Chiappetta and candidate Michael Dopsovic. If Valdini is elected mayor, an appointee would fill his vacant trustee seat until his current term expires next year.

McDermott, 50, is seeking his third term as mayor and is running on the Brightwaters Party line. The iron worker announced in April that he would not run for reelection because of personal matters but said he decided to get into the race after the issues, which he did not detail publicly, were resolved.

McDermott said village finances have turned around during his tenure, noting Brightwaters has been removed from the state comptroller’s fiscal stress list and has received an AA+ bond rating from the Standard & Poor’s ratings agency.

McDermott said he wants to create a new highway building and get grants to improve Concourse East bulkheads. He said he is seeking more parking in the downtown, known as Four Corners, and to build up the village’s fund balance for future projects or emergencies.

Valdini owns Dukes Development Corp. construction company and is a partner in fatfish Wine Bar & Bistro in Bay Shore. He said he helped start the Brightwaters Business Association about eight years ago.

Valdini said he wants to overhaul the village website to make it more user-friendly and communicate with residents about long-term plans through a quarterly newsletter and social media. Valdini said he would seek to increase oversight of rental houses and lower the village speed limit to 25 mph. He is looking to restore the cabin at Wohseepee Park, which is used for a day camp and has not been renovated in years, using volunteers.

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