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In Bellport, taxes a big issue for 3 village board candidates

Bellport Village Hall is shown on June 10,

Bellport Village Hall is shown on June 10, 2013. Credit: Brittany Wait

Putting an end to increasing taxes is one issue three candidates vying for two open trustee seats in Bellport Village can all agree on.

Challenger Steven Mackin, 40, a 35-year village resident, is running on the Forward Party line. He is married with three children and is a firefighter with the Bellport Fire Department. He works for a company that sells sirens and voice alert systems to law enforcement.

He graduated from New York Institute of Technology with an electronics degree in 1998. He believes more conservative budgetary decisions need to be made.

“I want to keep taxes low and increase revenue,” Mackin said.

Earlier this year, the village board adopted a budget that increased taxes 3.5 percent, to $3.7 million.

In addition to protecting waterways and the Great South Bay, Mackin said public service is something all village residents should consider.

S. David Smith, 67, a 38-year village resident, is running on the Fairwind Party line. He is married with two children. He previously worked as a physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

A self-proclaimed inventor, Smith said his career included being involved in the early development of the MRI, for which he holds a “significant patent.”

Smith graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1971. He also obtained a master’s degree and doctoral degrees in physics from the same institution.

Among his top priorities are to stop tax increases.

“Let’s face it, nobody wants to see their taxes increase,” Smith said.

Smith also wants to create a more transparent budget, making residents more aware of where money is being spent.

Beyond that issue, Smith said he’s not in favor of short-term rentals and that the village should strengthen code enforcement efforts.

Joseph Gagliano, 70, a 44-year village resident, is running on the Bellport Village Voice Party line. He is married with two children. He retired as a principal in the Eastport school district in 2002.

He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in clinical psychology in 1968 and earned a New York State public education certificate from Hofstra University in 1970.

Hand-picked by Mayor Ray Fell to run for trustee, Gagliano has been the co-chairman of the village’s water commission for the past 12 years and has worked on various projects with the village historical society.

At age 24, he said was the youngest principal on Long Island at what was then Eastport Elementary and High School.

To decrease taxes and generate revenue, he said he would create a “zombie” house registry that would fine absentee homeowners of abandoned homes.

Gagliano also wants to better preserve the Great South Bay by installing more catch basins with filters and would create a villagewide Facebook account and email list to improve communication with residents.

“It’s easily done in this day and age,” Gagliano said.

The election is Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bellport Community Center, 4 Bell St.

All terms are two years.

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