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Issues in Port Jefferson's election include the village's long-term comprehensive plan

Incumbent Margot Garant, left, and challenger Dave Forgione

Incumbent Margot Garant, left, and challenger Dave Forgione are running for Port Jefferson Village mayor. Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo

Two candidates are vying for Port Jefferson Village's top job and three others are seeking two trustee seats in next week's elections.

Incumbent Mayor Margot Garant of the Unity Party and newcomer David Forgione of the Community Party agree on the village's most pressing issue: that the Port Jefferson power plant shouldn't be shuttered to keep property taxes down.

But they clash on other matters, including a proposed 30-year village comprehensive plan and taxes.

Forgione, 51, has lived in Port Jefferson for 15 years and is part of the school district's budget advisory committee. He owns Fast File Inc., a medical billing and accounting business based in the village.

"I'm unhappy. We've been piercing the property tax cap every year," Forgione said, adding that taxes have ballooned 35 percent in recent years.

He also said the village board didn't follow Suffolk County Planning Commission's recommendations for the village's 2030 comprehensive plan.

Garant, 51, who has been mayor for six years, disagreed.

She said property taxes have increased 27 percent under her watch because of the state-mandated 2 percent cap, rising pension costs and reduced revenue from mortgage taxes.

The mayor said board members agreed to some of the county's recommendations for the comprehensive plan, such as conducting a climate control study and hiring an economist to measure the economic impact on the village without the power plant.

The future of the power plant, which is owned by National Grid and accounts for about 30 percent of the village's property tax revenue, is uncertain.

An incumbent, Laurence LaPointe, a former Suffolk County assistant district attorney, and newcomer Stanley Loucks, 75, are running for trustee on the Unity Party line. Challenger Matthew Franco is campaigning on the Village First line.

LaPointe, 65, elected in 2011, touts the repaving of several roads on his watch and said he wants to clean up downtown properties in hopes of transforming them into tax-generating properties.

Loucks spent 34 years as an educator, mainly as director of athletics for Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District.

Newcomer Matthew Franco, 48, is a pediatric occupational therapist who has lived in the village for 11 years. He said the village was losing its small-town feel.

Voting is Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Village Center, 101-A East Broadway.


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