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Mastic Beach's new mayor plans to transform downtown, vows more decorum at village meetings

Town Hall in the Village of Mastic Beach

Town Hall in the Village of Mastic Beach is shown in this 2011 file photo. Credit: Carl Corry

Newly elected Mastic Beach Mayor Maura Spery wants to revitalize downtown by bringing in commercial development, creating a village comprehensive development plan, and determining how to use and develop a 6-mile stretch of waterfront property.

"We want active businesses and we want people to walk the streets and feel safe and shop," said Spery, 55, citing Patchogue's downtown transformation as an example of what she hopes to accomplish.

Spery, who campaigned on The New Horizons Party slate, was elected the village's third mayor Wednesday night, defeating former village clerk Virgilia Gross and Hauppauge attorney Joseph Johnson. Spery received 601 votes to win the mayoral race. Totals for Gross and Johnson weren't immediately available.

Among the immediate changes residents will notice is that public meetings will be conducted with more decorum, Spery promised Thursday morning.

Elected as a trustee last March, Spery must give up her post before taking on her mayoral duties April 7. Spery said she would appoint someone to finish out the last year of her old position.

Her New Horizons Party line running mate Anne Snyder, 46, was also elected a trustee with 669 votes, along with Christopher Anderson, 31, of The New Wave Party slate, who received 653 votes. They beat out Darrin Harsch of The New Wave Party slate and Joseph Knight of The New Horizons Party line.

Spery's administration could have a 4-1 advantage on the board if she appoints a trustee who sides with her, a stark contrast to the 3-2 board of outgoing Mayor Bill Biondi.

During her campaign, Spery vowed to work to limit the number of registered sex offenders living in Mastic Beach. She said she also plans to retain Susan Alevas as village clerk, a mayor-appointed position.

"She's been great. There's been such change since she was brought on," Spery said.

Snyder said she needs time to get acquainted with the board before concentrating on helping residents get their NY Rising money in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy and getting a comprehensive development plan for the village off the ground.

"We need to move our village forward and have an inclusive government," Snyder said. "I'm ready to go."

Spery said she's excited to get started.

"I never thought I would be mayor," Spery said. "But I've worked tirelessly for nine years to make Mastic Beach better. I'm not going to stop trying to make it better."

Anderson said winning as trustee had yet to sink in Thursday. "It was a little shocking," he said, adding that he wants to make changes to the building department.

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