Lindenhurst Village Deputy Mayor Mike Lavorata has been chosen to take over as mayor of the village.
The village board of trustees on Tuesday night accepted the resignation letter of Mayor Tom Brennan, effective Feb. 23. The board then voted to appoint Lavorata as mayor for one year, until an election is held next March for the remaining two years of the term.
Lavorata was sworn in by Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst), who also had once served as deputy mayor for the village. McCaffrey called Brennan a “great inspiration,” but also heaped praise on Lavorata.
“He knows what this community needs and how to get it done,” he said.
Lavorata, 58, is a senior project engineer at Underwriters Laboratories in Melville. He was first elected to the board in 2004, re-elected to his fourth term last year and appointed deputy mayor in January 2014.
Brennan, 66, who was elected to his fourth term last March, stepped down due to health concerns. He told a Newsday reporter in January that he was unsure whether he would be able to complete his term because of his health and was taking things “month to month.” He has had two strokes in recent years and said he had been advised by his doctor to resign.
Brennan was hospitalized on Feb. 20 and remained in the hospital for a week due to a stomach ulcer, said his wife, Diane, who was on hand Tuesday to watch Lavorata’s swearing in. Brennan said her husband was out of the hospital and “doing much better.”
“It’s bittersweet because he would have loved to have fulfilled his term,” she said. “He loved helping the village, he loved the people. But now it’s time for him to take care of his health.”
Brennan said her husband is “so glad that Mike is taking over the gavel” and he expects him to succeed.
Lavorata also called the moment “bittersweet” saying that he had always hoped that Brennan would have literally passed the gavel to him upon retirement.
“Tom has been like a big brother to me,” Lavorata said. “I’ve got some big shoes to fill and if I can fill them even half way, I’ll be happy.”
Lavorata said he will focus on development and revitalization projects, such as the proposed Tritec Real Estate rental complex on Hoffman Avenue, as well as infrastructure improvements.
The village must now fill Lavorata’s position on the board of trustees. Lavorata said he expects to appoint someone at the village’s annual reorganization meeting in April.