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Mastic Beach voters to elect a mayor for 3rd time in 4½ years

Mayor Bill Biondi is shown in Mastic Beach

Mayor Bill Biondi is shown in Mastic Beach on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

The political carousel in Mastic Beach will roll around once more as the village will vote for mayor for the third time in 4½ years.

Neither village Mayor Bill Biondi nor the board's two incumbents -- Nick Busa and Gary Stiriz -- are seeking additional two-year terms in the March 18 elections.

That leaves freshman board members Maura Spery and Bruce Summa, both elected last March, as the senior members of the trustee board.

Biondi said there have been disappointments and setbacks while leading the village.

"People on the board would rather fight with each other and I'm tired of it," the mayor said in an interview.

A revolving door of leadership has plagued the village since it was incorporated in August 2010. Paul Breschard, who helped organize the village's code enforcement and public works departments, was elected as its inaugural mayor only to resign midway through his first term.

Three candidates are vying for mayor, while four contestants are running for two trustee seats.

In the village's top job, Spery, who would give up her trustee seat if elected mayor, faces former village clerk Virgilia Gross and Hauppauge attorney Joseph Johnson.

Spery, 55, campaigning on The New Horizons Party line, said she will conduct meetings and hearings with more decorum and will fight to limit the number of registered sex offenders who can live in the village.

Gross, 53, who resigned as village clerk in 2013 after two years to pursue other opportunities, is running on the Positive Possibilities Party line. She has an associate degree in paralegal sciences from Suffolk County Community College.

"I plan to increase property values," eliminate blight and start a village tax-abatement program for first-time home buyers, Gross said.

Johnson, 32, graduated from Stony Brook University in 2004 with a business administration degree, is running on The New Wave Party slate. He has a law degree from Touro Law Center.

He said he's concerned about the village's decreasing surplus and wants to attract more businesses. If elected, he "would bring organization and structure to the village."

Of the trustee candidates, Joseph Knight, 60, is running on The New Horizons Party line. He has an associate degree in liberal arts from Suffolk Community College and has owned Joseph Knight Plumbing and Heating for 33 years.

"We want a village comprehensive plan and I'm going to work on bringing sewers and natural gas in order to bring new businesses and restaurants and boardwalks along the marina," Knight said.

Anne Snyder, 46, running on the New Horizons Party line, graduated from William Floyd High School and is a researcher for private attorneys.

"I want to concentrate on helping residents get their New York Rising money and help get a comprehensive plan," she said.

Christopher Anderson, 31, running on The New Wave Party line, graduated from Eastport High school in 2002. He owns Center Moriches-based Anderson Air, a heating and air conditioning business.

"I want to place a focus on the building department. I want to make the process for building permits faster and more efficient," Anderson said, adding that he lost his home in superstorm Sandy.

Darrin Harsch, 48, running on The New Wave Party slate, "has been in a supervisory position at Home Depot for over 14 years and helped open the Shirley store," his online campaign page read. He was unavailable for comment.

Polling is at the Mastic Beach Fire House, 265 Neighborhood Rd., from noon to 9 p.m.

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