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Incumbents Win Run-Off Elections

What’s next for winners and challengers?

The incumbents, in both the mayoral and two trustee elections garnered the winning number of votes and will be on the official village election ballot in March.

John Watras, of the Western run-off, received 206 votes while Larry Quinn earned 103 votes. In the Estates trustee election, John DeMaro secured 335 votes versus the 208 Greg Blair received. In the Eastern trustee run-off Dennis Donnelly earned 441 votes while Francine Ryan garnered 236 votes.

John Watras, though pleased with the results, said that the election was all about fiscal responsibility and doing the right thing for the town, seniors and all residents to preserve the villages’ traditions and enhance new ideas.

“There are no agendas here,” added Watras. “It’s very simple, there’s no animosity. Next step is to move forward.”

Watras’ opponent Larry Quinn advised that he was proud to serve four years as trustee and thanked Watras for his time and effort. He also expressed his disappointment with St. Paul’s.

“I’ve lived here since 1995 and nothing has happened,” added Quinn. “I’d like to see that building used for the next 50 to 100 years. I said what I needed to say. I’m looking forward to being a private citizen and staying active in the village.”

The Estates nominee and run-off winner, John DeMaro extended thanks to his supporters as well as residents. His plans are to continue to make a positive difference as a trustee to improve the quality of life in Garden City. He added that he is committed to cutting costs.

“My goal is to maintain the infrastructure and amenities integral to the character of Garden City,” added DeMaro. “I intend to listen to the residents to make the village a better place to live...with an eye on the budget and keeping taxes as low as possible.”

In response to the campaign and his unsuccessful run, trustee run-off candidate Greg Blair, who has been criticized for missing budget meetings and for not having prior POA involvement, explained why he challenged the process as an outsider.

“I realize I was an outsider and the present system requires working within the system,” said Blair. “I felt I could contribute to the village based on my experience running my own company for 21 years. I believe I presented a different skill set than the other candidate.”

Blair also described himself as a decision maker and was not endeared to the “process.”

“I had the time and I thought ‘carpe diem,’” added Blair. “My taxes have climbed significantly and I want to make a difference.”

In hindsight, Blair acknowledged that he was disappointed in the number of votes he garnered and despite running a professional campaign, he seemed to think voters react to crisis versus opportunity.

“I met more people than I’ve ever met in my life knocking on doors,” said Blair. I now intend to get and stay involved in the Estates POA.”

His first order of business is to attend POA meetings and he has plans to provide alternate ideas based on his years as a business owner and negotiator.

Donnelly, Eastern trustee winner, said that he is pleased to be reelected by the people of the East and is going to work the next couple of years to maintain village services and keep tax rates as reasonable as possible.

His opponent, Ryan a 27-year resident, became disenchanted this summer with the closing of the Clinton Road firehouse in the evening, issues regarding extending the Cathedral Nursery school lease and communication during Hurricane Sandy. These issues prompted her to run for trustee.

In a statement, Ryan congratulated Donnelly on his win and thanked all those who voted for her. She urged residents of the East to become vocally involved in issues facing the village encouraging residents to demand that trustees keep the firehouse on Clinton Road open at night, manned with paid firefighters and assisted by volunteers. Ryan also heeded residents to remind trustees that the rise in taxes could be controlled with the excellent suggestions of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. Lastly, Ryan implored residents to request that BOT and POA meetings be streamed live, or broadcast, so everyone can attend and have input into their government and that the Public Information Committee proactively inform all residents in times of crisis.  

News

Nassau County Police recently arrested former 44-year-old Democratic County Legislator David L. Mejias, of Farmingdale, over allegations he stole a Louis Vuitton purse from the apartment of a 35-year-old Garden City resident.

According to police, on Nov. 13, Mejias entered the female victim’s apartment on Mitchell Field Way and removed the pocketbook from the countertop. Mejias then demanded to know the location of a bangle bracelet that was kept in the bedroom, police said. He then pushed past the victim and removed the bracelet while refusing to leave. The victim then called 911 and summoned the police.

Small businessman finds big success

Anthony DePalma has been manager at Covert Avenue’s Raindew Family Center and Pharmacy for 13 years. Last month, at the 30th Annual Small Businessperson of the Year and Legislative Breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club, DePalma got his much deserved recognition when he was awarded the day’s top honor by the Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce, whose members hail from Stewart Manor and Floral Park.  

“My initial reaction was ‘wow that’s very nice,’ I didn’t realize that it was going to be such a beautiful extravaganza,” said DePalma on winning the award. “They did it very, very well. They had a breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club and everything was done beautifully. It was just done very, very nicely. Very proud.”


Sports

Winter Swim Lesson Registration Announced

The Garden City Recreation Department will be conducting children’s swimming lessons for village residents at the Adelphi University swimming pool in Woodruff Hall on Saturday mornings. Your child must be six years of age by the start of the program to participate. This 10-week session will begin Saturday, Dec. 6. Classes are taught by Red Cross-certified instructors. The cost is $80. These classes are open to residents of the Incorporate Village of Garden City.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.


Calendar

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, December 1

AARP Driver Safety Program

Tuesday, December 2

Here Comes Brother Sun

Friday, December 5



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com