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WPOA Annual Resident Electors Meeting, January 15

Nominating Committee reports selection of

candidates for village and school boards

The Western Property Owners Association (WPOA) will hold its Annual Resident Electors’ Meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Homestead School. Nominating Committee Chairman Maureen Traxler will present the committee’s selection for village and school board candidates. Following WPOA procedures, Western residents will vote on the committee’s nominees.

In light of the devastation of the Garden City tree population as a result of Super Storm Sandy, the WPOA has invited an arborist to speak at the January meeting about various kinds of trees, their hardiness and root systems, as well as the proper care of trees, and replanting options.

Nominating Committee’s Report

Upon accepting John Watras resignation from his current position as trustee and his request to be considered for the office of mayor, the nine-member nominating committee unanimously selected Deputy Mayor John Watras for the position of mayor of the Incorporated Village of Garden City, a two-year term beginning in April 2013. The committee also selected Robert Bolebruch for the remaining one year of the village trustee seat vacated by Mr. Watras. In addition, Barbara Trapasso was selected to serve a fourth term as school board trustee, beginning in July 2013.

Mr. Watras has served as a village trustee from the Western Section for the past nine years. During that time, he has served in many capacities, including trustee liaison to the Garden City Police and Fire Departments, the Garden City Public Library, The Garden City Historical Society, and the Environmental Advisory Board among others, and has held the board position of finance chairman. Several years ago, along with his fellow Western Section Trustee Gerry Lundquist, he proposed and helped establish the volunteer Citizens Budget Review Committee. He joined the Western Property Owners Association in 1995, and prior to his election to the village board of trustees, served in various directors’ positions and as WPOA president.

Mr. Watras has worked in the securities industry since 1986. A graduate of Hofstra University with a Business Administration degree, he became a director of The New York Stock Exchange in 1994. He is currently a partner and managing director for Concept Capital Markets LLC. During his career, his responsibilities have included institutional sales and money management for corporations, and he held compliance and principal responsibilities on the trading desk for Blackford Securities Corp.

Mr. Watras and his wife Beth moved to Garden City in 1994. They have two children, Jonathan and Melissa, who attended Garden City schools. Mr. Watras serves as chairman of the development committee for Little Village School, and is a member of the board of directors of the Tanners Pond Environmental Center\Garden City Bird Sanctuary.

“Our purpose is to serve the people, and that will be done in a professional and business-like manner,” under his leadership on the board of trustees, Mr. Watras assures residents. He said that as mayor, he would like to focus on the village budget, succession planning for executive staff, reviewing request for proposal responses for the positions of village counsel and auditor, addressing the St. Paul’s issue, and hearing from the village’s senior population. “It’s all about protecting and enhancing residents’ equity in the Garden City community,” he told the nominating committee.

Robert Bolebruch has been a resident of Garden City for 18 years. He has been a member of the WPOA since 1995; was a director for 10 years, and served as president for two years. He is once again a WPOA director and serves as membership chairman. He was recently appointed by Mayor Don Brudie as a member of the village Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs.

Mr. Bolebruch has long been active with the community’s young people. He has coached boys basketball and baseball and girls softball teams; served as a director of the Garden City Athletic Association for 14 years; established the GCAA Field Hockey Clinic; was president of the GCAA Softball League, and served as a director (9 years) and as president (three years) of the Garden City High School Scholarship Committee.

A graduate of SUNY New Paltz with a bachelor’s degree in economics/business, Mr. Bolebruch has been employed in the securities industry since 1987, and is currently branch manager at American Portfolios.

“As the nominee of the WPOA nominating committee, I look forward to not only representing the residents of the West, but also taking into consideration the views and ideas of all of the residents of the Garden City community,” remarked Bolebruch.

Barbara Trapasso is currently serving in her ninth year on the Garden City Board of Education, with the last four years as vice-president. Before serving as a school board trustee, Mrs. Trapasso was a director with the WPOA for several years. She also coordinated boys soccer for many years for both the Centennials and the GCAA, and ran the Father’s Day Tournament.

Mrs. Trapasso has bachelor’s and J.D. degrees, and has worked for 25 years as a real estate attorney in Manhattan specializing in title and financing arrangements involving single- and multi-state national real estate transactions ranging from single family dwellings to complex commercial and industrial developments.

The mother of a Garden City High School graduate now attending SUNY Geneseo and two other children in the Garden City school system, Mrs. Trapasso says she is “up for the challenge of maintaining fiscal responsibility while ensuring that the education of the children remains top notch.”

In addition to the chairman, the WPOA Nominating Committee members included Bill Allen, Ralph Aquino, Germaine Greco, Maureen Lyons, Mike Ryder, Bill Sollins, Richard Vallely and Gloria Weinrich.

The Western Section of Garden City is bordered on the north by the main line of the LIRR, on the east by the west side of Tanners Pond and Edgemere Roads, on the south by Cambridge Avenue and on the west by Jefferson Street. Please visit the WPOA website at www.gcwpoa.com.