Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 28 January 2011 00:00
Don’t pencil in Larry Werther on the ballot in March just yet Mineola. As Bob Dylan said, ‘the times, they are a changin.’
In an exclusive interview with the Mineola American, current-mayor Larry Werther said he would not run for mayor in March when his term ends. Werther had been deputy mayor under current 7th Senate District Senator Jack Martins since 2003. Werther was sworn in as mayor on Dec. 15, 2010.
Werther stated that he would in fact run for trustee in March. He would not say if he knew who will be running for mayor.
Current trustees Tom Kennedy and Paul Pereira have stated in the past that they’re not interested in running for the seat, as well as Paul Cusato. New trustee Scott Strauss has not stated whether he would run or not.
Werther said that he does want to be mayor, but his obligations as a financial advisor have taken a toll on his role as mayor. He said he used to have sales meetings Wednesday nights and his company moved them to Tuesday nights to accommodate him.
“I can’t do the job I’d like to do [in Mineola],” Werther said. “But I can continue to be the watchdog I’ve always been. I will hopefully continue to serve the people of this village and I’m certain at some point in the future that I may try to get back in the mayor’s office, but right now there’s a conflict.”
In what Werther called one of the more difficult decisions he’s had to make, he said he didn’t want to short-change the village. “I will not stop being what I am, which is a fixture in this village, but as mayor, it won’t work at this time,” he said.
Going forward until March, Werther wants to put together a balanced budget for Mineola. He said that’s something he feels is necessary even though his term is ending.
“We as a village have to put together a balanced budget,” he said. “Until the beginning of February, we won’t know the status of state aid, so that’s one of the elements that is weighing heavily on us. There are certain things I will put into place that should’ve been put in a long time ago.”
In terms of the budget, Werther said the village would review fees and fines among other things. He said he wants to minimize impact on the taxpayers of Mineola.
“The whole point about making Mineola a destination is big and has always been big for me,” he said. “How much I can get done until March will be tough, but I’ll make sure it’s a busy two months for me.”
Werther said that he wants to keep a “steady hand on the rudder of the village going forward; whether it was myself as mayor or someone else is immaterial.”
With no clear candidate for mayor, it’s shaping up to be an interesting next two months for the village of Mineola. “I still want to be mayor,” Werther said. “The desire is there, but my sense of obligation and my sense of duty to the people of Mineola overrides my desire of sitting in the mayor’s chair.”
He concluded that he hopes the residents of Mineola will feel fit to return him to the board as trustee in March.