Written by Rich Forestano: firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 13 April 2012 00:00
While last year’s election race for board of trustees seats in Mineola ended with one new mayor and one trustee, 2012’s tallies came and went without much of a fight, with two current staples on the board running unopposed, certifying their spots on the board for another term.
The Village of Mineola held its Organization Night on, Monday, April 2. With approximately 100 people in attendance, which included Legislator Rich Nicolello, State Senator Jack Martins, village justice John O’Shea, two familiar faces were sworn into the board, along with Acting Village Justice Richard M. O’Callaghan.
New Line Party representative Paul Pereira and Hometown Party mainstay Paul Cusato accepted their oaths in the community center. Dubbed the “Two Pauls,” the duo revealed their intention to seek re-election to the Mineola American on Jan. 11.
The New Line Party currently holds a 4-1 majority on the board. Martins swore in Pereira, while Cusato took the oath from former Village Trustee and current Nassau County Court Judge Scott Fairgrieve. O’Callaghan was sworn in by his daughter Jane.
Cusato, a longtime and current active member of the Mineola Fire Department, was first elected to the board of trustees in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2008. He will serve his fifth consecutive term. The current board consists of Pereira, Cusato, trustees George Durham, Larry Werther and Mayor Scott Strauss.
“Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to attend this event,” Cusato said addressing the crowd. “I’m ready to serve my fifth term as village trustee. I am honored and privileged to serve in this capacity for this great and wonderful village and these great and wonderful people who support this village.”
Pereira, who was elected in 2008, will serve his third consecutive term. He was designated deputy mayor after being sworn in.
These two village board veterans have overseen the development of many key undertakings in the village. Pereira and Cusato have been at the forefront of the proposed $60 million Winthrop Facility on Second Street, the saga of the Winston Manor project, the development of Station Plaza and the Bruce Terrace Flood Remediation Initiative currently taking shape.
“Thank you for being here tonight,” said Pereira, continuing, stating that his speech was heavily influenced by Mineola Golden Age Club President Lillian Barnola.
“We got on the topic of Organization Night and what my speech would be about and I made a joke about what I would say,” Pereira said, smiling at Barnola. “She said, ‘just get up there and say thank you, that’s all you have to say.’ Well Lillian you hit it right on the head. What else can I say? That’s what I was planning on saying until Lillian said it so I didn’t want to be accused of stealing her speech so I rewrote a whole other speech.”
Cusato and Pereira have more in common than their first names; both are graduates of Mineola High School (Pereira in 1989 and Cusato in 1966). In fact, Cusato is one of the founding members of the Mineola High School Alumni Foundation and Pereira is currently a history teacher at the school and the coach of the boys soccer team.
“Working for you, the residents of Mineola, [Cusato and Pereira] and the rest of us want to give back to the community, to a group of people, that have given so much to us throughout our lives,” Strauss stated. “Thank you for returning the Two Pauls” to their seats. We have many challenges ahead of us and we need them both.”