Last Tuesday, the residents of Mineola came out to Village Hall for Election Day and decided to reelect Mayor Scott Strauss and trustees George Durham and Dennis Walsh for another term. Strauss, Durham and Walsh, who all belong to the New Line Party, will be on the village board for the next four years.
“It is gratifying to know that so many residents came out to vote this past Tuesday, showing support for our leadership of the village,” said Strauss. “This is a very exciting time for Mineola, and we are honored to be able to continue playing a role in securing a bright future for our beloved village.”
Strauss said that the village board will continue to focus on bringing in new businesses, restaurants and services to downtown Mineola as part of its revitalization.
“We will also continue to improve our aging infrastructure while delivering the high standard of services and events our fellow residents deserve and have grown accustomed to,” continued Strauss. “And of course, we will continue to provide sound, responsible fiscal oversight to village budgets to keep our taxes as low as possible.”
This election brought up a plethora of topics within the village such as the disagreement of downtown development, water quality, tax breaks and infrastructure.
For the first time ever, Strauss faced opposition for the mayoral seat. Former mayor and trustee Larry Werther ran against Strauss this time around but ultimately lost when Strauss managed to garner 1,006 votes compared to Werther’s 511 votes.
“I am exceptionally disappointed that the [voter] turnout was low,” said Werther. “The results were disturbing to see. It bothers me.”
Werther said that there are currently 13,422 registered voters within the village but only approximately 1,500 voters came out. However, in light of the results, Werther said that he called and offered his congratulations to Strauss, wishing him and his trustees well.
Werther, who would be 69 years old when the next election rolls around in 2022, says he doesn’t think he will run for the mayoral seat again.
Strauss was not the only one who faced opposition for his village seat. Trustees Durham and Walsh were challenged by husband and wife duo, Regis and Cristi Gallet who are also the owners of the Recovery Room Bar and Grill that is located near the Mineola train station.
Durham received 951 votes while Walsh received 992. Regis Gallet managed to snag 528 votes while Cristi Gallet received a slight uptick in votes with 536.
Durham said that he’s thankful to see that residents came out to vote in favor of the work that the current board is doing.
“They saw through the misinformation and scare tactics of the mayor’s opponent and his party and elected us to represent them for the next four years,” said Durham. “Mr. Werther has now officially lost to everyone on the current board spanning three elections. More important, is the support and positive reinforcement from the residents that we are doing right by them. They know we are addressing the finances of the village in a way that benefits all, paying down debt and continuing the practice of not borrowing against our kids’ future like the county and town continue to do and keeping taxes flat.”
Durham went on to say that the 1, 4 Dioxane that is currently in the village’s water supply are in low parts per billion with no consistency when the water was tested.
“It is a soap-based chemical,” said Durham. “People washing their cars or blowing bubbles with their kids or grandkids are adding it to the ground water unfortunately. Right now there is no way of removing it from the water. We have put three million dollars from the Development Incentive Bonus Funds to address future water issues in the village as they develop.”
Durham finished by saying that he thinks everyone will love the village’s walkable downtown as businesses and restaurants begin to fill the area once construction is finished.
Walsh also thanked the residents of Mineola for voting and for having confidence in the entire village board.
“It has been a pleasure to serve the Mineola community for the past five years,” said Walsh. “I will continue to work hard to keep things progressing in a positive direction. We need to stay with the idea of ‘pay as we go’ in an effort to keep taxes low. We also need to keep in mind that the most important area in the village is the space outside our homes. We will not let you down.”
The only person who didn’t face any opposition during the election was Judge John P. O’Shea who ran for reelection as village justice. O’Shea received 1,196 votes. Serving as village justice since 1996, O’Shea will once again preside over one of the busiest village courts in Nassau.