Candidates for two seats in Port’s Water Pollution Control District run uncontested

Jessica Parks
Melanie Cassens and Arduino Marinelli both win their unopposed elections. (Photos courtesy of Melanie Cassens and Arduino Marinelli)

Two seats on the Port Washington Water Pollution Control District’s Board of Commissioners are up for election on Tuesday. Neither has an incumbent candidate.

Lifetime Port resident Melanie Cassens and local business owner Arduino Marinelli are both running unopposed in their respective elections.

Cassens is seeking a two-year term to sit in the place of her father, John Olszewski, who died in July. His seat has been vacant since.

Marinelli, the owner of DiMaggio’s Trattoria on Main Street, hopes to be elected for a three-year term on the three-member board. He is running for the seat of Richard Marra, who is not seeking re-election.

Both candidates suspect that not many residents know that the district even exists.

According to its website, the water pollution control district protects groundwater by providing sewage treatment services. 

Cassen said that even with her father being a board member for many years, she still was not completely versed in the district’s functions. Once he died, she wanted to know what he was so interested in, so she began attending meetings.

Marinelli said that the operations of the water pollution control district are something that has “always caught his interest” and he has also been attending board meetings. 

Cassens hopes that with her background in communication she will be able to design campaigns to help residents gain knowledge of just how important this entity is to the everyday life of the residents of Port Washington.

“We live in a town that is surrounded by this wonderful bay that could easily be polluted if we don’t protect it,” she said.

Marinelli believes that his experience as a business owner will be helpful in the position.

“Business is business and I am just hoping to add to that,” he said.

He said that the water pollution control district is very well run already.

Cassens attested to this view and said she hopes to keep operations running smoothly. 

She said she believes a new set of eyes can be helpful to any government organization.

Voting will take place at the Polish American Hall from noon to 9 p.m.

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