Leslie Fastenberg wins Old Westbury runoff trustee election

Bill San Antonio

Leslie Fastenberg has been declared the winner of a runoff election for a Village of Old Westbury trustee position.

She defeated incumbent trustee Andrew Weinberg, 497-440, and joins new trustees Cory Baker and Marina Chimerine in overtaking the village board’s majority as part of the grassroots New Voice For Old Westbury. 

“I am humbled by the enormous support and confidence this vote has expressed,” she wrote in a lengthy post Thursday on the New Voice For Old Westbury’s Facebook page.  

Fastenberg, who will serve a four-year term, participated in the village’s meeting Monday, during which she was appointed the board’s government liaison for the remainder of the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“I hear from people who know best, that we accomplished a rare feat. We unseated a ruling party and well entrenched administration and served notice that we expect to compel a change,” Fastenberg wrote. 

“Now the job ahead is to deliver,” she added. “I do not expect it to be easy. If the fight for this job is any indication it promises to be a wild ride.”

Baker, who with Chimerine unseated incumbent trustees Harvey Simpson and Christopher Sauvigne in June, was appointed as the board’s budget officer, a position previously held by Weinberg.

Weinberg will continue to serve a one-year term as a member of the village’s architectural review board.

Following the Sept. 8 runoff, Fastenberg led Weinberg by 249 votes, but 268 absentee ballots had not yet been counted.

Weinberg initially defeated Fastenberg by three votes in the village’s June 16 election, but Fastenberg filed for a recount with the Nassau County Board of Elections after she said she was informed that several voters faced difficulty in casting ballots.

Upon various recounts, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Arthur Diamond ruled in early August that Weinberg and Fastenberg were tied and that the election board would be given jurisdiction in deciding a winner.

Diamond also determined that the village should not have accepted Weinberg’s oath of office filing on July 17 because the race’s outcome was still being reviewed.

Weinberg’s representatives had argued that the court did not have jurisdiction because he had already taken office and began participating as a member of the village board, which held its first public meeting following the election on July 20.

“There were so many interesting personalities, side stories, twists in turns in this insurgent campaign that it started to sound like a Netflix series,” Fastenberg wrote.

Fastenberg in her post thanked her family and supporters for their work during the elections, saying her neighbors’ involvement in a village whose residents typically remain private was an “unexpected surprise.” 

“It was the stringing together of all those small acts that resulted in this victory,” she wrote. “Thank you.”

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