Mayor, 4 trustees run unopposed in Port Washington

Jessica Parks
Sands Point Mayor Edward Adler.

Two Port Washington villages will go to the polls on Tuesday, June 18, to elect a mayor and four trustees who are all running uncontested.

Mayor Edward Adler and Trustees Katherine Ullman and Marc Silbert seek re-election in Sands Point while Trustees John Popeleski and Rita Di Lucia are running in Manorhaven.

All candidates seek two-year terms.

If Adler is re-elected to his fifth term as mayor of Sands Point, he will have served in the village’s government for 30 years at the conclusion of the term and a decade as mayor.

Adler has watched the Village of Sands Point change over his time on the village board, he said. When he first moved to the area in the 1970s, Adler said, most residents were older with high-school aged children.

More younger families have been moving into the village over the last decade, he said, and now the school bus makes a stop on every village block.

Adler said he finds the change in demographics “terrific.”

In other aspects, Adler said the board works to make sure the village doesn’t change, such as maintaining a high quality of life and preserving the village’s unique look and feel.

The tax cap was established the same year Adler took office as mayor, he said, and it has posed a challenge while the board continues to maintain the village Police Department, Water Department and the Village Club.

The mayor said he is particularly proud of the accessibility and transparency of the village board.

He said his email is available on the website and included in village newsletters and his phone number is publicly listed because he wants residents to be able to reach him anytime with a question or an issue.

“Villages exist to try to bring a level of service and the feeling of community higher than the town or a larger municipality can,” Adler said.

He cited the Village Club’s return to the level it was a decade ago as a proud accomplishment.

The club suffered after there was a decreased interest in golf across the country, the mayor said, and there were some concerns about the club’s viability.

He said now with the membership level restored to where it should be, he would like to see the club continue to get stronger in every way so his eventual successor will not have to worry about the club’s continued success.  

Adler said he serves on the board because his family lives in Sands Point and he wants to give back to a great community. He said he would also like to see what the board is doing preserved for the next generation.

Professionally, Adler is a lawyer by training and works in his family owned and operated real estate company where he concentrates on development and management.

Ullman is seeking election to her 13th term on the Board of Trustees. She is a 55-year resident of the village, where she has seen her four children grow up, as well as two grandchildren.

Giving back and volunteering has been a “dominant and personal goal” of hers throughout her life, she said. Her service does not just end in the village; she has also volunteered her time at Port Washington’s public schools and other social benefit organizations.

One of her proudest accomplishments while serving with the Board of Trustees was the acquisition of the Village Club, which continues to “be an enhancement of value and lifestyle for our residents for the past 25 years,” Ullman said.

She said she also takes pride in the mayor and the board operating the village within the budget and with minimal tax increases “while maintaining a highly respected police department, a safe water system, and an outstanding bond rating.”

Ullman has been retired from her profession as a librarian for many years, she said. She devotes “a great deal of time” to fulfilling her duties as an elected official and village road commissioner, she said.

The village has spent millions of dollars on roads over the years, including a recent successful bond issue to maintain the village’s over 25 miles of public roads with “quality paving, stone block curbing, and appropriate drainage systems,” Ullman said.

Ullman also serves as a police commissioner in the village in which she is involved with contract negotiations, as well as the board’s liaison to the operations committee of the Village Club.

Silbert has served on the village board for over 10 terms. He has served as the village’s building commissioner and currently serves as the chief police commissioner.

He joined the board after he sold his business and wanted to become more involved in his community, Silbert said. He volunteered in several capacities around the town and in the village and found the most interest in the Sands Point Civic Association.

“I believe that my service makes a real impact in the life of my fellow residents that enhances the experience of living in the village,” he said.

Silbert said he takes personal pride in several of the board’s accomplishments. He said he was responsible for installing solar panels on the Village Hall and was the point person on the Village Hall’s remodeling.

He said he is especially proud of the highly professional police force in Sands Point.

“I firmly believe it is the finest village police force on Long Island,” he said.

Professionally, Silbert has been in the personnel and temporary employment industry for many years.

The Sands Point village elections will be held at Village Hall at 26 Tibbets Lane on Tuesday, June 18, from noon to 9 p.m.

In Manorhaven, Popeleski seeks election to his second full-term on the village board. He was appointed to Mayor Jim Avena’s trustee seat after he won the mayoral race.

Popeleski has spent 32 years working as a public servant. He began his career in the Village of Mineola doing sewer work, and he was then introduced to the water industry.

He then began working for the Port Washington Water District until he retired a few years ago.

Popeleski said he knows his way around infrastructure, and sewer and water infrastructure have been pressing problems in a village with a sewer pump that has been outdated for 15 years.

He said over his next term, the village plans to have the sewer pump replaced and fix the current system to save as a backup.

Village officials are sitting down with an engineering firm in July about relining the sewers on Manorhaven Boulevard, Popeleski said.

“It has to be done before next spring for the roads to be repaved,” he said.

Popeleski is working to have other infrastructure repairs completed prior to the road repaving, so the new road won’t have to be ripped up in a couple of years to accommodate utility work, he said.

“I want all of the sewers done prior to the asphalt going down,” Popeleski said.

Currently, the village is evaluating its sewer system by lowering a camera into the pipes to see what types of repairs would be required.

Popeleski said a few little problems have been identified and since the work has commenced backups in the sewer system have decreased dramatically.

He said he is especially proud of the village snow program that he said he designed with a map and a highlighter. He designated certain areas where snow removal is handled by village employees and other areas for subcontractors.

He said bringing electricity to the village nature preserve, which he oversaw from start to finish, is another proud accomplishment.

With the way he designed it, Popeleski said, there was enough power to light up the walkways as well.

Next, he would like to see some lighting installed in the dog park so residents could use it when they get out of work, he said.

“The village looks so much nicer, you can actually see it,” Popeleski said.

He has been retired from the Port Washington Water District for a number of years but continues to run his own handyman business and has been president of Atlantic Hook and Ladder for five years.

The 20-year resident of Manorhaven said he loves being a village trustee. He said the best part is that he loves working on every village project he is tasked with and is looking forward to his next term on the board.

Di Lucia was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 2007 and is seeking election for her sixth term.

She said in a past interview that she originally ran because the administration at that time was attempting to build on the waterfront in a way that was not favorable to residents.

She has said while many may not consider it an accomplishment she considers “getting along and listening to each other” a great accomplishment of the board.

“We are finally able to get things done,” she said. “We are all committed to transparency and what is best for the village residents.”

“I am proud to be apart of this board and what we are accomplishing,” Di Lucia said.

Manorhaven residents can vote for trustees at Village Hall at 33 Manorhaven Blvd. on Tuesday, June 18, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Jessica Parks

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