Plandome, Munsey Park mayors not seeking re-election

Teri West
Plandome Trustee Andrew Bartels (left) and Munsey Park Trustee Lawrence Ceriello are both running for mayor of their respective villages in uncontested races. (Photos courtesy of the subjects)

Five Manhasset-area villages are hosting elections March 19, and all of the races are uncontested.

Two mayors, however, are stepping down, and trustees on their boards are running for their seats.

In Munsey Park, Trustee Lawrence Ceriello is running to replace Mayor Frank DeMento, while Village of Plandome Trustee Andrew Bartels is running to replace Mayor M. Lloyd Williams.

“It is hard to get people in small villages like Munsey Park to donate their time to the village,” Ceriello said. “Everybody’s so busy raising their families and working their job. My family is raised so I have one less burden than a lot of the families who live in town, and I felt it was just time for me to step up.”

Many candidates had similar sentiments about why they are running for re-election, saying they think of it as a civic duty to maintain their village.

“I just love helping the community,” said Plandome Heights Trustee Gus Panopoulos, who is running for a third term. “I came on board four years ago looking to be part of this community in more ways than just living there.”

The less residents hear about the board of trustees, the better, he said.

The boards focus on maintaining village quality rather than making major changes, candidates commonly said.

“We want to continue to keep Plandome one of the most attractive villages for its residents,” Bartels said. “In other words, just keep doing what we’re doing.”

Below are election guides for each village.

Village of Flower Hill

Each of the village’s three races is uncontested.

  • Jay Beber – trustee, two-year term

Beber is a current trustee seeking re-election.

  • Frank Genese – trustee, two-year term

Genese is running for his second term. He is an architect and has lived in the village for 17 years.

  • Brian Herrington – trustee and deputy mayor, two-year term

Herrington is a current trustee seeking re-election.

Genese said the board of trustees’ most significant recent accomplishments have involved public safety and village beautification.

The board has added equipment to its park, placed more stop signs in the village and beautified village triangles and entrances, he said.

“I think we’re looking forward to continuing to be very much a resident-friendly village where the residents really are No. 1, and we try to do everything we can to provide the best service for them,” he said.

Village staff try to develop personal relationships with residents, which is important in developing that trust, Genese said.

Village of Munsey Park

Each of the village’s three races is uncontested.

  • Lawrence Ceriello – mayor, two-year term

Ceriello has been a village trustee for two years. He is a real estate partner in Morrison & Foerster’s New York office.

  • Antonio D’Angelo – trustee, two-year term

D’Angelo is a current trustee seeking re-election.

  • Joseph Williams – trustee, two-year term

Williams is not a current member of the board of trustees.

Ceriello has lived in the Village of Munsey Park for 32 years, he said.

“The old-timers trust me, the newcomers trust me, so it seems,” he said. “I think what I bring to the board is just a level-headedness, and hopefully people will see me for that.”

As a village official, he hopes to prepare the village for its next generation of residents, many of whom are young families, he said.

As a trustee, he spearheaded a tree-planting initiative, which introduced about 100 new trees to the village, Ceriello said. The board mostly responds to emerging threats, he said, citing damaged roads and marijuana legalization as examples. The board banned the sale of marijuana in the village earlier this month.

“What I see as my goal is to make sure the village stays the beautiful, safe space it is,” Ceriello said. “Young families cycle in constantly.”

Efforts to reach D’Angelo and Williams were unavailing.

Village of Plandome

Each of the village’s three races is uncontested.

  • Andrew Bartels – mayor, two-year term

Bartels has been a trustee since December 2011. He is a technology analyst at Forrester Research.

He has lived in the Village of Plandome since 1999 and is a former member of the Plandome Fire Department.

As mayor, Bartels would be able to appoint someone to fill his trustee position until the next election since no one is running to fill it, said village clerk Barbara Peebles.

  • Mary “Katie” Saville – trustee, two-year term

Saville has served two terms as a trustee. She is a manager of financial services at Accenture Consulting.

  • Donald Richardson – trustee, two-year term

Richardson has served as a trustee for three years, starting with a partial term to fill in for a trustee that resigned. He is a semi-retired insurance consultant.

Richardson is the village’s emergency manager and deputy commissioner of the Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management.

Bartels said he is running for mayor because he believes he is the most qualified person for the position.

As trustee, he spearheaded the effort to acquire bonds for repaving village roads and upgrading water mains, he said. He was also a leader behind revising the zoning code limitations for home construction size and creating a tree ordinance, he said.

“The major objective is to maintain what we have,” he said. “We have a wonderful village, both aesthetically and in terms of the spirit of community, and the objective is to maintain that.”

As mayor, he would lead several projects in the works, including the replacement of a 20-year-old fire engine and renovations to the Plandome train station parking lot.

The board also plans to redo the remaining 40 percent of village roads, he said.

He hopes to consult with the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District about renegotiating the price the village pays, he said, a project Saville also listed as a top priority.

Current Mayor Lloyd Williams said he was ready to turn the responsibilities over to someone new.

One of his biggest accomplishments as mayor, he said, was renovating the village hall in the late 1990s.

“It’s very satisfying to see such a great job that he’s done,” Richardson said. “We will miss him, but the board, I think, will be in fine hands with our new candidate.”

Saville, who is running for re-election as a trustee, said she is proud of how the board members collaborate.

“The board works together to balance many differing points of view before proposing or changing local law,” she said.

As emergency manager, Richardson created a comprehensive emergency plan for the village, which is nearly complete, he said.

“I set up a structure for what happens and who does what in an emergency – the official duties and so forth,” Richardson said.

The Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management he is involved in coordinates for emergencies between the Cow Neck Peninsula villages, he said.

Village of Plandome Heights

Each of the village’s three races is uncontested.

  • Daniel Cataldo – trustee, two-year term

Cataldo is a current trustee seeking re-election.

  • Gus Panopoulos – trustee, two-year term

Ponopoulos has served two terms as a trustee. He is an attorney and restaurateur.

  • Norman Taylor – trustee, two-year term

Taylor is a current trustee seeking re-election.

Panopoulos said the best thing the board of trustees has recently done is to maintain a balanced budget and low taxes.

He approached the village government four years ago, seeking to get involved as a way of helping the community, he said. At the time, a trustee happened to be stepping down and Panopoulos stepped up.

“We have a balanced budget, and we’re sort of doing the things required to make everyone happy in the village,” he said.

Efforts to reach Cataldo and Taylor were unavailing. 

Village of Plandome Manor 

Each of the village’s four races is uncontested.

  • Barbara Donno – mayor, two-year term

Donno was first elected mayor of Plandome Manor in 2007. She was formerly the director of district operations for former state Sens. Jack Martins and Elaine Philips.

She was also the Manhasset Board of Education president. She used to teach elementary school in the Smithtown School District.

  • Matthew Clinton – trustee, two-year term

Clinton is a current trustee seeking re-election.

  • James Baydar – trustee, two-year term

Baydar is a current trustee seeking re-election.

  • Saul Kobrick – village justice, four-year term

Kobrick is the current village justice and is seeking re-election. 

Donno lists her top priorities in the village as staying within the 2 percent tax cap, continuing village road repaving and enhancing pedestrian safety.

She has kept village taxes below 2 percent for the last 10 years, she said.

She is proud of efforts to repair the Leeds Pond Culvert and alleviate flooding on North Plandome Road.

She also collaborated with the county to add a sidewalk and traffic lights at the intersection of Stonytown Road, North Plandome Road and Plandome Road.

“For years this had been a dangerous intersection, which has been made safer for the 17,000 cars that pass this intersection every day,” Donno said.

Efforts to reach Clinton, Baydar and Kobrick were unavailing.

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