Marie Parziale announces run for Port Jefferson Village trustee

Marie Parziale announces run for Port Jefferson Village trustee

Marie Parziale. Photo courtesy of Parziale

By Aidan Johnson

Port Jefferson resident Marie Parziale is running for the village board of trustees. Also known as Marie Johs — though her name will appear as “Marie Parziale” on the ballot — she announced her bid on May 29. She has been a resident of Port Jefferson since 1995 and works as the senior alumni career coach at Stony Brook University, along with being an elder and deacon at the First Presbyterian Church of Port Jefferson.

In an interview, she recounted how she got involved with the village early into her residency.

“I was lucky enough to have [former mayor] Jeanne Garant living a few doors down [from me], and we had a neighborhood community association. Of course, Jeanne was involved, and I jumped right in,” Parziale said, also describing how she helped on Garant’s mayoral campaign.

Parziale also took pride in discussing how she was part of the committee that worked with the architect that designed the inside of the Village Center, along with being on the parking committee and Vision 2010, a committee created to envision and discuss the goals and future of Port Jefferson by the year 2030.

“When I look back at the happiest times in my life I’m giving,” she said. “I really wanted to jump right back and do community work.”

One of her biggest issues is the revitalization of the downtown and uptown areas of Port Jefferson.

“I work at Stony Brook, and the person who hired me is the vice president of student affairs now, so he oversees residential life, and we have an issue there that there’s not enough housing for students. Upper Port is one stop away [on the Port Jefferson Branch of the Long Island Rail Road],” Parziale said.

She explained her vision of providing a place for graduate students in the uptown area, which would allow more room on the Stony Brook University campus for first- and second-year students.

“What’s missing in this village up there is … a good, vibrant energy, a young energy,” Parziale said, describing an area that would include coffee shops and bookstores.

Parziale also said that a stronger village police presence was needed in the Upper Port area.

“If code had a presence up there, there would be a level of safety, and then people will be willing to come in and invest. I know the developers are building, but we don’t want empty shops like we have down here,” she said.

Parziale praised Mayor Lauren Sheprow for “keeping us up to date on her promises,” though the candidate expressed a need to better amplify this to the community.

“I think what maybe could be better is that she’s got some wonderful things on the website that’s explaining it, but it sounds like people aren’t going there, so maybe a little bit better PR [to be able to] better amplify all that’s being done.”

Parziale is joined by two other candidates for village trustee, Xena Ugrinsky and Kyle Hill, for the two open seats. A meet the candidates night for the three candidates will take place on June 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Port Jefferson Village Center.

The election is on Tuesday, June 18, at the Village Center from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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