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Jacqueline Taylor

Residents enjoy a stroll on the community dock in Poquott. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Candidates for mayor and trustees in the Village of Poquott have no challengers this year. Voting takes place Tuesday, June 21.

Mayor Chris Schleider is not running this year after serving one term. Tina Cioffi, who was first elected as trustee in 2019, has decided to run for mayor this year. Current trustee Jacqueline Taylor and Darlene Mercieca will be up for the two open trustee seats. All seats are for a two-year term.

Tina Cioffi

Cioffi was appointed as deputy mayor of the village in 2021, at the beginning of her second term as trustee. In an email, she said she has helped Schleider as much as possible to learn about the position.

“After three years on the board, I feel I’ve got enough of a fundamental understanding of village operations and budget to take on the position of mayor and hopefully — with the support of the rest of the village team — keep Poquott moving in a positive and forward direction,” she said.

A former creative director in advertising for a Long Island-based advertising agency for 15 years, she has owned a marketing and communications consulting business since 2003. She moved to Poquott in 2008, and her husband has owned their home since 1986. Before she was voted in as trustee, she was appointed as communications commissioner in Poquott after volunteering to revamp the village’s website in 2017. She is also a member of the Poquott Community Association.

Cioffi said she felt the village has “bloomed,” and the community dock has “brought a lot more activity to our whole waterfront area and even our residents who were opposed to its construction in 2018 really grew to appreciate it during the COVID pandemic lockdown.”

The trustee said new friendships among Poquott residents have developed during the difficult times, and she has found that “new residents with young families seem to really be loving the very integrated vibe in Poquott.”

Regarding issues, the village, like surrounding areas, is experiencing an uptick in suspicious activities involving cars, especially when unlocked. Cioffi said, “It’s important to keep up communications with [Suffolk County Police Department].”

She also lists environmental challenges among the waterfront community’s issues which she said hopes “to work on with New York Sea Grant as well as our own environmental commissioner, Rich Parrish.”

Jacqueline Taylor

Taylor was appointed as trustee in 2019 and was reelected in 2020.

She has been a resident of the village for 21 years. In an email, she said she is an active volunteer. Her volunteer experience includes heading up fundraisers for the March of Dimes and cystic fibrosis.

She is also a member of the Poquott Community Association planning committee.

“I have gained much experience in the day-to-day responsibilities of running the Village of Poquott from our former Mayor Dee Parrish and our current Mayor Chris Schleider,” she said.

She added that being part of the planning committee has provided her “lots of insight into the wants and needs of our residents of all ages.”

“I am happy to work with a very dedicated board, and I am proud of the goals and projects that have been completed,” Taylor said. “I welcome the opportunity to continue to work for our residents to make our village the best that it can be.”

Taylor worked for the Bank of New York on Wall Street before becoming senior vice president of human resources and administration of Gold Coast Bank. She held the position until she retired in 2019. On the candidates’ campaign website, yourpoquott.com, she said “working with executive management, employees, board of directors and shareholders I have gained valuable experience in developing and implementing policies and procedures, strategic planning and adhering to proper regulations for compliance.”

Darlene Mercieca

Mercieca is a health care professional with 30 years of experience. She has been a director of multiple departments within Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn, including working with vendor and employer contracts, according to her biography on the candidates’ campaign website.

In addition to holding an MBA in finance and a master’s degree in health care administration, she has continued her education at the School of Law at Pace University in White Plains.

She is currently a chief operating officer “overseeing over 200 staff members and budgets of $75 million. My professional experience focuses on daily operations, human resources and patient satisfaction.”

She became active in the community when her sister Dee Parrish became mayor by volunteering for events such as beach cleanup day and the annual lobster bake.

“I loved the sense of belonging within Poquott and decided to move from Stony Brook after 17 years,” she said. “I moved to Poquott in 2018 and joined the Poquott Community Association. Over the last four years, I have helped organize the Halloween family day, meet Santa day and summer movie night.”

Mercieca is also a court-appointed guardian to nursing home patients, helping to organize their finances and make health care decisions.

Voting information

Voting will be held in the Village of Poquott on Tuesday, June 21, at Village Hall located at 45 Birchwood Ave. polling place from noon to 9 p.m.