In the first official action of the new administration, Mayor Lauren Sheprow appointed communications professional Drew Biondo to serve as village trustee.
Sheprow was elected trustee last year for a two-year term ending June 2024. Biondo will serve out the remainder of Sheprow’s unexpired term. This appointment is not subject to board approval under New York Village Law.
Biondo has served as director of communications at Suffolk County Community College since 2013. He is a former Long Island Power Authority trustee, serving in that role from 2018-23. He also worked as director of communications and press secretary for former New York State Sen. Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson).
“I’ve known and worked with Drew in a variety of capacities for more than 20 years,” Sheprow said in a press release July 3. “I know him to be very strategic and purposeful in his approach. His time spent on the LIPA board, in higher education, as well as in Senator LaValle’s [office] has prepared him well to be able to serve the residents of Port Jefferson as a trustee.”
In an exclusive interview, Biondo shared that he visited Village Hall on Monday, where he introduced himself to village staff. He expressed confidence in the administration in place.
“Just in my brief time at Village Hall this morning, I got to meet a few of the career professionals,” he said. “I think we’re in really good hands.”
In the leadup to accepting the appointment, Biondo said he and Sheprow began discussing “government processes,” which he noted will be a central policy focus in the coming term.
“As much as people complain that the government is slow and bureaucratic, those processes are a check and balance to make sure that everything is done properly, that i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed,” he said.
The newly appointed trustee indicated development and redevelopment projects are at the “top of mind for a lot of village residents.” He suggested parking and taxes would also represent priority areas for the reconfigured village board.
“Those are all things that I think all of the trustees will focus on,” he said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced new regulations targeting existing power plants [See story, “Powering down? New climate regulations may impact local power plants,” May 20, TBR News Media website].
With unsettled questions surrounding the tax-generating Port Jefferson Power Station, Biondo said he would aim to leverage his experience on the LIPA board to advance the cause of village residents.
“Yes, I will be using my five years of experience serving on the board of LIPA to help the village,” he said.
Speaking to his new constituency, Biondo said, “It’s not lost on me that I’m unelected.” Despite this, he stressed the need for the village to look ahead.
“There’s a time for politics, and there’s a time for governing,” he said. “Now is the time to govern.”
“Thank you to Mayor Sheprow,” he added. “I look forward to serving the village and its residents.”