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The Village of Huntington Bay will be conducting its trustee elections on June 20. Incumbent trustees Mark Dara and Barbara Beuerlein are running for reelection while Janice Schillig is challenging.

Mark Dara

Dara has been a resident of Huntington Bay for 23 years. He has been serving in the trustee position for the past 11 years.

Dara worked as a construction electrician for 42 years. “I’m very familiar with dealing with contracts with subcontractors and different phases of construction, because electricians kind of get involved in everything,” Dara said in a phone interview.

He says that this expertise is particularly useful, as he also serves as road commissioner. “I thought it was very helpful for me over the years to deal with the contractors,” Dara said. “We secure a lot of state, federal and local funds and try and get most of our road repairs offset by grants and different funds that are available to us.”

Dara said that if reelected, he would continue to do what he’s been doing in his time in office. “We’ve been able to broker deals with utility companies and we’re getting roads restored curb to curb,” Dara said. “We’re getting very good results. So, I would just continue to do the same thing I’ve been doing and trying to get those same results for everybody.”

Barbara Beuerlein has been a resident of Huntington Bay for the past nine years and is a lifelong resident of Huntington township.

Beuerlein was elected to the position of trustee in 2021. She will be attempting to win reelection for her second term.

In an email interview Beuerlein said that professionally she had a career as an advertising executive for a major women’s magazine. Following her career,  she has done a lot of volunteer work in her community. 

Barbara Beuerlein

She currently volunteers at The Church of St. Patrick outreach program and the Society of St.Vincent de Paul. According to Huntingtonbay.org, she is on the Advisory Board for the not-for-profit hospital and education center Volunteers for Wildlife. She has also served on the board for the Cold Spring Harbor Citizen Faculty Association.

“As the Trustee of the Village of Huntington Bay, I will listen to the needs and wants of all the residents and focus on what is best for the entire community through fiduciary responsibility and integrity,” Beuerlein said. “I took an oath to work for the residents of the Village of Huntington Bay and I will continue to do so.”

Schillig has lived in Huntington Bay for 26 years. In an email interview, Schillig said that she has 46 years of experience in financial services in corporate and advertising agencies. She recently retired from her position of senior marketing executive at UBS Wealth Management Americas.

Schillig has also served on the UBS Veterans Network Steering Committee, actively volunteers with The Helping Hands Rescue Mission in Huntington and is chair of The Head of Bay Club Membership Committee. She also volunteers writing book reviews for the Stroll Huntington Bay magazine,

Janice Schillig

“As Village Trustee, I will ignite much needed positive change and lead with integrity as my foundation,” Schillig said. Her goals include: leading with fiscal oversight and accountability; delivering timely emails/newsletters to improve communication and transparency and to keep residents informed; encouraging active participation in village trustee meetings; representing the voices and opinions of fellow residents; and promoting a civil, cooperative tone in leadership.

The annual village election will take place on Tuesday, June 20, from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. The voting location is Village Hall, located at 244 Vineyard Road, Huntington Bay.

Asharoken

The Village of Asharoken is also holding elections on Tuesday, June 20. Incumbent trustees Mary P. Pierce and Ian Jablonski did not respond to requests for comment. They are running unopposed.

Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 1 Asharoken Ave.,Asharoken.

Port Jeff village trustee candidates during the "Meet the Candidates" forum hosted by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce on June 8. (Left to right) Lauren Sheprow, Bruce Miller, Ana Hozyainova, Rebecca Kassay and Gerard Gang. Photo by Raymond Janis

Incumbent trustees Bruce Miller and Rebecca Kassay, who are both up for reelection, will be challenged by Gerard Gang, Ana Hozyainova and Lauren Sheprow in the village election on Tuesday, June 21. 

During a “Meet the Candidates” event held Wednesday, June 8, the five declared candidates presented their visions before an audience of dozens of residents in the Wayfarer Room of the Village Center.

Candidates each delivered two-minute opening remarks, answered questions on various subjects regarding the major issues currently facing the village, and finally made concluding remarks.

The event was sponsored by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. Barbara Ransome, director of operations at the chamber, asked the questions. Seating arrangements and response orders were both determined at random by pulling the candidates’ names out of a bag.

Questions were selected by a panel of moderators that comprised of Suzanne Velazquez, former chamber president; Stu Vincent, director of public relations at Mather Hospital; and Thomas Donlon, director of Port Jefferson Free Library.

Chamber president Mary Joy Pipe was the official timer for the event, signaling to the candidates their remaining allotted time with colored cards. After opening remarks, the candidates debated a range of topics such as term limits, bluff stabilization, Upper Port revitalization, potential redistricting schemes for the school district, among several other subjects. 

The entire candidate forum clocked in at nearly two-and-a-half hours. For more information, click here.

Incumbents Bruce Miller and Bruce D’Abramo won new terms on the board of trustees. Photos by Alex Petroski

Port Jefferson Village residents cast their ballots in favor of the status quo June 19.

Incumbent trustees Bruce D’Abramo and Bruce Miller won their seats back in an extremely tight race Tuesday, leaving challenger Kathianne Snaden the odd-candidate-out in a three-way battle for two positions.

Miller lead the way garnering 382 votes. The margin between D’Abramo and Snaden was just four votes — 345 for the incumbent to 341 for the challenger. Village Clerk Robert Juliano said the count included all absentee ballots, and as of Wednesday morning he had received no notice of a request for a recount. Snaden said in a phone interview she intended to request a hand count of the ballots in the coming days based on the slim margin.

“I’m ready to get back in the harness and keep pulling on the rope,” Miller said in a phone interview, thanking the community for supporting him. He also congratulated his colleague D’Abramo and thanked Snaden for running what he called an energetic and clean race.

He secured his third term on the board, after previously spending 12 years on Port Jefferson School District’s board of education. Miller ran on his willingness to advocate for residents of the village, especially regarding the potential property tax implications of an impending settlement with Long Island Power Authority to handle a years-long legal battle about the plant’s property tax assessment, which the utility has contended is too high based on current energy output and demand at the power station. He has also been a staunch opponent of financial assistance packages being awarded by the Suffolk County and Brookhaven Industrial Development Agencies, which have led to the construction of multiple large-scale apartment complexes in the village during the last several years.

D’Abramo earned his fifth two-year term as a trustee with his narrow victory.

“Couldn’t be happier,” he said in an email. “I love this village and love being a trustee. I’m looking forward to the next two years.”

During the campaign, he touted his experience as a buildings and grounds superintendent for two East End districts, in addition to his years as the board’s liaison to the village Building and Planning Department, all part of his 35 years of municipal experience, he said.

“I think I bring an important talent to the Village of Port Jefferson,” he said of his experience in overseeing large construction contracts and projects, making sure they were completed on time and on budget, D’Abramo said during a meet the candidates event.

Snaden said in a phone interview she still intends to be engaged in trying to improve the community despite the defeat.

“It was a close race,” she said. “The fact I was [four] votes away only shows there is a need for what I can bring to the village. I definitely plan to stay active and involved in the community. I’m not going anywhere.”

Village of Port Jefferson board candidates, from left, Bruce Miller, Kathianne Snaden and Bruce D’Abramo at the Village Center for a meet the candidates event June 12. Photo by Alex Petroski

The future of the Village of Port Jefferson was on the minds of those at the Village Center June 12.

The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted a meet the candidates event Tuesday to help taxpayers get a feel for their options on the June 19 ballot. Three candidates are vying for two open seats to serve on the board of trustees, positions that carry two-year terms. Incumbents Bruce D’Abramo and Bruce Miller are each seeking re-election, while village resident Kathianne Snaden is making her first bid for the position.

D’Abramo is looking to secure a fifth term on the board, having first been elected in 2011. He touted his more than 35 years of municipal experience as an asset to the village, specifically his time as a superintendent of buildings and grounds for two East End school districts.

“I think I bring an important talent to the Village of Port Jefferson,” he said of his experience in overseeing large construction contracts and projects, making sure they were completed on time and on budget.

He has served as the village board’s liaison to the Building and Planning Department during his tenure on the board, and said he had a vision for improving uptown Port Jeff when he first took office, and is looking forward to finally seeing construction get started. The village has obtained several grants and completed the necessary steps to get a handful of concurrent revitalization efforts underway in the
near future.

On one of the more pressing issues facing the village, the prospect of decreasing future revenue as a result of a pending settlement in a legal battle with the Long Island Power Authority over the utility’s contention its
property taxes are overassessed on the decreasingly necessary power plant in the village. D’Abramo said he has supported settling the case, rather than fighting it out and risking a loss in the dispute, which would require back pay from taxpayers to LIPA. He also said he supported the idea of building new apartments both uptown and downtown, as they replaced blighted structures, and cited their occupancy as evidence of demand.

Others, like Miller, have taken issue with the tax arrangements reached between the developers of the apartment projects and the town- and county-run industrial development agencies. The agencies are municipal arms that help fund building projects in areas deemed in need of economic development in exchange for decades-long tax breaks.

“I must emphasize that oversized zoning and almost complete lack of tax revenue because of the Brookhaven and Suffolk County Industrial Development Agencies’ giveaways will deny Port Jefferson revenue when we need it the most,” Miller said.

Miller is seeking his third term on the board, after spending 12 years on the Port Jefferson School District board of education. He touted his aversion to IDA deals and his organizing of a grassroots committee to galvanize support for repowering the plant, as a means to increase its value, as evidence of his willingness to
fight for residents. He said the issue has been on his radar for more than 20 years. He said he ultimately supported settling the case.

“I have been aggressive and smart in supporting Port Jefferson’s tax base,” Miller said.

Snaden has lived in the village for 13 years and sends three kids to the school district. She identified herself as a homemaker while also running a freelance photography business, and previously worked as a litigation paralegal. She shed light on why she decided to make a run for a trustee seat.

“I have a deep appreciation for small-town life, family-owned small businesses, and a safe and very welcoming community where children and families can flourish, and older folks can feel secure in their future,” she said.

Snaden added that she was initially inspired to run in the aftermath of a safety scare at the high school earlier this year, during which rumors and innuendo ran wild. She said she helped organize a town hall meeting that produced comprehensive feedback, which she later presented to the school district.

Snaden said she was supportive of settling the LIPA case as well. She said she’d like to see the village have more of a voice in discussing IDA tax breaks for development in the village, but like D’Abramo, said she was in favor of apartments if the other choice is blighted properties.

Polls will be open June 19 at the Village Center from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.