Despite contentious elections in the past, this year the Village of Poquott’s races for mayor and two trustee seats are both unchallenged.
Trustee Christopher Schleider will be running for mayor Sept. 15. A teacher and lifeguard at Robert Moses State Park, he has been a trustee in the village for three years. He said he decided to run for mayor because he wants “to be a part of all of the good things that are happening in the village.”
Schleider is impressed with how Poquott has dealt with the pandemic, and during the last few months he has witnessed residents volunteering their time to help with landscaping and cleaning up debris after Tropical Storm Isaias.
“Through all of the uncertainty of these past months, I have been inspired as residents and the board displayed their ‘can do’ spirit, working together to overcome the many challenges the village faced,” he said.
As mayor, Schleider said he hopes to build not only on the sense of community but also “ensure that, together, our village will be able to handle whatever comes next.”
Current mayor Dee Parrish as well as trustee Jacqueline Taylor will be running for the two empty trustee seats. Taylor was appointed to the board after William Poupis’ departure as trustee in July 2019.
Parrish has been mayor for six years. One of her main projects during her tenure was ensuring the construction of the village dock, which was completed in June 2019. The mayor said in an email that the dock has been an asset to the Poquott community, and during the pandemic, “it gave our residents a place to go and a place to run into neighbors during a troubling period of isolation.”
She said besides resident boaters and fishers using the dock, the Setauket Harbor Task Force has used it twice for environmental studies.
Parrish, who publicly stated on the three candidates’ campaign website that she didn’t receive much training from the administration prior to hers, has also said she spent a good amount of time during her last term to train and prepare the “next generation.” In an email she said she decided to stay on as trustee to provide a smooth transition among other things.
“I decided to stay on as trustee because there are still other projects that I want to see completed for the village — projects I’ve been working on directly with residents that are still counting on,” she said. “I’m also staying on to facilitate a smooth transition for the next mayor by being available to answer any questions or assist in any way based on my six-and-a-half years’ experience on the board of trustees. I have always volunteered for the village and plan on doing so for years to come with or without a position on the board.”
Village of Poquott residents can vote in person Tuesday, Sept. 15, from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall located at 45 Birchwood Ave. One voter at a time will be admitted inside to vote and everybody is required to wear a mask and socially distance.