Village of Poquott residents will vote June 20 on the open seats on the village board. There are two trustee positions for two-year terms while the justice position runs for four years.
For the two trustee seats, the three candidates are incumbent trustee and Deputy Mayor John Musiello, Jeremy Flint and Jim Ma. Current trustee Dee Parrish is not seeking reelection. For village justice, the candidates are incumbent Paul Edelson and current trustee Darlene Mercieca.
Musiello, Flint and Mercieca are running on an informal ticket known as Team Poquott. Their website is yourpoquott.com.
Village trustee candidates
Musiello has served as trustee the past two years for one term. He has lived in Poquott for almost 10 years now. He was appointed deputy mayor last year by Mayor Tina Cioffi. Traditionally the village mayor appoints one of the four trustees to take on the mantle of deputy mayor.
“I think it’s going really well,” Musiello said in a phone interview regarding his time on the village board. He explained that everyone on the board has their areas of expertise, and that a lot of what he has done is work with landscapers and construction workers fixing potholes and paving roads.
He said that his responsibilities include helping organize the annual budget as well as attending the monthly meetings which, he said, “gives me an opportunity to learn not only the operations but to work with a lot of our residents.”
“I agreed to run for trustee because I really felt like I could help bring the community together, and I certainly want to have a united front with our residents,” Musiello said. He explained that the platform he ran on was “to keep Poquott safe, clean and friendly.”
He said that neighborhood cleanliness is particularly important to him and that multiple times per month he’ll go out with gloves and garbage bag to pick up garbage on the neighborhood streets. He has also helped coordinate cleanup initiatives, like the annual beach cleanup.
Flint is a newer resident of Poquott, having moved into the neighborhood in 2021 with his wife and now three small children. Flint was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, although his parents are from Brooklyn and Connecticut.
Flint has a “background in construction insurance and consulting,” he said in a phone interview. He has experience running his own public adjusting firm, which specializes in “commercial and large loss catastrophe work,” according to yourpoquott.com.
“I’ve worked with a lot of municipalities, vendors, associations,” Flint said. “I can bring some of that experience to the village with helping them run their day-to-day activities and any of the issues that the village [encounters] through the year.”
“I think it’s really important to be involved in your community,” Flint said. After he was approached to run for the open trustee seat, he spoke with his wife and they decided he should run for the position. “If you can help and contribute to it, we thought it would be a good opportunity to continue our involvement in the village,” he said.
He indicated that he’s looking forward to “better getting to know [the residents] and working with them and seeing the best way I can help with this process and the continued growth of the village.”
Ma has lived with his family in Poquott since 2013. His professional experience includes more than 15 years as a financial risk manager. Now he consults for regulatory, credit and market risks on client portfolios.
“My consulting business mainly focuses on domestic and international banks on Wall Street,” Ma said in an email interview. “We have had many challenges in the village for the past few years that trace their roots to financial resources and planning. Some of the village’s previous very successful projects already showed the benefit of leveraging the proper financial tools.”
Ma continued, “I have a strong finance and business development background, which equips me to represent and fight for our interests effectively. I envision making Poquott village the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
He highlighted the importance of maintaining financial responsibility, enhancing infrastructure, preserving the environment and promoting community engagement.
“I will ensure our village’s budget is handled responsibly, focusing on essential services and strategic investments while also pursuing additional sources of funding to ease the burden on our taxpayers,” Ma wrote.
Village justice candidates
Village justice incumbent Edelson and health care professional Mercieca did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
According to Musiello, if Mercieca were to win, she would leave her trustee seat and the mayor would appoint a replacement trustee to fill the vacancy.
The elections will take place on Tuesday, June 20, from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall, 45 Birchwood Ave., Poquott.