Residents went to the polls on Tuesday to vote for the mayor, two village councilors and a village judge in the village general election – and they spoke.
The certified election result marks a decisive victory for Mayor Edwin Fair as he retains the office he has held for more than a decade.
Fair won 67% of the final vote on Thursday, fending off first-time challengers Cristina Arroyo and Anthony Bonelli to fail to defeat Fair in the second straight village election.
Fair’s United Socialist Party also made a decisive sweep. The incumbent village trustee, corporate attorney Darmond Thomas, won his fourth term. Thomas moved from Brooklyn to Valley Stream in 2007 and became a trustee in 2011 after failing to run for Congress.
Joining him on the village board is newcomer Kevin Wazak, an insurance claims analyst who made his political debut after trustee Vincent Grasso decided not to run for office in February. . Wazak heads the village beautification committee and has lived in the Valley for nearly six years.
Village Judge Melanie Jenkins is serving her first term after being elected to replace Virginia Cravin Higgins, who resigned last year. Jenkins has lived in Valley Stream for nearly 20 years and has worked as a lawyer for over 30 years.
As the party most concerned with quality-of-life issues in Valley Stream, Fair’s party sought to reaffirm its community-first vision while presenting itself as a safe and proven option. The vision seemed so compelling that the party plans to extend her ten-year rule of village politics for another four years.
Fale, a Republican, was elected mayor to replace Ed Cahill in 2011, but had intervened in village politics as a trustee seven years earlier. Fale graduated from Valley Central High School in 1980, and then Long earned his Master of Science in Computer Science from Island College.
Fair won this year, despite considerable heat from opponents over how to handle village fund balances. Nevertheless, he defended the spending decisions necessary to repair the village’s crumbling infrastructure and established himself as the chief steward of the local government’s finances.
“Ed Cahill’s management style was to save every penny, never fix the roads, never make improvements,” Fare said at a recent Herald roundtable. “We mistakenly thought that the smartest way to do it was to use our cash reserves to raise funds. [pay] for these improvements. ”
But with recent austerity measures, Fale has promised that not only is the village on track for a healthy financial recovery, but his next four years will usher in an era of stable finances.
“We have $2 million in the bank and just sold Parking Lot 26 for $7 million,” the mayor said. “I mean, within a month or two he’ll have $9 million back in the bank,” he said.
Arroyo, a political activist, data custodian, and non-profit educational consultant, and Bonelli, District 13 board member of Valley Stream, called for a radical change in the direction of the village government.
The challengers presented themselves as a clear disconnect from the perceived crony influence in Village Hall, criticizing the controversial new housing developments in the village and the quality and capacity of its bureaucracy.
“This is not the result we wanted,” said Bonelli, who lost the 2019 mayoral election. And I strongly believe they have a positive future in public service. ”
Arroyo made an early emphasis on racial equity in Valley Stream’s underserved communities during the election campaign, and was committed to addressing politically marginalized segments of the village’s population, particularly the younger generation. and tried to appeal to people of color. But she failed in her hopes of becoming the first Latina woman elected to the seat of mayor.
Arroyo claimed that voter turnout had increased significantly in the recent city council elections, saying, “I’m pleased with the increased voter turnout in the village.” Even more next year. ”
Formed on a night of UCP celebrations, Mayor Fair addressed a crowd of electrified supporters at American Legion Post 854, thanking residents for their vote.
“We would like to thank everyone who has supported us and worked hard to keep the Village of Valley Stream in the best possible place. It’s a choice, and we know there has been a lot of progress during this last term, but we know there’s still more progress and progress to come.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we are up for the challenge. Let’s get to work.”
Additional reporting by Mike Malaszczyk.
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