The Village of Flower Hill will see its first contested election in some time, and it has been a heated campaign. Mayor Robert McNamara is stepping down as mayor and is running for a trustee position while Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington will run for mayor. Trustee Kate Hirsch decided to depart Herrington and McNamara’s Flower Hill Party to run for mayor after forming the Liberty Party. The Liberty Party will have a full slate of candidates, but will not have a candidate running for village justice.
The campaign took a turn after Hirsch filed to object the signature petition the Flower Hill Party filed. To be on the ballot, a party needs to have 75 signatures from registered voters in the village, and the Flower Hill Party got 236 signatures. Hirsch alleges that Village Clerk Ronnie Shatzkamer, who is also the chief election officer for Flower Hill, is actively campaigning and aiding the Flower Hill Party and contested the validity of the party’s 236 signatures.
On Feb. 24, the Nassau County Board of Elections found the Flower Hill Party’s signatures petition to be valid for the March 18 election and denied Hirsch’s objections.
“I am disappointed to report that in denying my objection the Nassau County Board of Elections completely ignored my challenge to the improper activity occurring in Village Hall,” Hirsch said in an email to residents. “The objection I filed to my opponent’s petition was based on my suspicion that the village administrator was working with the Flower Hill Party on their campaign, including assisting with the petition.”
The denial of Hirsch’s objections guaranteed the Flower Hill Party representation on the ballot.
“We are gratified to hear the board of elections swiftly overturned these objections and permitted our candidates to run for office,” Herrington said. “We hope that Kate Hirsch and the Liberty Party’s slate of candidates will stop their political grandstanding and attempt to impede the will of voters. The Flower Hill Party looks forward to letting our residents decide who runs the village by discussing our plan to build on a track record of success including lowering the tax rate in four of the last six years, providing quality services and investing in our infrastructure.”
While Herrington and Hirsch battle for the top spot at Village Hall, there are several other candidates to note. Flower Hill Party incumbent trustee Gary Lewandowski will face off against Liberty Party’s Jeffrey Greilsheimer. McNamara will take on Jay Silverman of the Liberty Party for a trustee position. Trustee Randall Rosembaum of the Flower Hill Party will be challenged by the Liberty Party’s Diane Turner. Village Justice Dennis Reisman will not be challenged for his seat by the Liberty Party.