The Village Of Manorhaven Elections 2022

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Manorhaven Mayor and trustee elections will take place on Tuesday, June 21

The Village of Manorhaven is having its election for Mayor and two trustee positions on Tuesday, June 21, at the Village Hall from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The two parties running in the upcoming election are the Manorhaven Residents Party and the Manorhaven People’s Working Party. The Port Washington News asked each member from the two parties questions to allow residents of Manorhaven to learn more about the candidates before voting next week.
The Manorhaven Residents Party consists of Mayor Jim Avena for re-election, trustee Rita Di Lucia for re-election, and Dan Garcia for trustee.

Mayor Jim Avena.

Mayor Jim Avena
Q: What is your
background?
A: I grew up in Whitestone, Queens and worked in my father’s flower shop since I was 12 years old until I finished college. I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Long Island University and then served in U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam Era reaching the level of First Lieutenant. I worked for various investment firms, including as President of Cantor Fitzgerald. I have two grown children and seven grandchildren. I have lived in Manorhaven for 12 years, having lived in Plandome and Manhattan for 20 years prior.
Q: What inspired you to run for Mayor when first elected and for re-election since?
A: I ran for election as Mayor initially because I thought the village government could be better run financially, organizationally and otherwise. Over the past six years, I have turned around the Village’s finances to the point where S&P has rated us AA+ for the past several years. I hope to be re-elected to a final term as Mayor to continue the work we’ve done so far, such as paving the rest of the streets that need it while using grant money to pay for it instead of taxpayer dollars, building a strong business base along Manorhaven Boulevard once construction is completed, and many other initiatives to continue to improve the quality of life and infrastructure of our Village.
Q: If re-elected, what are you looking forward to working on?
A: Aside from finishing the street paving and Manorhaven Boulevard projects, I can’t wait to get started on a fully integrated plan to attract both businesses and shoppers to our new Boulevard. We’ll work with building owners, the Business Improvement District, the Chamber of Commerce, and existing successful businesses to develop a plan that will help new businesses succeed. We’re also extending and improving the Nature Trail through over $300,000 in funding thanks to County Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton. We also have infrastructure issues to deal with that are largely funded from government grants. I’m looking forward to continuing to use my extensive finance and management background to help make Manorhaven even more beautiful and special than it already is.

Rita Di Lucia.

Rita Di Lucia
Q: What is your
background?
A: I am a life-long resident of Port Washington and I have lived in Manorhaven for 28 years. My husband, David Nick Di Lucia, is a life-long resident of Manorhaven. We have 2 children (24 and 21) that were also born and raised in Manorhaven! I work for the Port Washington School District at Paul D. Schreiber High School. I am very involved in the School District serving on several Committees, a Supervisor in the Athletic Dept and I am also the Co-President of the Paraprofessional Association for the District. Besides the School District, I spend a lot of time in the Community volunteering. I am the President of the PW Columbiettes, the VP of Membership for CancerCare and stay involved in all the village and town events.
Q: What inspired you to run for a trustee position?
A: My husband was a trustee for 6 years (3 terms). During his last term in 2007 he started his own company which took up too much of his time, leading him to not run for trustee again. At this time, a developer was trying to build condos on the waterfront which the previous administration supported. I got involved and realized I needed to run and have a voice to represent our residents in our waterfront community.
When this was finally settled, I took over the Morgan’s Dock project. After 10 years of anticipated permits, bits and construction delays the vision finally came to life. Morgan’s Dock was one of the main reasons I kept running every two years as I wanted to make sure that this project did not get put on hold. Every time a new administration came in, they had a different idea or tried to reallocate the funds but with the help of Mayor Avena it was finally completed in June of 2019. Throughout my term of office, many Mayors and Trustees were not re-elected but I was always there, as a steady and experienced Trustee making sure the community was represented.
Q: If re-elected, what are you looking forward to working on?
A: By the time the election is held, Manorhaven Boulevard should be almost completed and this is going to finally put Manorhaven on the map! If I am elected, I plan to move forward and keep enhancing the quality of life for our residents. Complete the Nature Walk, finish paving our roads, incentives to the empty store fronts, keeping the waterfront vibrant, streets cleaned, codes enforced…everything I have already been working on and I will keep working on until it finally gets done!

Dan Garcia. (Contributed photos)

Dan Garcia
Q: What is your
background?
A: In 2018, after my mom had passed away, and our daughter had started her own life, it was apparent we were ready to downsize. There were two options; move back to where I’m from in California or stay on the Island and move somewhere we had gravitated towards for the past 30 years. That somewhere being Port Washington and in particular, Manorhaven. This village was similar to my hometown with its small, neighborly coastal vibe. Our restaurants, many friends and the Knights of Columbus were all right here.
My business background has always been in marketing and sales with Consumer Electronics companies such as Harmon-Kardon, Maxell, Acclaim Entertainment and Nokia. For the last 15 years I have had the privilege of being an insurance agent and retirement specialist for the Knights of Columbus. Assisting my members, whom I now call neighbors, and their families prepare for their future(s).
Q: What inspired you to run for a trustee position?
A: Serving my community has been in my blood since moving to Long Island. Before we moved here I was a Volunteer Firefighter with Manhasset-Lakeville for 28 years and when I moved to Port, I transferred to the PWFD (Flower Hill Hose Co.1). But, I wanted to do something in my own backyard. From neighbors and friends alike, I heard how Mayor Avena and Trustee Di Lucia worked so very hard to improve the quality of life for the residents of our village. Now knowing them personally, I felt their vision for the future was rock-steady. Di Lucia’s work and determination to rebuild Morgan’s Dock came to fruition. And, look at the work being done on Manorhaven Boulevard. Avena’s business acumen and foresight gave Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton the confidence to commit to making improvements to our village that will highlight this coastal jewel of ours. We’re already seeing the effects of this with new small businesses opening up here. That kind of commitment didn’t just happen-it happened because there is a measure of trust between our Mayor and our Nassau County and Town of North Hempstead representatives. My inspiration to run is to be an active participant in the continued growth that has been envisioned by Avena and Di Lucia both.

Q: If elected what are you looking forward to working on?
A: First and foremost, although I am not an elected official, earlier this year, Avena responded to my concern by allowing me to voluntarily spearhead a residential parking study. So, I am looking forward to completing and delivering to the village residents a solution to our on-going parking dilemma. Second, I would like to establish a cross-pollinated working relationship with the retail and restaurant owners that would have them promote one another as vested interests in our coastal community and more importantly our coastal economy.

The Manorhaven People’s Working Party consists of trustee John Popeleski for Mayor, trustee Harry Farina for re-election and Monica Ildefonso for trustee. The Port Washington News reached out to all candidates for a response but did not hear back from Farina and Ildefonso.

John Popeleski. (Contributed photo)

John Popeleski
Q: What is your background?
A: I have been a homeowner in the village for 24 years and retired from the Port Washington Water District six years ago. I’m also a member of Port Washington Fire Department Atlantic H&L Company One. Previously, I was a Captain at the fire department, and presently I am the President of the company.
Q: What inspired you to run for mayor?
A: I feel it’s time for a change in the village Mayor seat. I have no hidden agenda, and if elected, I am there for the village’s residents.
Q: If elected, what are some goals you have for improving the village?
A: My goals are to keep working on the improvements to the village sewer system, the preserve pathway project, the storm drain problem on Orchard Beach Boulevard and to continue re-paving as many roads as possible. All of the projects mentioned hopefully will be done with grant money so we can save the taxpayer money.

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