(Editor's Note: Michael Brandt is the Open Government Party candidate for Bellerose Village trustee. He was unable to provide the Floral Park Dispatch with a bio and headshot by this week's deadline.)
Rosaleen Shea is a Community Party candidate seeking election as Bellerose Village trustee. She is running with Jo Ellen Cortapasso on the same ticket.
A resident of Bellerose Village for 10 years, Shea currently serves as co-chair of the Bellerose Village LIRR Taskforce and has been an active voice in Citizens Against Rail Expansion (CARE), serving as an advocate for preserving the quality of life and safety in Bellerose Village and for protecting its youth in the community and schools.
Shea also serves as president of the Junior Women's Club of Bellerose and president of the Floral Park-Bellerose PTA. Further, she was recently appointed treasurer of the NYS Federation of Women's Clubs Second District.
She is an alumnus of both Cornell University and St. Francis College, with a master of science in human resources, industrial and labor relations and labor law and a bachelor of science in business management and marketing, respectively. Her career spanned two decades in the energy industry at The Brooklyn Union Gas Company and KeySpan Corporation. She held the positions of director of risk management division and director of employee and labor relations.
She currently resides on Ontario Road with her husband, Bob, and her two children, Robert and Mary Kate.
Jo Ellen Cortapasso is a Community Party candidate seeking election as Bellerose Village trustee. She is running with Rosaleen Shea on the same ticket.
A resident of Bellerose Village for nearly 20 years, Cortapasso currently serves as a member of the Board of Architectural Review Appeals Review Committee and as co-chair of the Bellerose Village LIRR Taskforce. She has been an active voice in Citizens Against Rail Expansion (CARE) and an advocate for preserving the quality of life and safety of Bellerose Village.
She is a long-term member of the Junior Women's Club of Bellerose and has served in many leadership roles, including president and treasurer. Further, Cortapasso has served as director and treasurer of the NYS Federation of Women's Clubs Second District.
Cortapasso is an alumnus of Hunter College-Bellevue School of Nursing and worked for eight years in the private sector for the chief of medicine of St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. She is currently serving as a teacher's assistant in the Floral Park-Bellerose School.
She resides on Ontario Road with her husband, John, and three children, Jessica, John and Jason.
Thomas Ryan is an incumbent Bellerose Village trustee seeking re-election to another two-year term. He is running with Carl Soller on the Village Party ticket and has been a trustee for the past six years.
Ryan has lived in Bellerose Village for the past 17 years. He served with the Bellerose Fire Department for four years, led the effort to install additional Stop signs throughout the village in efforts of reducing speeding and assisted with other board members in planning the Bellerose Beautification Plan. After realizing Bellerose Village's grant possibilities, Ryan said he is in favor of a phase-in implementation of the plan with a strong sensitivity to any possible tax impact.
Ryan further stated he continually supports residents opposed to a microwave antenna tower in Bellerose Village. "The material that I have read states that the long-term health risks are unknown and the health of our families is worth more than any amount of money," he said.
Ryan attended MTA/LIRR scoping meetings in Mineola and Floral Park, where he publicly opposed an additional track along the LIRR's 11.5-mile Main Line.
Further, he said he has led the opposition against Floral Park's request to close-off northbound traffic on Remsen Lane. Ryan said that, if allowed, this would have forced additional east/west traffic through Bellerose Village.
He holds a BA in economics and a MBA in finance from Fordham University. He is currently employed by SONY BMG Music (formerly known as Sony Music and CBS Records) and has been with Sony for 28 years, responsible for more than 100 employees. He and his wife, Ellie, have three children, Melissa, Patrick and Tommy.
Carl Soller is an incumbent Bellerose Village trustee seeking re-election to another two-year term. He is running with Thomas Ryan on the Village Party ticket. Soller has been a village trustee for more than 10 years.
Soller has lived in Bellerose Village since 1984. He is a former member of Bellerose Village's Board of Zoning Appeals. His village participation (1984-present) includes village trustee/deputy mayor, Sanitation commissioner and fire department liaison.
He said he successfully led the village in opposing the proposed closing of the tunnel between Bellerose and Floral Park-Bellerose School; helped the past mayor negotiate a substantial reduction in sanitation costs; communicated with the MTA/LIRR and others opposing the installation of an additional track and met with MTA representatives; coordinated the purchase, with the fire department, of a first responder fire truck; assisted with other board members in the planning of the Village Beautification Capital Improvement Plan; and continually supports residents' opposition to a proposed microwave tower in the village.
"Based on my village experience and the experience gained as a founding partner in a law firm and as a member of many civic and charitable organization boards, I am convinced that a vote for me is a vote for the continued and long-term successes of Bellerose Village," he said.
Soller is a member of the board of directors of Community Mainstreaming Associates, a provider of residential and support services for adults with developmental disabilities. He also serves on the board of directors of the International Synagogue-JFK Airport, as a semantics member, providing support to the underprivileged in Nassau and Queens, and as a soccer and basketball coach for the Floral Park Indians.
He earned a BA from Rutgers University and a JD from the University of Virginia. Professionally, Soller is a partner with Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C. (New York City and JFK Airport). He is a member of the board of directors of the JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce, a contributing editor/author of It's Our Customs, a monthly column that appears in Airport Press and is a member of the Transportation Security Administration, an advisory group for developing a Cargo Security Plan at JFK Airport.
He lives in Bellerose Village with his wife, Anne. They have four children, Rebecca, Malachy, Katherine and Austen - all of whom attended local grammar and high schools.