Written by Vilma Sceusa, email@example.com Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
The incumbents, in both the mayoral and two trustee elections garnered the winning number of votes and will be on the official village election ballot in March.
John Watras, of the Western run-off, received 206 votes while Larry Quinn earned 103 votes. In the Estates trustee election, John DeMaro secured 335 votes versus the 208 Greg Blair received. In the Eastern trustee run-off Dennis Donnelly earned 441 votes while Francine Ryan garnered 236 votes.
John Watras, though pleased with the results, said that the election was all about fiscal responsibility and doing the right thing for the town, seniors and all residents to preserve the villages’ traditions and enhance new ideas.
“There are no agendas here,” added Watras. “It’s very simple, there’s no animosity. Next step is to move forward.”
Watras’ opponent Larry Quinn advised that he was proud to serve four years as trustee and thanked Watras for his time and effort. He also expressed his disappointment with St. Paul’s.
“I’ve lived here since 1995 and nothing has happened,” added Quinn. “I’d like to see that building used for the next 50 to 100 years. I said what I needed to say. I’m looking forward to being a private citizen and staying active in the village.”
The Estates nominee and run-off winner, John DeMaro extended thanks to his supporters as well as residents. His plans are to continue to make a positive difference as a trustee to improve the quality of life in Garden City. He added that he is committed to cutting costs.
“My goal is to maintain the infrastructure and amenities integral to the character of Garden City,” added DeMaro. “I intend to listen to the residents to make the village a better place to live...with an eye on the budget and keeping taxes as low as possible.”
In response to the campaign and his unsuccessful run, trustee run-off candidate Greg Blair, who has been criticized for missing budget meetings and for not having prior POA involvement, explained why he challenged the process as an outsider.
“I realize I was an outsider and the present system requires working within the system,” said Blair. “I felt I could contribute to the village based on my experience running my own company for 21 years. I believe I presented a different skill set than the other candidate.”
Blair also described himself as a decision maker and was not endeared to the “process.”
“I had the time and I thought ‘carpe diem,’” added Blair. “My taxes have climbed significantly and I want to make a difference.”
In hindsight, Blair acknowledged that he was disappointed in the number of votes he garnered and despite running a professional campaign, he seemed to think voters react to crisis versus opportunity.
“I met more people than I’ve ever met in my life knocking on doors,” said Blair. I now intend to get and stay involved in the Estates POA.”
His first order of business is to attend POA meetings and he has plans to provide alternate ideas based on his years as a business owner and negotiator.
Donnelly, Eastern trustee winner, said that he is pleased to be reelected by the people of the East and is going to work the next couple of years to maintain village services and keep tax rates as reasonable as possible.
His opponent, Ryan a 27-year resident, became disenchanted this summer with the closing of the Clinton Road firehouse in the evening, issues regarding extending the Cathedral Nursery school lease and communication during Hurricane Sandy. These issues prompted her to run for trustee.
In a statement, Ryan congratulated Donnelly on his win and thanked all those who voted for her. She urged residents of the East to become vocally involved in issues facing the village encouraging residents to demand that trustees keep the firehouse on Clinton Road open at night, manned with paid firefighters and assisted by volunteers. Ryan also heeded residents to remind trustees that the rise in taxes could be controlled with the excellent suggestions of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee. Lastly, Ryan implored residents to request that BOT and POA meetings be streamed live, or broadcast, so everyone can attend and have input into their government and that the Public Information Committee proactively inform all residents in times of crisis.