For the first time in many years, voters will be choosing one of three candidates for mayor of Sea Cliff as Mayor Eileen Krieb retires after three terms. Election day is March 18 and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Sea Cliff Public Works Building on Altamont Avenue.
The three candidates are Joe Krupinski, running on the Village Green Party ticket, Bruce Kennedy running on the Alliance Party ticket and Bob Haim, running under the Civic Progress Party.
Two trustee candidates are running unopposed, Tom Murphy and Carol Vogt. They have been campaigning along with Bob Haim, but the ballots are separate for mayor and trustees and voters can choose separately.
Each candidate has issued statements to the press on their qualifications and concerns.
Mr. Krupinski said of departing Mayor Krieb, "Eileen has done an outstanding job as our mayor for the past six years. I would like to follow in her footsteps, and then some. I would like to bring the community closer together in a spirit of Sea Cliff pride... I want everyone to feel equal within our diverse population. Most importantly, I will make the village administration extra receptive and communicative with its constituents."
Mr. Krupinski says he's running, "because he cares." He "cares" about what he believes the key issues are: a stabilization of village taxes; all the public works services that an incorporated village should provide, including leaf pickup; changing what he calls a feeling of uneasiness and even intimidation to one of trust, mutual respect and cooperation for residents and businesses who go before the zoning, planning and architectural review boards trying to improve their homes and property; a sense of security in a community free of vandalism and burglary; appreciation of Sea Cliff's volunteer fire department and department of public works and a welcome mat for viable new businesses to come to town, support of present business and zero tolerance for any of those deemed troublesome to their residential neighbors.
Mr. Krupinski said that in 1990 he was presented with a White Cap Award, the Sea Cliff Civic Association's highest honor, for his "outstanding service to the community." He is a former director and a current member of the Landmarks Association, a longtime member of the Civic Association, founding secretary of the Sea Cliff-Glen Head Lions Club, founding member of the Sea Cliff Auxiliary Police and former member of the Sea Cliff Beach Committee. He also served as Sea Cliff's Santa Claus for 25 years until 2004, visiting the post office and village tree lighting ceremony at Christmastime.
Mr. Krupinski spent 36 years as a sportswriter for Newsday before retiring in 2003, after four years of public relations experience with the New York City Visitors & Convention Bureau and with his alma mater, Hofstra University, from which he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism. He played varsity lacrosse and soccer for the school.
Mr. Krupinski served in the U.S. Army as a public information officer in West Germany from 1959-61 during the Berlin Wall crisis. He is the father of two daughters and the grandfather of four children. For the past five years he has volunteered at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, serving meals to patients.
"I want to become a benevolent mayor to all residents because I can devote a full-time schedule to the job whenever necessary," Mr. Krupinski said. He also would continue holding "office hours" on the Village Green outside the library where he can be seen greeting passersby and motorists while sitting in his lawn chair most afternoons and early evenings. For this reason, he named his campaign organization the Village Green Party.
Bruce Kennedy describes himself as a local businessman, entrepreneur and founder of three successful companies. He touts a strong background in finance, project management, sales and strategic planning and considers himself a hard-working team player with great communication skills and a tremendous sense of dedication.
Being a lifetime resident of Long Island's North Shore and a resident of Sea Cliff since 1994, he has been actively involved in Sea Cliff as a volunteer, advocate, committee member and board member.
Kennedy has listed accomplishments that he finds positive for his candidacy. These include: serving as board director in charge of public relations for the Roslyn Trinity Day School; an appointment by former Mayor Moyne as a member and then president of the Sea Cliff Downtown Revitalization Task Force; serving as a member of the Sea Cliff Business Coalition; working as a coach and organizer for Sea Cliff Baseball; an appointment by Mayor Krieb in 2005 as a member and then in 2007 as chairman of the Sea Cliff Planning Board; serving as a board member for the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, serving on both the finance and strategic planning committees; serving as a member of the NRCC Business Advisory Council.
"With the current economic crisis facing the nation and our community, Sea Cliff requires leadership that can foresee future financial challenges and address them now," stated Kennedy.
Another major concern Kennedy wishes to address is the development plans of neighboring communities. He feels that growth is inevitable, but it should be smart growth that addresses issues of traffic, pollution, and quality of life.
"I have been actively involved in providing input to the City of Glen Cove and the Town of North Hempstead regarding their development plans and have already established good relationships with their legislators and planners. I can hit the ground running with these issues," said Kennedy. He feels that it is more important to be proactive rather than reactive with these matters.
Kennedy has stated that there has been quite a bit of tension between residents and Village Hall. He stated that through the institution of policies and procedures, it is would be possible to make Village Hall a friendlier place for both residents and employees.
"Being mayor is not simply a figurehead position," Kennedy has said. It requires tremendous work, time, dedication and ability. I have what it takes, I am vastly qualified, and I am in tune with my fellow residents and business owners. I will continue demonstrating this commitment to our community. I ask for your support in this race and look forward to being of ongoing service," he said.
Sea Cliff Deputy Mayor Bob Haim said he has been a Sea Cliff trustee for six years, acting as liaison to the downtown revitalization task force and the Nassau County Police Department. He has served as deputy mayor for three years.
A vice president for Hoshizaki America, Mr. Haim was formerly a project manager for the real estate department of Nassau County. Mr. Haim prides himself on the fact that in 2007 he was awarded a citation for bringing his multimillion-dollar construction projects in on budget.
"I have the experience, background, and personality to handle the job of mayor," Mr. Haim said. "My career has spanned 36 years as an executive. I've been a Sea Cliff village trustee for six years, with the last three years as deputy mayor. In addition, before becoming a trustee, I served on numerous village committees and task forces."