Linda Fairgrieve and Paul Cusato of the Hometown Party were victorious in last week's village election and will serve another two-year term on the Village of Mineola Board of Trustees. Fairgrieve collected 1,249 votes; Cusato collected 1,222; newcomer George Durham of the Generation Party collected 858 and newcomer Nancy Portoghese Bauer of the Community Party collected 730.
Trustees Linda Fairgrieve and Paul Cusato hold up the results of the village elections, which shows their victory.
"I'm ecstatic about winning again," said Cusato, a longtime member of the Mineola Fire Department, who believes the results of the election were a vote of confidence from the residents. "I think the people trust us to do the right thing."
The Hometown Party's campaign focused on the village studying the possibility of having its own police force and it proved to be a successful strategy.
Fairgrieve and Cusato have been pushing to have an "independent consultant" review the issue including the report issued by the Mineola Police Task Force, which was appointed by the mayor to determine whether it was economically feasible and legal for the village to have its own police force.
The task force determined it was both legal and feasible and Mayor Jack M. Martins and the board of trustees began holding hearings on the subject. Fairgrieve and Cusato maintained during the hearing process that the village residents were in need of more information and pushed for an independent consultant. The mayor and the board eventually voted in favor of Fairgrieve developing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from consulting firms to study the police issue for Mineola. Meanwhile, Mayor Martins has stood by the task force's findings and maintained the task force was comprised of volunteers from the village who care about Mineola and have a wealth of experience.
Fairgrieve, who was first elected in 2000, believes the vote was a validation in her and Cusato's push for an independent consultant. "They [the voters] agree with our message that we need an independent, professional consultant to do a feasibility study to determine if this is economically feasible," she said.
Fairgrieve plans to go ahead with preparing an RFP to try to get a consultant to do the study.