Written by Rich Forestano Saturday, 29 March 2014 00:00
New Line Party member Paul Pereira and Hometown Party mainstay Paul Cusato may be from different sides, but the two were clearly of the same mind last Tuesday, March 18 on Election Day. The two incumbents were unopposed in the at-large election for two open seats on the board for a third consecutive election cycle.
Pereira and Cusato garnered 306 and 275 votes respectively. Village Justice John O’Shea also ran without a challenger as the top vote-getter with 336 tallies.
“I think tonight demonstrates just that we’re breaking bread together, we’re working together. There really isn’t teams here,” Pereira said at Heart of Portugal last week.
Contested elections in Mineola grab at least 1,500 voters in past years. Turnout was low this year and Cusato pointed to two sides of that issue.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Cusato stated. “You can say people are happy with how the village is going and don’t vote, or maybe people don’t know an election is going on and they forgot to vote.”
The two are looking forward to continuing projects currently in pre-production phases and tackling new ones. Mineola is planning to revamp Memorial Park. The village purchased a bandshell 73-feet wide and 38-feet deep last month.
“The renovations are going to create a new park,” Cusato said. “New pathways, new lighting, refurbishing the tennis courts.”
Mineola will also build a new gazebo on the northeast corner of the park near the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Marcellus Road. The previous one was damaged by Hurricane Irene and demolished. Repairing park tennis courts is also planned, but is still in an early phase.
“We’d also like to see [our athletic] fields improved, possible field turfing and the park come to fruition,” Pereira said. “Paul and I have coached a great deal and we always seemed our facilities like our pool, parks and fields need care. We also need to look at infrastructure like curbs, paving, our water wells. Those things go without saying.”