Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 16 May 2014 00:00
East Williston Deputy Mayor Bonnie Parente announced that she will seek election for the Town of North Hempstead’s District Council 2 seat. Parente, a Republican, was elected to the East Williston Village Board in 2011. She decided to run after the Republican party approached her to challenge the seat’s expiring term.
“I always thought I would be good for that,” she said. “My term as a deputy mayor ends in 2015 and so it seems like the right next step.”
Parente feels her work in the village, specifically issues with the East Williston Fire Department and water rate tussles between the village and Williston Park, has prepared her for a bigger role in town government.
“The issues run the gamut,” she said. “I don’t want to be a one issue candidate. We need someone on the board that can represent the people in the unincorporated areas as well as the incorporated areas.”
Parente grew up in Mineola and attended Mineola High School before earning her bachelors degree in banking and finance from Hofstra University.
She attended Touro Law School and worked Jackson Lewis LLP, an international labor law firm, from 1999-2003. Parente was hired by Newsday as an attorney and labor relations manager before becoming the director of human resources for the New York Racing Association in 2005, spearheading contract negotiations with the NYRA’s bargaining units. She currentlys runs her own private practice in Mineola, which opened in January 2013.
“The town is a large employer and I come with nine years as an HR director and almost 20 years of experience as a labor attorney,” she said. “I feel that skillset is missing on the board.”
Parente is an active member of the St. Aidan’s Parish Council and a gold mentor to Nassau County Girl and Boy Scouts. She is also a trained mentor for Cub Scouts.
The 2nd council district seat is currently held by Peter Zuckerman, a former East Hills trustee. He was appointed to the seat in January to replace Thomas Dwyer, who resigned last year.
“My main focus is accomplishing positive things for the residents and community groups of Council District 2, and representing all my constituents to the best of my ability, whether they live in a village or an unincorporated area,” he said. “During my first three months as councilman, my office has been, and will continue to be, a voice for every resident of this district.”
The 2nd town council district includes Albertson, East Williston, East Hills, Greenvale, Manhasset Hills, North New Hyde Park, Roslyn Harbor, Roslyn Heights, and Searingtown. District residents will vote in a special election in November with the winner to serve the remaining year in Dwyer’s term. The election for a four-year term will be held in November 2015.
Parente will be holding a fundraiser on Wednesday, May 14 at TR’s Great American Pub in Williston Park.