In what was assumed to be an uncontested village election on March 17 in the Village of Port North for two trustee positions, an unexpected write-in vote elected Ross Altman and ousted incumbent trustee Pat Loveland. Incumbent Bert Goodstadt was returned to office for a two-year term. The results of the vote were: Altman-32 votes; Loveland-20 and Goodstadt-56. As a point of reference, a rough estimate of the number of voters in Port North is 1,600.
Commenting on the election, Ms. Loveland said, "I am disappointed that I lost the election and would have preferred a campaign where the issues were discussed. However, I congratulate Mr. Altman. I would like to thank Port North residents for their input, help and support over the past 12 years. I plan to keep myself current and active in village and community affairs and would be more than happy to help with any problems a resident may have."
When reached for comment, trustee Goodstadt said, "I'm surprised as anybody else. I guess the people who voted for Mr. Altman were looking for something different."
In a phone interview, the new trustee told the Port News that he and his family have lived in Port North for 22 years. Mr. Altman, who attended Queens College, said that he owns a small business. He has no burning issue with the village, but says he hopes to bring an element of greater unity to Port North. As a trustee, he believes his sense of fairness and level-headedness will serve him and the residents well. He and his wife have two children; one graduated from Yale last year and the Altman's other child is graduating from Union College this year.
When asked if there had been any other successful write-in votes in Port North in recent history, Port North Mayor Tom Pellegrino recalled that in 1982 two trustees were elected as write-in candidates; the two men opposed construction of residential homes in the 40 acres behind Publisher's Clearing House.
Mr. Altman takes office April 1