In a relatively quiet March village election year, only one election in Port Washington is being contested. That village is Flower Hill, which has a population of around 5,000 residents. The election will be held on Tuesday, March 21, from noon-9 p.m. at Village Hall, which is located at One Bonnie Heights Road.
Running on the Flower Hill Party ticket are incumbent Mayor James Damascus, and incumbent trustees William Clemency, Norman Glavas and Ann Frankel, who are running for two year terms. Avery Ryan, who is currently filling the unexpired term of Harry Mulry who recently moved from Flower Hill, is running for a one year term. Challenging on the Alternative Choice Party ticket for one of the two-year trustee position is Robert Young.
The candidates were asked to submit bios and mission statements.
Challenger Robert Young has lived in Flower Hill with his wife Marie since 1988. He has three daughters, age 13, 9 and 2. The two eldest attend Port schools.
A Cornell graduate, Young received a bachelor of science degree in computer science. He then went on to earn an MBA degree from New York University. He worked for ten years as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and KPMG Peat Marwick. Then for the next six years, he worked for J.P. Morgan, in their Corporate Finance Energy Advisory Group. He recently resigned from J. P. Morgan to begin his own consulting business providing risk management advisory services to Fortune 500 clients.
Commenting on his reasons for seeking the trustee position, Young said, Úquot; In the eleven years I have lived in the village, there has been one election where the residents of the village had a choice as to who should represent their interests in village government. I believe this lack of contested elections has led to a lack of accountability on the part of local government toward the citizens of Flower Hill. My purpose in running is to ensure that various points of view on key issues facing the village are represented.Úquot;
Young points to the recent adoption of the new Flower Hill Village code as an example of not adequately involving the public and alternative points of view in the process. He believes the code as written, Úquot;is not in the best interests of the citizens, and provides the village with too much discretionary authority over approving what homeowners can and can't do with their homes.Úquot; In his view, this could Úquot;easily result in declining property values in the community.Úquot;
As an elected representative, Young says, Úquot;it will be my responsibility to proactively seek the input of the citizens. Continuing, he says, Úquot;I will work to keep citizens informed of the issues, and ensure that all issues take the majority view into consideration.Úquot; He plans to walk the streets of the Village Úquot;to meet the citizens and learn about their issues, concerns and visions for the future.Úquot; Úquot;I will work to improve how the village interacts with citizens, whether that means obtaining a building permit, filing a complaint regarding trash pickup, or expressing any other concern about the quality of life in the village.Úquot;
Young also wants to look into ways of making the village operate more efficiently. He feels that his years of experience in working with corporations to improve performance Úquot;can be readily applied toÚquot; the village.
Generally speaking, he wants to encourage a sense of pride in living in Flower Hill. Úquot;For too long, I've heard our elected officials talk about how we are three communities, not one,Úquot; claims Young. Úquot;This is unacceptable. I believe we are one Village, and I will work to create a singular sense of community.Úquot;
A resident of Flower Hill since 1992, the mayor served on the Flower Hill Association when he moved to the village, and served as its vice-president in 1994 and 1995. In June of '94 he was appointed to the Board of Appeals.
He's also very active in the Hellenic American Neighborhood Committee, serving as president from l986-l988. Additionally, he's held several positions in the Parish Council of the Archangel Greek Orthodox Church, including president. Also for this church, he has headed up various fund-raising projects and building maintenance committees. He notes that he oversaw the emergency replacement of the central heating and hot water plant for the church complex, for which the church had no out of pocket costs.
Professionally, Damascus runs a third generation, family-owned real estate portfolio in Manhattan and Nassau. His educational background includes a BA in economics from Úquot;Queens College and a MBA from Fordham University.
His goals for the village are to improve the environs of the village so as to enhance the quality of life for all its residents.
A landscape designer, Ann Frankel is seeking her third term as trustee.
She says, Úquot;I come to this board with no personal agenda. My goals are to serve both the urgent and long-term needs of my fellow residents. Whether it is a three year road repair program, seasonal beautification of our traffic islands, dealing with a fallen tree, a clogged street drain, or providing additional flu shots for our seniors during this particularly bad winter. I enjoy the diversity, and most importantly, realize that everyone's priorities are different.Úquot;
Continuing, Frankel says, Úquot;While each of us on Mayor Damascus' board have our strengths, it is the overall enthusiasm and willingness to take on new, diverse, and sometimes tedious issues that make me want to continue as part of this team.Úquot;
She, her husband David and two children have lived in Flower Hill for 22 years. She is also a member of the Junior League of Long Island and has been a literacy volunteer for several years.
Running for his 4th consecutive term as trustee, Norman Glavas has also been the chairman of the village's recent recodification committee, a member of the building review committee for six years, a member of the Landmarks Preservation Committee for one year and a member of the civic association for two years. His other community involvements including being the commissioner and coach of the Port Washington soccer for three years, and design chairman for the Gambol for two years.
Glavas serves in other organizations as well. This includes being on the board of trustees for Archangel Michael Greek Church for ten years. His involvement with the church includes extensive volunteer work over the past 20 years, he notes. For ten years, he's also on the board of trustees of the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee, and for three years, he's been on the board of another ethnic organization, the Kastorian Society Organization.
Glavas feels that his background exemplifies a commitment to help and volunteer within his ethnic, religion and community sphere in which he exits. Úquot;I am a firm believer of giving Úquot;backÚquot; through volunteerism some of the benefits I have achieved in my life. I feel that as an architect, I together with my committee members, have been instrumental in safeguarding the Úquot;lookÚquot; of Flower Hill through our diligent efforts as Building Review Committee members. On the average we review approximately between 50-60 applications per year.
Úquot;As chairman of the recodification committee we established an objective of Úquot;establishing a careful balance of planned growth with the desire to maintain the historical and traditional settings which gave birth to our charming village,Úquot; says Glavas.
However, he notes, that the job of trustee is not just being on the building review committee or recodification committee. Úquot;It's also overseeing the inner workings of the village which involves road contract and repair. Fire Department contracts, garbage contracts, yearly budgets, Saint Francis Hospital expansions and more importantly individual concerns of our neighbors.Úquot; He is seeking re-election to continue the work he's been invlolved in for the last six years and to see the fruition of the labors through the implementation of the new code.
An architect with a degree from the University of Notre Dame, Clemency has been a village trustee since 1994, and deputy mayor since 1996. Prior to holding these positions in the village, he was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals from 1988-1992, and its chairman from 1992-1994. In addition to this, he is currently the chairman of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee, of which he has been a member since 1996. He is also the vice-chairman of the Great Neck-North Shore Cable Commission, a director of Public Access Television and a member of the Roslyn Viaduct Task Force and the Manhasset Bay Protection Committee. Additionally he had been on the Leeds Pond Committee from 1996-1997. He has been treasurer of both the Port Washington Soccer Club and the North Shore Nursery, and a member of the Manhasset School Board Advisory Committee (1995-1996) and the Manhasset School District Citizens' Advisory Committee (1996-1997).
Professionally he is president of Tast + Clemency Architects, P.C. in Glen Cove.
During his tenure on the board, he says he's most proud of the following accomplishments:
- Inter-municipal cooperation and resource sharing
- Restoration of Leeds Pond
- Village Road Reconstruction Program
- Comprehensive updating of Village codes and ordinances (recodification)
- Handicapped accessibility improvements to Village Hall.
When asked his motivation for seeking re-election, Clemency answered that he believes that local government has the greatest direct impact on our day-to-day quality of life issues.
A six year resident of Flower Hill, Avery Ryan became active in the village several years ago, serving on the Flower Hill Civic Association and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
An attorney by profession, she currently works part-time in Great Neck so that she can spend some time with her sons, Gavin (8) and Ian (5). She holds a BA degree from SUNY and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law.
She is also actively involved in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, where she and her husband teach Sunday School.
When her children were younger, she served on the board of the Parent Resource Center in Port Washington.
She speaks highly of the current board of trustees. Úquot;I consider it an honor to serve the village with my fellow trustees under Mayor Jim Damascus. This board has accomplished a great deal and has demonstrated sensitivity to the needs and wishes of the residents. It is a pleasure to work with such a dedicated group.Úquot;