The Action Party of Westbury announced its slate of candidates for the village elections to be held on March 18, 2009.
Longtime Action Party Mayor Ernest Strada has announced that he will be retiring at the end of his current term in March 2009. Peter I. Cavallaro, a lifelong village resident and 10-year member of the board of trustees will be seeking to succeed Strada as mayor. Current Trustees Joan M. Boes and William B. Wise will be seeking to retain their seats. All terms are four years.
In announcing his decision to retire after 28 years of service, Strada said, "It has been my privilege to serve as mayor of this village for almost 28 years, and it is now time for me to pass the torch on to a new generation of leaders who I know share my commitment to our residents."
Strada continued, "The Action Party and I have long supported candidates for village office who have demonstrated experience and dedication to the village, through their efforts on behalf of the residents. I have served with Peter Cavallaro for 10 years and he has certainly shown that he is committed to Westbury and the residents. I know that Joan Boes and Bill Wise share these principles as well. I support, and look forward to Peter Cavallaro's election as mayor and the re-election of Joan Boes and Bill Wise."
Action Party spokesperson Steve Corte indicated that the slate will be running on a platform that emphasizes the experience of its candidates, as well as their record of maintaining the village's strong financial health. Corte said, "The Action Party has been credited with its conservative and prudent fiscal practices and the efficient delivery of services. These candidates have always stressed acting in the best interests of our residents, including keeping village taxes low. This approach will be even more necessary in the tough economic times we are now experiencing."
Peter I. Cavallaro is a lifelong resident of the village who, along with his wife, Diane, raised two children in Westbury. Cavallaro has served on the Westbury Village Board of Trustees since first being elected in 1999, and he has been re-elected twice since. Prior to that, he served as a member of the village's planning board for almost 12 years, acquiring extensive experience in the village zoning code and in land use matters. As trustee, he serves as the Commissioner of Public Works, overseeing the village's extensive operations relating to sanitation, roads, sidewalks, snow removal, street lighting, public facilities, and other areas of responsibility. He also serves as the village's Commissioner of Personnel. He is the board's only attorney with over 20 years of broad-based experience. He is an expert in municipal law, land use and zoning and finance as well as other areas of the law.
Cavallaro has drafted and passed legislation imposing fees on commercial developers seeking parking variances and limiting "mini-mansion" development in residential areas of the village. He has long fought against overdevelopment and for better and more effective code enforcement. His efforts in this regard have led to increased code enforcement resources and manpower in the building department, as well as the utilization of new and effective code enforcement techniques.
In announcing his candidacy for mayor, Cavallaro stated, "Mayor Strada has passionately served our village in the best interests of the residents, and I intend to continue to make sure that our residents' concerns are always our top priority, and that the quality of life in our village, and the character of our neighborhoods, are maintained. I am committed to these principles and I know that my running mates are as well."
Cavallaro added, "I will also renew our investment in our roads, parks and other infrastructure. I will be accessible to our residents, and I plan on implementing regular 'Meet the Mayor' office hours on certain week nights and Saturdays so that residents will be able to bring their issues and problems to me."
Cavallaro is an active member of St. Brigid's Church and numerous charitable, professional and civic organizations. He is a charter member of the Donatello Lodge - Sons of Italy and serves as a member of St. Brigid's Baptism Preparation Team, the Nassau County Village Officials' Association, the Nassau County Bar Association, the Carle Place Civic Association. Cavallaro is a former leader of the North Hempstead and Westbury Republican Clubs, served on the St. Brigid's/Our Lady of Hope Regional School Middle States Accreditation Advisory Group and is a former board trustee and audit committee member of the Henry Viscardi School of the National Center for Disability Services. Additionally, he served as a CYO basketball coach and Cub Scout leader and was a member of the board of directors of the Education and Assistance Corporation (EAC), Long Island's largest not-for-profit social services agency.
"I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as mayor, if the voters chose to elect me. I love this village, and enjoy serving the residents. It is critical that our elected officials possess the experience necessary to make the right decisions to ensure that our taxes are kept low, that our funds are wisely spent and that services are provided in as economical and efficient manner possible, particularly in tough economic times such as we are experiencing now."
He continued, "I believe that Joan Boes, Bill Wise and I have the experience to lead our village through these difficult times, and I believe that my record demonstrates that I have the ability to lead Westbury as our mayor."
Joan M. Boes, a village resident and community activist for the past 40 years, has many years of experience as a member of village government and in civic associations. Boes has been elected to the Westbury Village Board of Trustees twice, serving for the past four years as deputy mayor. She is a current member and past president of the Westbury-Carle Place League of Women Voters, was an alternate member of the village's Board of Zoning Appeals and was program coordinator for the Westbury Memorial Public Library for 21 years.
In announcing her candidacy for a third term, Boes stated that she is committed, in these trying times, to making the critical decisions that are necessary to keep Westbury moving in its positive direction into the future. As co-chair of the village's Smart Growth Committee, Boes undertook extensive analysis of the community's needs for redevelopment and economic growth, and made significant recommendations and decisions to enhance the future vitality of the business community and the downtown business district. Many of these recommendations have already been implemented.
Among her duties as deputy mayor and trustee, Boes is responsible for filling in during the mayor's absence, including attendance at celebrations, attending and chairing meetings and conferences, and similar duties. Boes serves as liaison to the Westbury Senior Citizens, and as a member of its board of directors and she serves as the village's Commissioner of Recreation and works closely with the Westbury Recreation Commission and the superintendent of recreation overseeing all recreation activities conducted by the village. In 2007, the village celebrated its 75th anniversary and Boes chaired the committee of volunteers that planned all of the many events commemorating the incorporation of Westbury.
"I am honored and privileged to have served as a trustee, and look forward to working hard to maintain the quality of life we enjoy here in Westbury, and the excellent services that our residents have come to enjoy under Mayor Strada," said Boes. "I have had the pleasure of working with Peter Cavallaro and Bill Wise, two dedicated, informed, hard-working, and talented individuals who serve, and will continue to serve, as mayor and trustee. I look forward to continuing to serving with them. In these trying financial times, it is important to understand the mechanics of village government and to have experience to manage through the difficulties that we are sure to face. I am confident that we will continue to make sound financial decisions without adding burdensome tax increases."
Boes and her husband, Larry, raised three children in Westbury while actively engaged in contributing to improving life in this community. They are members of St. Brigid's Parish.
William "Bill" B. Wise was first elected to a full term on the board of trustees in 2007. Before that, he had been appointed to fill the board seat vacated on the death of the late trustee Charles Russell. Prior to being appointed a trustee, he served for 30 years as a member of the village's planning board and has extensive knowledge and experience in zoning and land use matters.
As a trustee, he serves as Commissioner of Claims and Audit. In this capacity, Wise oversees many of the fiscal aspects of village government, including the review of and approval of all payments made by the village. Due to his expertise in zoning and land use matters, Wise is also very active in terms of the oversight of development projects and proposals that come before the board.
In addition to his service to the village, Wise has been deeply involved in the community, and has many long-term commitments to community groups and organizations. He is past Master of Masonic Lodge and a member of the Nassau County Village Officials' Association, Union Baptist Church in Hempstead, board member of 100 Black Men (Nassau/Suffolk branch), member of the board of directors of Big Brothers and Sisters of Nassau County, a member of the Long Island Association, the National Alliance of Businesses for Specialized Services for Veterans, Advisory Council of Adelphi University's "ABLE" Program, the Bethpage Rotary Club and sits on the board of the Parkview Day Care Center.
"I am dedicated to promoting diversity in the community, as well as maintaining a strong focus of accountability in village government," said Wise. "My main priority as a member of the board of trustees is to ensure the appropriate redevelopment of our downtown, as well as to regulate and control new development so as to make sure that the character of our village is maintained."