Written by Betsy Abraham Wednesday, 27 March 2013 00:00
Incumbent Peter Cavallaro will serve a second four year term as Westbury’s mayor, after winning an uncontested victory in recent village elections.
Cavallaro plans to build on his old foundation as well as working toward making Westbury a cultural hub.
During his first term, the mayor instituted Meet the Mayor office hours, where three times a month, residents can come in and voice their concerns without having to make an appointment. He also set up an email blast system and village Facebook page, where the more technologically-savvy residents can find community news. These two forms of communication came in especially handy when Hurricane Sandy knocked out power and phone services. Cavallaro’s home phone and cell phone number are both listed and he makes sure to attend as many community events as possible.
Cavallaro said that he plans to continue to prioritize open dialogue in the upcoming years, saying that residents have responded positively thus far.
Cavallaro would like to see the LIRR’s replacement of the Ellison Avenue Bridge come to completion, as well as increased infrastructure investment. He is also hoping to see The Space, the renovated theater on Post Avenue, become integrated into the community, and Westbury transformed into one of the most arts-friendly communities on Long Island. And while many municipalities are struggling to make their downtowns attractive and profitable, Cavallaro says that Westbury has been ahead of the curve in that area.
“For ten years we have emphasized and pursued smart-growth policies to redevelop our downtown. Our plan for the future is to continue to encourage redevelopment in our downtown,” Cavallaro said.
The village is working closely with the Business Improvement District (BID) to encourage new businesses to come into the village, and has worked with the BID to develop an innovate incentive program that will attract new businesses to Post Avenue by offering financial incentives.
The village has been able to cut expenses the past three years, and has not raised taxes in the past two years. The mayor says that the administration will continue exercising fiscal restraint and use taxpayer dollars efficiently. But as the board finishes assembling the budget, he does anticipate a “modest” tax increase, that is below the state-mandated tax cap.
“We look to curtail expenses before we look to raise taxes. However, it is both impossible and imprudent to prevent tax increases indefinitely. With continuing significant increases in state-mandated costs, we will need to make sure that we have the resources to continue to supply the services that our residents deserve. We will always do that in the most cost-effective manner possible,” Cavallaro said.
Cavallaro won the seat with 494 votes. Also returning for another term are trustee members Joan Boes, who had 461 votes, and William Wise, who had 462 votes.