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Run-Off Elections Tuesday in West, East and Estates

Residents urged to vote for their choice for village trustee and mayor.

Residents in the West, East and Estates sections are heading to the polls today.
Residents in the West, East and Estates sections are heading to the polls today.
Three of Garden City's four property owners' associations will hold run-off elections Tuesday.

Residents living in the West, Estates and East are heading to the polls to vote for their choice for village trustee and mayor.

Estates residents will be voting for incumbent trustee John DeMaro, nominee of the Estates Property Owners Association, or challenger Gregory Blair. The election is being held at Stratford School between 4:30 and 9 p.m. The trustee seat is a two-year term beginning April 1.

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West residents will be voting for current deputy mayor John Watras or current trustee Laurence Quinn for the position of mayor. Watras was unanimously selected by the WPOA Nominating Committee. Quinn surprised everybody when he challenged that nomination at the WPOA's annual electors' meeting Jan. 15. The election is being held at Homestead School between 4:30 and 9 p.m. The mayoral seat is a two-year term beginning April 1.

East residents will be voting for incumbent trustee Dennis Donnelly, who was unanimously selected by the EPOA Nominating Committee for the position, or challenger Francine Ryan. The election is being held at Stewart school between 4:30 and 9 p.m. The trustee seat is a two-year term beginning April 1.

There is not a run-off election in the Central section because no one challenged the Central Property Owners' Association's selection of Richard Silver for village trustee.
John Davis January 28, 2013 at 11:57 PM
Above are comments made by Mr Balir on another story on Patch. Here is my comment to his inane comments. - "Mr. Blair, you assure us you will be prepared 8 weeks from now to vote on a budget. You have had how many months to plan and run your campaign? You should be prepared right now, we vote tomorrow! "
Jack O'Niel January 29, 2013 at 12:04 AM
What do you expect, Blair did work for Enron. No joke.
john ertle January 29, 2013 at 12:09 AM
John, Do not be too surprised by the lack of understanding. However ridiculous, he did post a response. The silence from his running mate, Francine Ryan, is deafening! I hope residents realize at this point that having a complete understanding of all village operations and the responsibility given to a trustee makes casting their votes on Tuesday an easy decision. Vote for DeMaro, Donnelly and Quinn.
Reed Marcus January 29, 2013 at 12:34 AM
Mr O'Neil, I ask that you please remove your last post.
Greg Blair January 29, 2013 at 03:20 AM
I am at a distinct disadvantage exchanging comments with alter egos. I cannot be certain that I am exchanging views with sitting trustees, POA partisans, family members if my opponent or actual concerned citizens. My posts are my own. I would like Mr. DeMaro to open a Patch account and share HIS views. My experience at Enron was instructive as to the dangers of obfuscation and the personal harm inflicted on others was something I will never forget.
Greg Blair January 29, 2013 at 03:35 AM
I'm prepared currently to discuss a PD budget that has 11 ranking supervisory officers for 34 patrol rank - a 3:1 ratio where the more typical suburban force is 7:1. Our top lieutenant earns $180K base, compared to $60K for new patrol officers. The ratio of officers to population exceeds Indianapolis, Las Vegas and San Diego. Staffing at both PD and FD do not follow modern streamlined scheduling that maximizes boots on the ground and maintains headcount at a lean "times four" shift ratio. We have two layers of supervision and three layers of seniority in our vehicle maintenance department. We have grounds maintenance personnel spread over three departments with year-round employment when significant man-hours are necessarily concentrated in the growing season. We spend $300K annually to clean village hall. Our village personnel drive retired police cruisers that require premium gas and have oversized engines. Capital expenditures for turf fields do not have a corresponding offset for landscape maintenance savings in labor and materials. These are starting points for discussion. I haven't yet done the interviews that are necessary to expand the scope of my analysis. I'm still very interested in hearing from the incumbent I'm challenging.
Greg Blair January 29, 2013 at 05:36 AM
Manny, thanks for stopping the Reed Marcus alter ego. In your position as Chairman of the Estates Nominating Committee, I fully expect your unconditional support of the candidate you nominated.
John Davis January 29, 2013 at 07:00 AM
John Demarco has been sharing his views at Village Board Meetings and public POA meetings for the last two years. He has learned how our Village works before becoming a Trustee. Not learn as you go as you state you want to do.
Greg Blair January 29, 2013 at 07:14 AM
Regardless of the outcome today, there needs to be more information outreach to the community. Most of the folks I speak with don't know who any if the trustees are and think St.Pauls is the biggest issue facing the village.
John S January 29, 2013 at 09:15 AM
Reading the posts from Mr Blair shows me that he doesn't deserve the position of Trustee. He has been here for 15 years and has not been involved at all. If you can't attend a 90 minute budget meeting then how are you going to spend 20+hours a week volunteering as Trustee. There needs to be more communication? Easy to say for a talking point. The fact is that John DeMaro is at a monthly townhall meeting open and available. I find some of the comments both arrogant and insulting. Challenging the responses from others? POA partisan? I volunteer to help make Garden City a better place and really don't appreciate the nonsense. Signed by John Skramko
Greg Blair January 29, 2013 at 09:53 AM
John Skramko, thanks for signing your name. Please speak with Manny.
GCTaxpayer January 29, 2013 at 10:05 AM
Greg, Just realize you are up against the POA juggernaut and that any challenge to their autocratic rule must be dispatched. They control the Patch and GC news and that was evidenced by the letters to the editor last week by the sheer amount of pro POA letters. I wish you luck and challenge is healthy, just not in GC where the few who run the incestuous POA system cannot lose control.
Jack O'Niel January 29, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Yeah Manny/Reed got busted. Unfortunately for you Greg is he did raise some valid points (in addition to some not so valid I don't agree with.) Good luck to all and if for some reason the Trustee challengers prevail we'll at least be able to stop bitching about St. Paul's because they are just going to pull the trigger and move forward with it.
Neil O'Malley January 29, 2013 at 11:01 AM
I'd love to see some fresh blood in village government but not overnight! This position is too important. Incestuous poa's? GCtaxpayer, have you ever applied to be a director of your poa? Do you regularly attend meetings? Did you bother to take some of your valuable time and actually submit a letter? I doubt it. I agree with John S. The fact that these two challengers in the East and the Estates think that they can jump into the Trustee ranks without any preparation or participation is very insulting. Saturday's budget session could have been the challengers first village wide appearance as serious candidates and neither of you chose to attend. And yet Mr. Blair you find time today, hours before the poll opens to state your budget concerns? And Mrs. Ryan continues to misstate departmental budget numbers in her campaign literature. Very telling. Mr. DeMaro has been active for many years and doesn't have to respond in this forum to demonstrate his commitment to the village. As far as communication and honesty goes, I think the above reference to St.Paul's is the first time either of you has admitted that this is the only legitimate reason that you have for running? Why isn't Francine's save St.Pauls organization listed as one of her accomplishments? If these two happen to lose, I wonder when and if we'll see them again? I'm guessing we won't. Just like the others, they will disappear. Next year the CSSP will lean on some new puppets and the campaign of wasted time and energy will start all over again. Signed: Neil O'Malley, 6 year EPOA Director and 14 year member of the GC Fire Department
John S January 29, 2013 at 11:32 AM
I don't know and don't care if Manny is Reed. Just like I don't care who GCTaxpayer is. The last runoff election was decided by less than 50 votes. Where 100-150 people used to vote...it is now something like 500. Every vote does count. Last weeks Garden City News had numerous letters in support of John DeMaro with a variety of reasons why. Contrary to comical blog posts that the GCNews and Patch are controlled by the POAs... Anyone can send a letter to the editor or an article (on any topic) to the GC News by simply signing your name and sending to editor@gcnews.com the same is true to sign in and post an article for the Garden City Patch (select the green converstation "Post" button on the top left). I feel that comments about "partisan POA", "POA juggernaut", "autocratic rule" etc couldn't be further from the truth. These comments insult our fellow neighbors that volunteer. I believe that all of the previous challengers should have joined the Citizens Budget Review Committee or become a POA Director. Many other candidates for Trustee have done just that. This is the path John DeMaro followed. Previous Estates Trustee candidate Robert Bommarito, (in less than two years) is now the Estates vice chairman of the Nominating Committee. I also believe that Mr Blair should begin his service to the community by helping the Library or on the CBRC. As I said in my letter to the editor, I will gladly step down as a Director of the Estates POA and member of the Nominating Committee for "new blood" to volunteer and participate. Be informed....Read the articles...decide for yourself...and please vote. I'm voting for John DeMaro.
Manuel Velez January 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM
This is Manny Velez, and I have been made aware of a situation that apparently needs clarification. I am sure residents who know me and who speak with me know exactly how I feel about qualified and experienced candidates. For those who may not know me, I have posted several times during this campaign clearly stating my full support of John DeMaro. Additionally, I am the Nominating Committee Chairperson. As such, I stand with the Nominating Committee 100% in support of the Estates Nominating Committee Nomination of John DeMaro for Estates Village Trustee. I am not Reed Marcus. Let’s re-focus on the decision at hand today which is completing this run-off election without other distractions. Let’s be sure we vote for the most qualified candidate with the most experience to represent us. Thank you.
Ron Konkoma January 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Reed Marcus was Manny Velez... and he was my father. And my mother... my brother... my friend. He was you... and me. He was all of us. Thank you Manny.
GCRes1 January 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM
The single biggest issue facing the Village (and all municipalities) is the rising cost of workers' pensions and benefits, stifling work rules, hiring/firing rules, binding arbitration mechanisms, etc. The job of the Board Of Trustees is the RESIST that enormous pressure, through contract negotiations, to continue to provide Village services without allowing our tax rates to explode. Question: How does Francine Ryan expect to be an aggressive negotiator on behalf of her fellow citizens when she is relying on union firefighters to hand out literature and otherwise support her campaign? its an embarrassing conflict of interest that disqualifies her for service as a trustee.
GCTaxpayer January 29, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Neil, I appreciate your years of service to GC. However, your response is exactly what I was talking about. Somehow, you can discredit my opinion because you are involved in the revolving door, you be a director this year and then secretary next year then on the nominating committee the following year, POA system. I don't discount your involvement in any way, but that certainly doesn't make your opinion more important than mine. It actually is a prime example of the thought process in GC volunteerism, I volunteer, therefore I am better than my neighbor. An oligarchy at it's finest. Good luck to all the candidates, having choice beyond what an 8 or 10 person, except in the central where 4 is the number, committee tells you for whom to vote.
GC Joe January 29, 2013 at 01:10 PM
I'm sorry. I'm having trouble processing information once I got to Mr. Marcus lambasting somebody else for being "arrogant." Mind blown. I'll be back.
GCRes1 January 29, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Isn't the issue that the challengers haven't been involved, and that therefore they don't have the experience or knowledge necessary to do the job? In Ms. Ryan's campaign, she has shown she is ignorant of basic facts and circumstances. She has made proposals like "Listen to the Citizens Budget Review Committee," as if this isn't already a key part of the budget process. She simultaneously argued that she would be a better partner for the business district while advocating shutting 7th street to cars and adding parking meters. Ask the businesses in the Village what they think of those ideas. She herself didn't attend a budget meeting on the budget she hopes to vote on (and that is a public meeting-- no invitation from the POA system required). That failure is particularly brazen because when her ally, Mr. Segerdahl, challenged in the East last year, he ALSO skipped the first budget meeting, and was criticized for it. Could it be that these people don't really care about these important issues, and only want to remove the trustees who have stood in the way of restoring St. Paul's on the public dime? Her lack of involvement isn't what disqualifies her. But it is the reason that she is clueless regarding the Village's real issues and the work being done on them. And that cluelessness and lack of interest disqualifies her.
Jack O'Niel January 29, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Don't forget Mr. Segerdahl was also instrumental in the parkland designation for St. Paul's. It's not only their lack of involvement but also who they are connected too, who is the Oz pulling the levers?
GC Joe January 29, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Who is Jack O'Niel connected to? ... The present Trustees? ... The POA? ....The Communist Party?
Jack O'Niel January 29, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Ha, I'm connected to the SGC, Dr. Samantha Carter and several others. I am not connected to anybody in GC although I do live there. Do you know me? Doubt it because I literally do not have any connections in the village to this date. As others have pointed out though that doesn't matter because I pay taxes too.
GC Joe January 29, 2013 at 02:00 PM
My fault. I thought we were just tossing out wild conspiracy theories and inflaming comment section rhetoric.
Jack O'Niel January 29, 2013 at 02:03 PM
It's not a theory, it's happening with the CSSP as seen in this election's challengers and the previous election. It's real and it has a documented history for anyone that cares to look. Carisa has been writing about St. Paul's since the early 2000's and that's when it started heating up. Almost the same players too. Google it if you want to know more.
GC Joe January 29, 2013 at 02:09 PM
I'm well aware of the CSSP and St. Paul's topic. However, it would appear that to some anyone who opposes DeMaro and Donnelly are "CSSP" and "St. Paul's" people. What are Mr. Blair's priorities? It's real and documented for anyone that cares to look. Google it if you want to know more.
GcSupporter#2 January 29, 2013 at 03:46 PM
GCRes1 writes: The single biggest issue facing the Village (and all municipalities) is the rising cost of workers' pensions and benefits, stifling work rules, hiring/firing rules, binding arbitration mechanisms, etc. The job of the Board Of Trustees is the RESIST that enormous pressure, through contract negotiations, to continue to provide Village services without allowing our tax rates to explode. Question: How does Francine Ryan expect to be an aggressive negotiator on behalf of her fellow citizens when she is relying on union firefighters to hand out literature and otherwise support her campaign? its an embarrassing conflict of interest that disqualifies her for service as a trustee. Excuse me GCRes1 but how in the world do you expect Larry Quinn to be an aggressive negotiator when he directly benefits from such a pension system?!?!
GCRes1 January 29, 2013 at 04:18 PM
GCSupporter#2: Well, conflicts of interest are rampant in a system that allows for collective bargaining by public employees and all collective bargaining by public employees should be banned in New York State. I am glad you agree. ------------------ BUT the conflict Ms. Ryan has created for herself and the conflict you claim for Mr. Quinn are miles apart. I suppose the worst you could say for a trustee who RECEIVES an unrelated pension is that he might LIKE pensions, as a matter of philosophy, and therefore go easy on a union. But if he also LIKES balancing the budget and keeping his and his neighbors taxes low, he might not. ------------------- I have seen how Larry operates, and I don't think he is a big fan of the municipal unions. I don't think any current trustee is. Remember, the vote to close the outside firehouses was 7-1, and only no vote was from Mayor Brudie because he thought it should be done on a test basis. So really, all 8 trustees were in favor of closing the outside firehouses. Ms. Ryan has carved out for herself a particularly extreme view on the firehouse issue, one she alone would hold on the current board of trustees. --------- I think it is worth asking whether her reliance on a particular union group to help her get elected has something to do with that extreme stance, and whether she will continue to pursue pro-firefighters' union goals if elected.
GcSupporter#2 January 29, 2013 at 05:53 PM
You assume I am against Quinn and for Ryan. Wrong. I am against both. Just want to make sure we are not picking and choosing the conflicts of interest based on what best suits our preference of candidates. And nooooo I never heard of union solidarity. We're those the nuc teachers today supporting the bus drivers union?? Sorry don't feel comfortable with a union boy in charge.

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