Trustees win second term
In a three-way race for the Bellport Village board, incumbent trustees Joseph Gagliano and Steven Mackin were re-elected on Tuesday. Joined by opponent Dan Polner, village officials and a dozen village residents, election inspectors tallied up the ballots Tuesday evening. Gagliano received 306 votes, Mackin got 324 and Polner earned 139 votes. According to village clerk John Kocay, there were five write-in candidates and two illegible ballots.
In his second election ever, Mackin admits there were some nervous moments. “The last two hours were down to the wire, but it feels good,” he said upon hearing the results. Gagliano said he’s “absolutely looking forward” to a second term. Though the current deputy mayor has served the village in several capacities, including the waterfront commision and architectural review board, he sees his first term as trustee as particularly compelling. “It’s one of the most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever been involved in,” he said of public service.
Both men plan to continue initiatives started over their first term in office. Mackin awaits results of a formal traffic study being conducted in the village this summer and plans to make recommendations to improve both vehicle and pedestrian safety. Using his knowledge and experience in public safety--Mackin has served as a volunteer with the Bellport Fire Department for 18 years--he is also working with code enforcement to update policies for a more modern era.
Gagliano, as deputy mayor, has used his experience in construction, waterfront management and administrative leadership to support several projects, including environmental improvements to the DPW yard and was instrumental in securing federal funding through FEMA to repair the village bulkhead at the marina.
Mayor Ray Fell is thrilled to welcome Mackin and Gagliano back to the board. “I’m looking forward to working with them again,” Fell said. In a letter to this newspaper, Fell acknowledged that the five-member board has a strong dynamic. “[We] do not always agree on every issue,” Fell wrote. “We’ll discuss and debate but ultimately do what’s best for the village. We have a deep respect for each other and for each person’s opinion,” he said.
The Advance has reached out to Dan Polner for comment and will update accordingly.
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