Forward Focus team sweeps election

Story By: PEGGY SPELLMAN HOEY
3/21/2013


Mastic Beach Village residents elected the Forward Focus team across the board in Tuesday’s elections.

Mayor Bill Biondi, who ran unopposed for his first two-year term in office, took the top number of votes — 651 — in the election, while political newcomer Nick Busa garnered the top amount of votes for trustee at 588. Deputy Mayor Gary Stiriz came in second, re-elected to his second two-year term of office by 504 votes. Incumbent Trustee Carol Bissonnette, who ran on her own party line, Hear Our Voices, garnered 442 of the votes. It is not clear how many votes independent write-in candidate Bruce Summa garnered because the votes were not counted by press time.

Biondi, who started off as a trustee and was appointed to mayor last year, said he was happy with the results and looking forward to getting to work.

“I get to continue what we started with three people, the three of us that stuck together through most of the hurricane, the superstorm and the snow storm, the floodings and everything,” he said. “I think the village is going to be in great shape knowing the three of us are still on board.”

Biondi and Stiriz chose Busa earlier this year as a running mate over Bissonette, whom they say was not available to help out during the most recent storms. Bissonette has denied the claims, saying she was intentionally shut out of the board’s dealings for not always agreeing with her colleagues’ decisions.

“It is what it is,” Biondi said, adding that the campaign season was “full of lies,” but that he felt that he and his running mates proved themselves. “I don’t understand why — right or wrong, for the village or not — people just don’t work together. The infighting has got to stop.”

Biondi went on to say that the village will rebuild “bigger and better than ever” and they will do it with five people who are all on the same page.

Busa, a retired state marshal and court officer who has volunteered his time to help the village with its justice court operations, said he felt great about the win.

“I’m going learn what I need to do, what needs to be done on the board,” he said. “I’m going to fill the chair constantly and not be an empty chair like the person who was in there before.”

“I think we are going to be a great team; we have been a great team all along,” said Busa, who also rallied to help the village after the last two big storms.

Stiriz, who, like Biondi, is one of the village’s first-elected, also said he was pleased with the results.

“Of course, we are going to have a very unified group,” he said. “We all want to do the same things, we all want to redo the village, we want to make things better here. Now we can move forward.”

Bissonette, who was appointed to fill Biondi’s trustee spot and was seeking her first elected term on the board, congratulated the trio, but declined to immediately comment on the election results. She did not respond to a reporter’s inquiry by deadline.

Summa, a critic of the village who only launched his write-in campaign 10 days ago, called the run a good one. According to Summa, he garnered 267 write-in votes for trustee and another 70 votes were written in the column for mayor, bringing his total number of supporters to 325 voters.

“Its not all that shabby, considering it was a 10-day, low-income campaign,” he said.

Summa said he is considering running again next year.

“We were testing the waters this year and when you look at that,” he said, “I have almost 37 percent of the vote. That is certainly something to rely on and it is something that is significant.”

Village Clerk Virgilia Gross could not confirm Summa’s information. As of deadline, Gross said she noted myriad names — including that of Mickey Mouse — that were written in at the polls and is putting together a list as a precaution.

Busa’s term will start at noon on April 1. The board’s next meeting is April 9.