Community leaders share resolutions

Sam Desmond
Posted 1/5/23

The Suffolk County News asked leaders in the community for their resolutions for 2023, both for themselves and the people they serve.

Here are some of the responses.

Angie Carpenter, Islip …

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Community leaders share resolutions


The Suffolk County News asked leaders in the community for their resolutions for 2023, both for themselves and the people they serve.

Here are some of the responses.

Angie Carpenter, Islip Town Supervisor

The New Year is certainly a time to reflect on the past and renew our commitment to being our best. As Islip Town supervisor, my priority has always been, and will continue to be, improving the quality of life for all Islip residents. We are one town, made richer by the diverse communities and cultures that do not just inhabit the town, but are our Islip Town. During the past year we have seen much division across our world, country, states and communities. Perhaps we need to see each other on a more personal level, be less dependent on social media and pick up the phone … really talk to one another.  Positive change can begin with small single steps. My wish for this New Year is that we may all take the time to listen to one another, respect and appreciate each other, and celebrate our differences as well as our common interests and goals. It is my resolution to continue to foster unity within our town for the benefit of all of our residents. Islip Town offers an abundance of programs and community events and provides many services that benefit our residents and visitors alike. I encourage you to visit our website to explore and enjoy these offerings. I wish everyone peace and joy in the New Year!

Jaclyn Napolitano Furno, president, board of education, Connetquot School District

As we begin 2023, my New Year’s resolution will be to live healthier, eat better, exercise more and take care of my health.  We all could use less stress and more happiness in our lives, too.  I will enjoy traveling this year with my family to new places and to learn new things.  I plan on spending less time on social media platforms to avoid negativity and instead work towards helping others who may be going through a tough time.  My most important personal goal this year is to spend more time with my family and children and make memories to last a lifetime.  

As a law enforcement officer, my wish is for all of my brothers and sisters in blue to get home safe after each tour.  I pray for them and their families, always. 

As a school board trustee, my wish is that all of our students achieve academic excellence, success and they feel confident in themselves.  These young people are extraordinary and are our future.  Each student has a special gift to give to this world.  I look forward to seeing them grow and where life takes each of them.  I wish them all the very best in 2023.  

Milynn Augulis, vice president, board of education, Connetquot School District

As the New Year approaches, I usually like to reflect on the past year and what I would like to improve upon going forward. I take great pride in what I have achieved, but there are always areas to grow. I am thrilled that the Bohemia Civic Association is back, and we have a new board that is rejuvenated and inspired to bring important topics and issues at hand. I am honored to serve as vice president again, which allows me to address community concerns and bring awareness to our local politicians. 

Serving as president of the Greater Islip Association for the past few years has provided me the opportunity to hear the community regarding traffic concerns, environmental issues and overdevelopment, particularly the Island Hills Golf Course property. It is vital to bring these concerns to the forefront and protect the way of life for community residents. I get to serve on a board that has incredible and passionate directors. I have learned so much in serving in this role, and I feel that it helps me improve in other areas of community involvement. My hope is that we are successful and continue to bring the voices of a “No Zone Change” to fruition. 

I am serving in my ninth year on the Connetquot BOE, where I am currently the VP. This has truly been an amazing experience and one that will forever change the way I approach any issue or topic. Serving in this role is multifaceted; I often say to really understand this role is to sit in the shoes of a trustee. There are always challenges and many angles to juggle. There are moments where you are pushed to capacity; then, on the flip side, I have the opportunity to see the amazing works of our staff and students. 

This New Year to come and resolution would be to work on time management and don’t sweat the small stuff. Reflection is important, but don’t get wrapped up in negativity. Never let negativity be an obstacle or to trip over. This will only take from goals to achieve—to be more present in the moment and that life is precious and always valued.

Marissol Mallon, trustee, board of education, Connetquot School District

Possibility. I love the thought of it. I love that at any given moment, we can all change the direction in which we are headed. With every day, we have endless possibilities. The New Year, however, highlights those possibilities even more so. A new year with a fresh start. But in order to move forward, I find it’s important to take a brief look back.
For myself, I am so proud to have been afforded the opportunity to be a board of education trustee. I have been able to see firsthand the positive impact this has had on the community and the children in it. When I accepted this position two years ago, I had no idea how much this would change me as a person. It has truly been a humbling experience. I have seen how people and a community can come together in times of happiness and in times of sadness—members of a community who met as strangers and worked through differences for a common good.
Moving into the New Year, I look forward to working with the members of the board, continuing to serve the community and my family. I know that together, we can get through whatever the New Year brings us.
While I am going into the New Year with many of the same resolutions as everyone else—eating less carbs, exercising more, drinking more water and less coffee—I also want to focus on all the possibilities each day brings us, not just Jan. 1. I want to remember that a bad day is just that—a bad day. The following day is full of new possibilities. And so, as I bid farewell to 2022, I do so with a smile, knowing that possibilities are always endless.

John Verdone, president, board of education, Sayville School District

Thank you to the Sayville community for giving me the opportunity to serve as president of Sayville School Board along with my fellow trustees the past year.

As a board we have welcomed our new superintendent, Dr. Mark Ferris, and newly elected school board trustees, Christine Sarni, Kelly Sack, and the reelection of Moreen Dolan. We also recognized and thank the years of dedicated service of retiring trustee, Norman Deveneau, for his nearly 20 years of service. Devenau, thank you for you service.

As our districts starts the 2023 school year, I looked back on the past two years. The Sayville community saw the good of what a community can do when faced with the ever-changing challenges.

My commitment and the board’s commitment is to see that our students and staff are provided the opportunity to grow and explore in a healthy, cohesive, and safe environment and reach for what the world has to offer. This cannot be done without all the groups that support our schools, from the PTA, Boosters clubs, etc., at all our building levels, to the many businesses in our beautiful downtown that continuously support our students and school.

Happy New Year to all our students and staff!

Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education

Continue working in conjunction with Dr. Hearney as a team to continuously improve while always thinking of what’s best for our students and community. 

Christine Sarni, Greater Sayville Civic Association

With 2022 in the rearview mirror, the GSCA looks back at a successful year of in-person meetings and successful events.  This year we will aim to grow our Kentucky Derby Fundraiser and Light the Night, both help fund our graduation awards, Adopt-a-Family and other charitable events.  We will continue to expand our membership, increasing participation and continue to be a source of information.  We will continue to strengthen our relationships with other local organizations and look for ways to partner in the future.  The GSCA will see a change in leadership that we know will strengthen our organization and breed interest.  On a personal note, I plan to spend this next year focused on curing my COVID hangover and striking a balance between family/friends, self, and work. I am excited to settle into my new roles and learn as much as possible. I will be spending as much time as I can with my girls as they prepare for college and traveling, as much as possible.  

Brian M. Bast, president, Oakdale Civic Association

My 2023 New Year’s resolution is going to focus on my two daughters and my position as current president of the Oakdale Civic Association. My daughters are going to be 14 and 15 in 2023, so I intend to change my parenting from baby/child mode to young adult mode! I intend to listen to them more and include them in family decisions! 

As for my role as president of the Civic, I intend to focus on the newly restored Brick Engraving Project at the Oakdale train station. The Civic received numerous calls from Oakdale residents with interest in purchasing a brick in memory of a loved one. It was because there was community interest in this project to be restored that we decided to help. 

We are here to assist the community with problems, interests, questions and concerns; reach out to us at (646) 258-7028 or come to our meetings.

Bob Draffin, president, Bayport Civic Association

2023 marks the 20th anniversary of the Bayport Civic Association, and I harken back to our first meeting wherein our first order of business was to craft and approve a mission statement. Those very first words read, “The mission of this Association shall be to unite the residents of Bayport...”

In a time of divisiveness, I resolve to promote unity in our community on those things that we can all agree on. They include supporting and improving our quality of life and promoting and preserving the historic and unique character of the hamlet that we are so lucky to call our home.

Father Jeffrey Neal Stevenson, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Sayville

What is my goal for this year?  That is a tricky question for many of us; it feels as though we made plans in 2020 only to be dashed by the pandemic.  We made plans for 2021 hoping that we could find a way back to some semblance of normal, but alas, the world remained upside-down.  In 2022, I found myself just holding my breath.  So, this year I am going to keep my aspirations lofty, but hold them lightly. Part of the Great Commandment we pray every week says to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I want to deepen my engagement in our community using this as my guide.  It is my goal this year to seek out more of my neighbors, to meet them where they are—from the folks who live on my street to the shopkeepers on Main. My goal is to reach out as often as I can to give first, expecting nothing in return

Pastor Sejin Cha, Bayport United Methodist Church

Bayport United Methodist Church will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2023. The meeting that started in a small family home in 1873 is the beginning of our church. In the new year, BUMC is planning various community events to celebrate its 150th anniversary. One of the events I am planning is to become a green church. It’s a church that pursues the values of environmental justice. Next year, we will ask questions each other and study about environmental justice. Where does our electricity come from? Are there opportunities for us to buy renewable energy, as a congregation and as individuals? If not, how can we as a church work to make those available? What are we doing with our trash? Are there ways to reduce our trash and increase our recycling and composting? Here are the list of the plan. 1. We’ll keep many church meetings virtual/hybrid. 2. We’ll organize car-pools and ride sharing to build relationships and lower CO2 emissions. 3. We’ll do an efficiency study on church appliances. 4. Have heating and cooling units serviced regularly for top efficiency. 5. We’ll make the move to LED light bulbs. 6. We’ll give careful thought to adding solar panels to your church energy plan. 6. We’ll lead our congregation in the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Being a green church as a community of faith will be a difficult task that takes time, but I believe it is a spiritual movement and it will remind us that we are part of God’s creation.

Pastor Michael Miano, Blue Point Bible Church

As society around us urges us toward an increased authenticity and graciousness toward ourselves and others, especially in how we find solutions to perceived problems, I resolve to allow such authenticity and graciousness to be seen in my life. 

To resolve is to decide firmly. 

Authenticity is simply being genuine and real. 

Graciousness is seeking the building up, the mutual happiness, and liberties of difference, error, and mistakes to be welcomed and encouraged on every level. 

Utilizing authenticity and grace in my self-examination, my fellowship with and living amongst others, my methods of finding solutions to the problems we deal with, on every level of life and thought, should help me become healthy, helpful, and happy. And who doesn’t want to be happy!

Rabbi Jessica Rosenthal, B’nai Israel Reform Temple, Oakdale

In Judaism, we constantly consider how we can be better people in the coming year. The overall goal is to improve and repair our relationships and increase our positive impact on the world.

My personal and professional resolutions for the coming year are guided by this philosophy, especially in the wake of increased hate crimes.

I am passionate about social justice and have attended seminars, trainings, and preached on this essential topic. In the original Hebrew from the Book of Genesis (1:27), there is a wise reminder that we are all created b’tzelem elohim, in God’s image, whatever our gender, sexual orientation, the color of our skin, or religious beliefs. Hate has no place in our community. So, to strengthen my impact on our community, I resolve to become more involved with local efforts to embrace and protect diversity.

Similarly, I resolve to continue work with my congregation, B’nai Israel Reform Temple, to find even more creative ways to be a welcoming, inclusive, and warm place that values meaningful relationships with one another, Judaism, and the local community.

My job has taught me that that every moment we have is precious, and so a personal resolution is to make the most of the time I have with my family, and to engage my kids in the meaningful work of giving back to the community.

My hope is that each of these goals will aid my overall resolution to foster kindness, compassion, acceptance, and love for all I encounter in every way possible. 

Wishing everyone a healthy, just, and happy New Year, and the inspiration to spread and spark inclusion and loving-kindness in the coming year.

Carol Seitz Cusack, immediate past president of BBP Chamber of Commerce, owner, Therm-A-Trol, Blue Point

While reflecting on my business organizational and chamber-related goals for this upcoming New Year  2023, I found myself being thankful for a New Year; yet also grateful for all lessons learned during this  past year, 2022. 

As the leader of our family business Therm-A-Trol Inc., my goal is to continue to keep it  operating like the family-owned business it always been.  We have done many to updates the business  during the past two years.  Taking a more than 56-year-old business and making it electronic, going through years of data was no easy feat.  Thankfully, our staff is wonderful and has great foresight, as we all worked together to make this happen.  I am dedicating myself this year in continuing to build and update Therm-A-Trol, Inc.—all the while, not changing the way we do business, with our special personal touch.  I also plan on getting involved with more in business events to continue my growth as the leader of the business.  I am thankful to now have the office running in the 21st century!  This was needed for the customer base we serve. All these changes started during the three-year term I served  as the president of the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce.

As the current Immediate past president of the Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce, there are some areas I felt I could focus on as well for the upcoming year of 2023. First and foremost, I would like to thank all who assisted me these past three years.  Your support was welcomed and always greatly appreciated.  I would also like to thank the senior leaders of the chamber that selflessly assisted me whenever I reached out for advice along the way.  It was a joy and privilege to assist our local chamber businesses throughout that time period. As the immediate past president of the chamber, one of my jobs is to act as a sounding board and assistant to the current president Rob Welsh, of USA Auto Body. 

I will continue to assist Janet Draffin as the co-chair of the Bayport-Blue Point Beautification Committee as we approach another year of flowers and holiday décor along our Bayport-Blue Point highways.  This upcoming year, we will be working with the lighting on the holiday décor—that is a goal in itself!  Lastly, I also plan on get more involved with my other local chamber affiliations in 2023I

When not performing the aforementioned goals, I plan on performing my music locally

Eileen Tyznar, president, Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce

With New Year’s 2023 arriving, so many resolutions come to my mind.

Some of my resolutions, or promises, as I call them, are quite normal for most people. Traveling this year with my family and discover new countries and cultures. Improving my fitness, trying to train to run a short marathon,  always admiring people who have that drive, dedication and motivation.  Expanding my volunteer work for more “hands on” at  a pediatric hospital wing or elder care facilities. Opening up a bookstore with community involvement, employing local children and parents to run it and take part of every aspect of the business. To leave that legacy in our community that all could be a part of and proud of.

The most important two resolutions, however, are time management and being kind to yourself when you can’t do all that you have set forth to do.  Time management of your home or family life, your business, or employment, and balancing that with family, friends, and the most important person, yourself, your own private time and also to pursue your dreams. To say yes only when you can and say no without guilt.

For me… this 2023, I will refer to this quote while thinking of my resolutions:

“Time is free, but it’s priceless.  You can’t own it,  but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.  Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.”

Make time this 2023. Peace and happy New Year to all! 


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