Glenn Ingoglia was re-elected president of the Island Park Chamber of Commerce and Michael Scully was elected vice president at a contentious, often angry meeting at the South Shore Jewish Center on Dec. 12.
Ingoglia received 20 votes, while his challenger, Frank Naudus Jr., received nine. Scully garnered 19 votes for vice president, while challenger Joe Pontecorvo received 4. There were 29 voters out of 38 eligible voters — paid members of the organization.
That term —“paid-up” members — became an important one, as many of those in the audience who claimed to be members of the chamber were refused the right to vote in the election.
Glenn Bacigalupo, the vice president of the Island Park Library, was one of those who was not allowed to vote, despite the fact, he said, that the library has been a chamber member for more than five years.
“Ingoglia showed up for photos when the library reopened after Sandy,” Bacigalupo said. “He used us as a photo op to further his own agenda. We are listed as a member on the chamber’s website. He never told us that we are not members. I don’t understand this at all.”
Larry Chorne, the owner of Island Advantage Realty, was another participant who walked out of the meeting angry because he could not vote. “We worked with the chamber after Sandy, and we donated 500 trees to the community through the organization,” Chorne said. “So I come to this meeting to vote, and I’m told that I’m no longer a paid-up member and can’t vote.”
As Ingoglia called the role of those who were allowed to vote, many business members who were passed over in the alphabetical call grew angry and challenged Ingoglia, who stood his ground at the podium and refused to take questions. “We are conducting an election, and that is all we are going to do tonight,” was his answer to every question.
Bonnie Leibstein, the owner of Jewelry by Steven, told the Herald that she had given Ingoglia a check for her membership dues, but it was never cashed. “Why didn’t he deposit my check and then tell me I’m not a member?” she asked. “I believe it’s because he did not want me to vote tonight. This is terrible.”