For more than 30 years, the Unity Party had dominated the election scene in Island Park, putting in office numerous mayors and village trustees.
Now, however, Glen Ingoglia and a group of insurgents called the Voice Party seek to change that history.
Ingoglia, who is presently the high-profile president of the village’s chamber of commerce formed the Voice Party two years ago and now plans to foray into village politics with challengers for both the mayor and two of the three trustee positions.
Ingoglia plans to run for mayor in the March 18, 2014 election, a position now held by James Ruzicka, who reportedly plans to retire and not seek reelection.
“I have lived here all of my life, and my professional life is here,” he said last week. “I see things that really need improvement and I want to make a positive change to my community.”
Although village sources were not available this week to confirm, Ingoglia believes that two trustee positions will be up for election in March as well —that of trustee Irene Naudus, who is up for reelection and Henry “Mickey” Hastava, who is retiring as a trustee.
Hastava confirmed that he is indeed retiring after eight years as a trustee.
“It has been a wonderful experience, and if I were 20 years younger, I would not be retiring,” he told the Herald. “I am 77 years old and spend a lot of time in Florida. I would not be able to make the village meetings on a regular basis.”
The Voice Party has two candidates ready to run for those seats, according to Ingoglia — Laura Hassett and Columbia Cictimarrow.
Does Ingoglia think that the Voice Party candidates have a chance to unseat the Unity Party and take control of the village?
“This is our time and I think we have an excellent time.” He said. “There is a large movement of people who are tried of how things are run in the village, especially after Sandy. They feel disenfranchised by the people who run the town. Sandy woke them up and now they are ready for a change.”
There has been no official announcement about who will run on the Unity Party slate against Ingoglia to replace Ruzicka, but conventional wisdom in the town says that it will be Deputy Mayor Stephen D’Esposito, who could not be reached to confirm or deny the story.