Candidates kick off races for mayor, board, justice in Malverne

Posted

Malverne’s Independent Party and the Hometown Pride Party recently shared their slates for this year’s village election. The mayoralty, two trustee seats and the village justice position are open. Heading the campaign for the Independent Party is Deputy Mayor Keith Corbett, who is running against lifelong Malvernite Lori Lang to replace outgoing Mayor Patti Ann McDonald, who announced last week that she would not seek a fourth term.

“Together, we have faced a number of challenges and made major improvements in the village while I have served the residents as mayor during the past 12 years,” McDonald said. “Today Malverne is a better place in every way.”

Race for mayor

Corbett is an attorney with the firm Harris Beach, in Uniondale. He has lived in the village for nearly a decade, was sworn in as a village trustee in 2014 and became deputy mayor in 2018. During his years on the board, he has worked alongside McDonald to renovate the downtown area and both Long Island Rail Road stations, and upgrade the infrastructure for drainage, parking and roads, among other projects.

“We have reduced budgets for every village department I’ve directed without cutting services,” Corbett said. “We must preserve our wonderful traditions while updating village government to meet the demands of a modern society.”

Lang runs her own business, Simplify Home Organization & Design, in Malverne. She has also been involved with fundraisers and drives in the community since she was a teenager, when she became a member of the village youth board at age 14. Lang said she decided to run after residents approached her last year, urging her to make a push for mayor. Lang’s mother, Catherine Hunt, was the first female mayor in the village when she was elected in 1987, and was one of the founders of the Hometown Pride Party.

“When I grew up here, there was so much resident involvement,” Lang said. “We want to be a voice for the residents if they feel that they need a change, and we want to be that change. I understand the needs of a small business owner firsthand, so this experience will be vital as the mayor of a small village.”

Trustee candidates

Lauren Touchard, who is running for re-election as trustee, grew up in the Westwood section, and has served as a village prosecutor. She is currently a liaison to village celebrations, the Tree and Beautification Committee and the Youth Board.

“We are working hard to expand the program with new and exciting events for all the children and families of Malverne,” she said.

Tim Sullivan is from a long line of Malvernites, and takes part in local community service, including his initiative to encourage veteran appreciation through the village’s annual Veterans Day celebration for the past seven years. He also works with Crossroads Farm on capital preservation and improvement projects.

“I am committed to preserving our rich village history, celebrating our valued faiths, and increasing recognition and appreciation of our veterans,” Sullivan said.

Rossana Weitekamp, who was the former editor of the Malverne/West Hempstead Herald, has been involved in the village through numerous groups, including the Malverne Volunteer Ambulance Corps, for which she trained and served as an Emergency Medical Technician for village residents for a decade. Weitekamp also served on MVAC’s board and as its secretary for seven years, and is a recipient of the American Legion’s EMT of the Year award.

“Malverne is not immune to the decreasing number of people who choose to donate their time and expertise towards the betterment of their community,” Weitekamp said. “That said, we are fortunate for the many who continue to step up to the plate year after year. We want more of those people, and it’s our goal to find and inspire them through events arranged by the Malverne Volunteer Commission, which we’ll create when I’m elected.”

As an attorney for more than 20 years, Malvernite Antony Pfeffer has held positions on various internal management committees. Pfeffer also supports the Our Lady of Lourdes Men’s Club with his wife Sheila, who co-chairs the OLL Bazaar. If elected, he also hopes to increase the transparency of village government and raise awareness about its proceedings and projects among residents.

“All of these efforts, on top of being careful in how taxpaying residents’ money is being spent, help to ensure that village funds are spent wisely and done with transparency,” Pfeffer said.

Candidates for village justice

Village Justice Jim Frankie, who is running for re-election, has served residents for more than 30 years as an attorney, prosecutor and a volunteer on the Malverne Code Review and Cable Television committees.

“Streamlining the Village Court and obtaining grants to modernize provides a village justice system where people are heard fairly and with respect,” Frankie said.

Monica Coffey-Murray now runs her own practice in the village, specializing in litigation and real estate law. If elected, Coffey-Murray said she hopes to expand on the village’s efforts to make the court “user-friendly.”

“Most people appear without counsel and are often confused and uncertain,” she said. “I would make sure the courtroom is a place of respect and information so people leave feeling they understood the legal process and were treated fairly.”

The village election will take place March 19 in the Malverne Firehouse, at 30 Broadway Ave.