Polls will be open for the Village of Lynbrook election on March 19.
Mayor Alan Beach and Deputy Mayor Hilary Becker have been locked in a hotly contested race for mayor. Beach is part of the New Vision Party, with incumbent Trustees Ann Marie Reardon and Robert Boccio. Becker formed the Preserve Lynbrook Party, which includes trustee candidates Antoniella Tavella and Steve Ligouri. Lynbrook businessman David O’Neill was recently confirmed to appear on the ballot, and is running independently for trustee.
Here is a closer look at all of the candidates:
Beach, 64, is a retired FDNY lieutenant and has served on the village board since March 2007. He was deputy mayor under Mayor William Hendrick, who died in office in October 2017. Beach succeeded Hendrick.
Last March, Beach was re-elected mayor in an uncontested race to finish Hendrick’s term, and now must run for a four-year term. He has lived in Lynbrook for three decades, and he and his wife, Rina, raised two sons, Alan and Gregory.
Though Beach’s negotiations with the Farmingdale-based Terwilliger & Bartone Properties for the $75 million Cornerstone apartment complex did not lead to its construction, he said he is open to hearing any developers’ ideas for the downtown. His top priority, he noted, is lowering taxes.
“I will meet with every department head to ask for a 5 to 10 percent decrease in their budget,” Beach said. “I am always exploring smart development to attract new businesses to our village in order to expand the tax base.”
Becker, 58, has served on the village board since 2009 and was appointed deputy mayor by Beach in December 2017.
Becker, whose family has a long history in local politics, grew up in Lynbrook and works in real estate. He and his wife, Geralyn, have four children, Noelle, Joseph, David and Thomas.
Becker is president of the Lynbrook Youth Athletic Association, runs the Lynbrook Titans Wrestling Program and serves as head coach of the Girls Self-Defense Program.
He recently released an eight-point plan for Lynbrook, which includes reducing taxes and creating beautification projects, and said he was running for mayor because he believed residents’ quality of life was at risk because of the Cornerstone proposal.
“The no-bid Cornerstone project opened people’s eyes to the importance of village government,” he said, “which many believe was complicit in allowing this massive project to move forward without much community input.”
Ann Marie Reardon
Reardon, 46, became the second woman village trustee in Lynbrook history when Hendrick appointed her in 2015, and worked for Brian Curran when he was a state assemblyman.
She has been active in the Our Lady of Peace Parents Association for many years, and was its co-president before becoming its treasurer.
Reardon and her husband, Keith, have four children, James, Keith, Matthew and Grace. She loves living in the village, she said, and sees her role as an opportunity to improve it. Her top priority, she said, is to lower taxes.
“My top priority is the concern of many residents, which is taxes,” she said. “With the growing uncertainty of the Nassau County reassessments, we need to address the village taxes now. Since I have been trustee, the village has stayed under the tax cap for the past two years. While this is a wonderful fact, we still need to do more.”
Reardon said the key to lowering taxes is to strengthen revenues by attracting smart development in the business district.
Boccio, 46, was appointed trustee by Beach in December 2017, filling the role that was vacated when Beach became mayor and appointed Becker as his deputy.
Boccio has lived in Lynbrook since 2005. He has experience in public service dating back to the 1990s, and he is a partner at the Garden City-based law firm Vigorito, Barker, Porter & Patterson LLP, primarily handling medical malpractice defense cases.
He also teaches at Columbia University, and has served as a member and chairman of the village’s Board of Ethics and Board of Zoning Appeals and as an assistant village prosecutor. In addition, he previously worked in former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration and ran unsuccessfully for Lynbrook mayor in 2007. He is involved in many youth sports programs locally.
Like Reardon, Boccio said his main focus, if re-elected, would be to strengthen the tax base.
On development in the village, he said, “To attract appropriate development, we must take a multi-faceted approach that includes focusing on public safety, continual village beautification and enhancement of infrastructure with respect to roads, parking and our train station.”
Ligouri, 62, is a lifelong Lynbrook resident, and he and his wife, Elizabeth, raised their children Steven, Caitlin, Margaret and Jack, in the village.
He served for 12 years on the village’s Architectural Review Board, for which he was chairman, and he is a commercial insurance broker for Marsh & McLennan Companies.
Ligouri said he was disappointed in how the Cornerstone project was handled, and said he decided to run for trustee to help create a more transparent, accountable government.
“I am running for office with the hopes to use my real-world business experience to tackle the problems that face our village,” he said, “which include expanding access to the village board through an open-door policy, cutting taxes, stopping major tax cuts to big developers, and stopping the Cornerstone project once and for all.”
Tavella, 45, has been active in the Lynbrook community for nine years. She was among the founders of the Lynbrook Community Alliance, which helped stop a gun range and spa that was proposed for the downtown.
Tavella and her husband have raised three children in the village, and she has worked in accounting, consulting and project management for 25 years.
She said the lack of transparency over the proposed gun range — and later the Cornerstone — inspired her to run for trustee. Her goal, if she were elected, would be to provide open, honest government that residents could rely on, she said.
“I want to preserve our village for future generations, which includes standing up against big developers who plan to fundamentally alter our way of life, damage our schools, hike our taxes and harm our village,” she said.
O’Neill, 51, has lived in Lynbrook for 45 years and graduated from Lynbrook High School in 1985. He owns Great Bay Realty & Peak Research, which handles title insurance for real estate transactions. He previously owned Village Car Service and All Metro Mortgage.
O’Neill has attended village board meetings for several years. He also provided free transportation for attendees of Lynbrook High’s prom when he owned the car service, and he coached Lynbrook Titans lacrosse for 10 years.
O’Neill said he was inspired to run because he believes he can bring change to the village, including its decisions on who can build projects and which new businesses would be right for the downtown.
“We need to look for new businesses to open here in Lynbrook, which will bring people here, and in turn will help our existing businesses thrive in today’s challenging economy,” he said.