Longtime Lynbrook resident and business owner David O’Neill recently announced that he is running for a trustee seat in the March 19 village election.
“I’m choosing to run for public office because I believe I can bring change,” O’Neill said. “A change in the way Lynbrook is governed and also a change in the overall outlook of our village. I believe Lynbrook has to make some changes regarding our decisions on who can and cannot build here and look for new businesses to open here that are the right fit for our village.”
O’Neill added that he believes the downtown needs an overhaul and vowed that, if elected, he would attract new businesses to bring more people into the village and help it thrive. He added that he believes the village board needs to be more transparent about potential projects.
There are five candidates vying for two trustee seats, and O’Neill is running independently. Incumbents Ann Marie Reardon and Robert Boccio are running on the New Vision Party line, along with Mayor Alan Beach. Challengers Antoniella Tavella and Steve Ligouri are running for trustee seats on the Preserve Lynbrook Party line with Deputy Mayor Hilary Becker, who is challenging Beach. The trustee election is an at-large vote, meaning the two candidates with the most votes will fill the seats.
Though he may face adversity running independently, O’Neill encouraged voters to select who they think is best for the role, not according to a party line. “As the only independent candidate, I will put the best interest of Lynbrook and my fellow residents first,” he said.
O’Neill, 51, has been a Lynbrook resident for 45 years and graduated from Lynbrook High School in 1985. He said he has a vested interest in the village prospering because 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 acknowledged that he had some legal troubles in the past, which his opponents might use against him, but noted that though he was arrested, the case was dismissed. "The charges were dropped, and the cases was dismissed," he said. "I bring this up because I want to be honest and open as possible with the Herald and the residents of the village. I owe them this much, especially given that I was innocent and everyone is innocent until proven guilty."
To become a candidate, O’Neill went door to door to collect at least 300 signatures for nomination and said that while doing so, he spoke with residents to gather their feedback about their issues.
O’Neill noted that he may have different opinions than current board members, but he would work well with whomever was elected to the board and for mayor, because they would need to work together to get things done. He added that his time owning businesses has taught him what Lynbrook needs.
“When I owned Village Car Service, I was my own sales and marketing company,” he said. “I wrote my own business plans, prepared budgets and set financial goals, which are skills that will help me immediately make an impact on the village board. As a business owner in Lynbrook, I also had to interact with the board. I feel as though the board can be much more receptive to the needs of Lynbrook businesses and business owners.”
O’Neill said his top priorities include economic development, working closely with the Police and Fire departments to keep Lynbrook safe and providing senior citizens with services that will ensure that they are properly cared for, such as free transportation to the supermarket at least once a week and increasing the amount of programs at the senior center.
When he owned Village Car Service, O’Neill provided free transportation for seniors and for attendees of Lynbrook High School’s prom. He also coached Lynbrook Titans lacrosse for 10 years.
“I honestly care about the issues that our village is faced with,” O’Neill said. “I am invested in this village. I want nothing more than to see Lynbrook be the best village I know it can be.”