Following Malverne’s first contested races in 12 years, Mayor Keith Corbett and the board of trustees said they would continue their efforts to enhance life in the village. The mayor, Trustees Lauren Touchard and Tim Sullivan, along with Village Justice James Frankie — who all ran together on the Independent Party line — were sworn in on April 2 at Village Hall by departing Mayor Patti Ann McDonald.
“I have the utmost confidence in Mayor Corbett and his team,” McDonald said at the ceremony. “I think the Village of Malverne is in extremely good hands with Keith as our mayor leading this village . . . and I feel very confident that they’re going to do great things for the village.”
Corbett became a village trustee in 2014, and deputy mayor last year. During his years on the board, he has worked alongside McDonald to coordinate efforts to renovate the downtown area and both Long Island Rail Road stations, and upgrade the infrastructure for drainage, parking and roads, among other projects. Corbett told the Herald that he hoped to continue McDonald’s legacy.
“I’m going to try to continue the spirit of inclusiveness that she started many years ago,” he said. “If you really care and understand municipal government, and you’re using that passion to try and better your community, I think there’s a very large sense of compassion for the people you represent. I can guarantee you there will be the same compassion for the village residents, and that’s based on what Patti taught me.”
Corbett added that he and McDonald shared a “big tent” approach, in which they gathered input from those of all viewpoints. He also said that while he believes no one could fill McDonald’s shoes, he was confident that the board would achieve its goals for the community.
In addition, Corbett hopes to create the position of communications coordinator to improve transparency between the board and residents. He also said he wanted to create a resident survey to get feedback on the best ways for the board to communicate with the community.
“The village needs to have a consistent message so that wherever you’re receiving information, the message is the same,” Corbett said. “I think that understanding how those different segments of the population get that information will be enlightening to us.”
Last month, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office recognized the village board for financial stability. Corbett said that the board hopes to develop a five-year plan by 2020. “After that, we’re going to go back and look at every penny that was spent in the village in the last five years [and] get a good understanding of where and how we’re spending money. Then we’re going to use that as a basis to extrapolate forward over the next five years,” he said. “It’s not an easy thing to do, but we’re taking this on full throttle.”
Sullivan said that he decided to run for trustee because of the relationships he developed over the years with past mayors Cathy Hunt, Joseph Canzoneri and McDonald, and seeing how they improved the village. “I won the trust of these people, and I’m going to dedicate the next four years of my life to fulfilling that trust,” said Sullivan, who also acknowledged the Hometown Pride Party for making this year’s election a contested race.
Touchard, who was re-elected trustee, currently serves as a liaison to village celebrations, the Tree and Beautification Committee and the Youth Board. She said that she hoped to build on the relationships she has developed.
“The most amazing part of all of this is the friendships I’ve gained,” Touchard said. “I will continue to do what’s in the best interests of this village, and I want [people] to know that you’re all in good hands.”
Frankie, who was also re-elected, said that this year’s election energized the village, and that he hoped to see that enthusiasm continue. “It got people involved, it brought people out to vote and those are all good things,” he said. “I’ve never viewed being village justice as a job, and I hope I never do.”