Manorhaven re-elected Popeleski, Farina, Ildefonso

Manorhaven re-elected Popeleski, Farina, Ildefonso
Mayor John Popeleski (right) and Trustee Jeff Stone (left). (Photos courtesy of the candidates)

Manorhaven’s Mayor John Popeleski and the two incumbent trustees running on his slate defeated the three challengers vying for their seats Tuesday night, including Trustee Jeff Stone, who ran to oust the sitting mayor.

But Stone said empty absentee ballots received a couple of days before election day only by supporters of his party may have influenced the election’s outcome.

“I want to make sure people feel confident in village government,” Stone said.

Efforts to reach Popeleski were unavailing.

In the Village of Sands Point, three incumbents running unchallenged were re-elected – two trustees and the village justice.

In Manorhaven, Popeleski defeated Stone in the mayoral race with 486 votes, or 58.6% of the votes. Stone received 343 votes.

Deputy Mayor Harry Farina and Trustee Monica Ildefonso ran alongside Popeleski under the Working Families Party. Both were re-elected, garnering nearly 60% of the votes.

Farina received 490 votes, and Ildefonso received 472 votes. Nancy Rozakis and Robert Swerdlow challenged them, each receiving 341 votes.

Rozakis and Swerdlow ran alongside Stone under the Manorhaven Residents Party.

Stone said the handling of absentee ballots may have influenced the election’s outcome. He said multiple people received a ballot envelope in the mail that only contained an envelope but no ballot.

He said the envelopes were also received days before the election, some as late as the Saturday or Monday before election day, limiting their ability to vote via mail.

He said he was only aware of his party’s supporters receiving these empty and late ballots.

“So these were deliberately tampered with,” Stone said.

Stone also said the opposing party was making calls and texts to voters, including those on no-call lists, and questioned how those numbers were received. He said village records could have been used but was not sure.

Despite the results, Stone said he was proud of the campaign he and his running mates conducted.

Stone said the high voter turnout and about an 8% voter margin show a need to address the issues.

“You can’t just write off half of the village with your own plans to govern,” Stone said. “We the people, we the village, we work for everyone, not just the people who voted for us.”

Transparency was a key issue in Manorhaven’s election, as the three challenging candidates pushed for village’s government to be more open. All three cited a lack of transparency in its procedures.

Popeleski responded to the challengers’ calls for more transparency by saying the current government is the most transparent in the village’s history,

Stone said despite the loss, he will continue to push for more transparency as he continues to serve as a trustee.

“I plan on shining a brighter light,” Stone said.

In Sands Point, Trustee Sloane Ackerman, Trustee Danny Khazai, and Village Justice Alyson K. Adler were re-elected, running unopposed. Ackerman received 85 votes, Khazai received 60 votes and Adler received 79 votes.

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Cameryn Oakes is Blank Slate Media's Brooklyn-based reporter who covers the Great Neck, Manhasset and Port Washington areas. She hails from Sacramento, California and previously reported at The Stockton Record as a summer intern. Cameryn graduated from California Polytechnic State University with two bachelor's degrees in journalism and political science. She served as the managing editor of her university's student newspaper, The Mustang News, which was named as the best college newspaper in California under her supervision.

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