Port heads to polls in contested Manorhaven elections, Sands Point races

Port heads to polls in contested Manorhaven elections, Sands Point races
(Clockwise, from the top left corner) Mayor John Popeleski, Deputy Mayor Harry Farina, Trustee Monica Ildefonso, Nancy Rozakis, Robert Swerdlow, Jeff Stone. (Photos courtesy of the candidates)

Port Washington residents will be heading to the polls Tuesday to vote in two village elections, with Manorhaven’s races headlining the day as three candidates challenge the three incumbents.

The Village of Manorhaven will hold the election from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Polling will occur at Village Hall, 33 Manorhaven Blvd.

Manorhaven Trustee Jeff Stone is challenging Mayor John Popeleski in a bid for the village’s mayoral seat and leading a slate of two newcomers opposing two incumbent trustees for their seats.

Nancy Rozakis and Robert Swerdlow are challenging Deputy Mayor Harry Farina and Trustee Monica Ildefonso, who are seeking re-election.

Stone, Rozakis and Swerdlow are all running under the Manorhaven Residents Party and advocating under a joint pursuit for more transparency in the village

“I wanted to pull the curtains back and let people see what is going on so that we could have more sunlight coming in,” Stone said. “After all, sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

But the mayor contends it is presently the most transparent government in the village’s history.

“I am not afraid to answer anything,” Popeleski said. “We are a very transparent government. I’m not hiding anything.”

The Village of Sands Point will also hold an election June 18 from noon until 9 p.m. at Village Hall.

Trustee Sloan Ackerman, Trustee Danny Khazai and Village Justice Alyson K. Adler are all seeking re-election in uncontested races.


Mayor Popeleski joined the board as a trustee in 2016 and was elected mayor in 2022.

He said he is seeking another term as mayor to continue the projects he has been working on and bring some to fruition.

Stone, a local mental health and substance abuse advocate and a licensed real estate agent, was elected to the board as a trustee in June 2023.

He said he is running for mayor to establish an open and transparent government, rebuild fiscal responsibility and foster integrity and honesty through “clear and strong government.”

Ildefonso, a Manorhaven resident of more than 35 years, is running for her second term on the Board of Trustees. She was first elected in 2022 alongside Popeleski and Farina under The People’s Working Party.

In an email, Ildefonso said she is seeking another term to maintain what the board has accomplished.

Ildefonso described herself as a liaison between the village and the Spanish-speaking community, saying she is looking forward to continuing to serve Manorhaven.

Farina is running for his third term on the board. He was first elected to the board in 2020.

Efforts to reach Farina were unavailing.

Rozakis, a band leader and jazz musician, has been a 32-year resident of Port Washington but moved into Manorhaven last summer.

One issue Rozakis identified is what she sees as a lack of integrity and honesty in the Village Hall.

Another platform Rozakis is campaigning on is responsible budgeting to ensure taxes are used “wisely” by the village.

“We’re just committed to our community and to improving the quality of life for the people that have been here and make up the strength of the community,” Rozakis said.

Swerdlow, a client services specialist in the audio/video technology industry, has been a Manorhaven resident for more than seven years.

He has served as a volunteer baseball coach and commissioner and sat on the Board of Directors for Three Village Baseball and Softball.

Swerdlow said he was inspired to run for trustee after the social media dispute between Serra Provisions and the village. He said he spoke with Stone about this issue and was inspired to run alongside him after conversations.

Despite not always seeing eye to eye, he said he and Stone can always come to a compromise.

Swerdlow’s campaign is focused on providing a voice for renters – like him – in the village, establishing a recycling program, improving sewer infrastructure and bolstering transparency like his fellow party candidates.

“People live in Manorhaven, renters and homeowners alike,” Swerdlow said. “We all live in Manorhaven. We want to enjoy Manorhaven. We want to make sure it’s beautiful and it’s nice and it’s pretty for everybody to live in…and I think together we can make a difference and work to build a better Manorhaven for everyone.

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