Roslyn Estates Mayor Paul Peters was re-elected on March 21 to serve another term. The mayor was challenged for the first time in his tenure by candidate Todd Teichman, the only contested election in Roslyn.
Peters won with 250 votes, with Teichman trailing behind with 66 votes.
This will be Peter’s fourth term as mayor of Roslyn Estates. Peters has been Roslyn Estate’s mayor for the past six years. Prior to his time as mayor, Peters was a member of the village’s Board of Zoning Appeals and a trustee for the village.
Teichman has lived in Roslyn Estates for 2 1/2 years and has not served in the village government. He works in medical sales for 25 years.
One of Peter’s main goals as mayor in this upcoming term is to continue fighting against Gov. Kathy Hochul’s housing plan, he said. The plan would require local governments to rezone areas within a half mile of MTA rail stations that serve the Long Island Rail Road to achieve 3% growth in housing over three years.
Roslyn Estates residents also voted for two trustees, with Susan Rubinstein and Brett Auerbach running unopposed for re-election. Both trustees were re-elected, with 220 and 203 votes, respectively. The village had five write-ins for the trustee positions, all of which received a singular vote.
Overall, 316 total votes were cast in Roslyn Estate’s election.
Roslyn and East Hills also held elections on Tuesday.
In Roslyn, Mayor John Durkin, Trustee Sarah Oral and Trustee Marta Genovese all ran for re-election unopposed. Durkin received 58 votes, Oral 50 votes and Genovese 54 votes. There were no write-in votes.
In East Hills, Mayor Michael Koblenz, Trustees Brian Meyerson, Trustee Stacey Siegel and Village Justice Howard Jaslow ran unopposed for re-election. All were re-elected.
The Mayor received 237 votes, Meyerson received 248 votes, Siegel received 240 votes and Jaslow received 238 votes.
In a debate on Sunday, Peters and candidate Todd Teichman, who are vying for the village’s mayoral position, debated Sunday about the village code and community initiatives.
The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset hosted the hour-long debate, which was requested by Peters, in the East Hills Village Courtroom at 3 p.m. About 50 people from the public were in attendance, filling the courtroom almost entirely.
In his opening statement, Teichman said he wants to focus on implementing a stronger sense of community in the village if elected.
His goal is to foster a connection between residents and village hall. He said it is currently a place where people “fight to get their permits approved,” but it should be where people can share their suggestions for the village, learn how they can improve their houses and connect with people.
In his opening statement, Peters said his priority as mayor has been to serve the best interest of the entire village, not necessarily the interests of select individuals.
He said he supports the village’s code, which is intended to protect the village from “uncontrolled development, architectural eye sores and the ravaging of our characteristic landscape,” in order to keep property values high and “preserve the unique environment that makes Roslyn Estates so desirable and valuable.”
One member of the public asked the candidates if they support and plan to enforce the newly developed tree code, which preserves trees throughout the village.
While both candidates said they support the preservation of trees, they disagreed about the effectiveness of the code.
Teichman said he wants to protect the trees, but many are being removed for various reasons and the village has been unable to stop it.
“I think we need to make a code that actually works and that people can use and understand so that trees aren’t removed without permission and that trees when people have good reason to remove them, can be removed,” Teichman said.
Peters, who rewrote the code with the board “intentionally to make it more organized, more even-handed and simpler to apply without debate in every meeting of the [Architectural Review Board (ARB)],” said he supports the current code.
Teichman also said the village’s codes on building are unclear and not concise, lending to prolonged periods to get permits approved.
This response was prompted by a question about a statement Teichman made to Blank Slate about it taking 10-12 meetings to get some permits approved. He asked the candidates if there are examples where this happened.
Teichman could not confirm the meetings number since he is not in village hall. But he said it took more than three meetings to get his tree project approved.
Peters said he was not aware of an instance where it took 10-12 meetings for a permit to be approved. He said the village recently improved the process to include the ARB and the arborist at the beginning, which he said has been fairly effective in streamlining the procedure.
When asked about preserving the specialty of Roslyn Estates, Peters said he would continue his current efforts through the village code. He said it is drafted to benefit the entire village by maintaining the village’s architectural integrity, landscaping and mitigating neighborhood impacts.
“If it were up to me, we would continue to maintain that heritage and the integrity of the original plan of Roslyn Estates as much as possible and to minimize overdevelopment and crowding,” Peters said.
While Teichman agreed that the village’s heritage should be preserved, he said there should be solutions to incentivize preserving the older homes, which he said younger homeowners are not interested in.
“Because the reality is if we protect [the historical homes], they’re going to decrease the value because fewer people will be interested,” Teichman said.
When asked what they believe to be the village’s biggest problem, both candidates agreed that Gov. Kathy Hochul’s housing plan poses the biggest threat.
The plan would require local governments to rezone areas within a half mile of Metropolitan Transportation Authority rail stations, including the Long Island Rail Road, within three years to increase housing.
“That plan would basically override our zoning and our home rule and make it so that we no longer have any control over our environment,” Peters said. “It would change the character of every village on Long Island.”
The debate ended with the candidates providing two-minute closing statements.
Peters warned that the village is “being attacked” by two forces, one being the governor’s proposed housing plan and the other being individuals who want to transform the village “into a no-holds-barred, treeless, crowded suburb with no sense of community or concern for our neighbors” by altering the village’s code.
Teichman concluded by pledging that if elected he would work for the community and its interests.
“I was raised with the values of service and I’ve spent my whole life working to achieve those goals,” Teichman said. “Now I have the opportunity to do more and to help Roslyn Estates become even better.”
Residents can vote for a mayoral candidate, as well as two trustees, on March 21 at the village hall, 25 The Tulips, from noon until 9 p.m.