Village Party of Lake Success picks two new faces, drops a longtime trustee

Village Party of Lake Success picks two new faces, drops a longtime trustee

The Village Party of Lake Success nominated Deputy MayorStephen Lam and two new faces to be its slate of candidates in June trustee elections on Wednesday night, with longtime Trustee Fred Handsman not securing enough votes.

Out of the 436 ballots cast – which is more than the total people who voted throughout the peninsula in March elections – Lam secured 255 votes, Peter Chang 239, Dr. Robert Gal 228 and Fred Handsman 219.

Trustee Alan Mindel had declined to seek re-election, citing “family and other commitments,” which opened up a seat.

Ira Levine, the former chairman of the Village Party, said issues of transparency and taxation were on the table. Another factor was Chang, Levine said, who could be Lake Success’ first trustee from the Asian community.

“I think the thing about Lake Success is we’re on the cutting edge of change and inclusion,” Levine said on Wednesday.

Lam, who has been a trustee for 26 years, said the Korean-American community didn’t turn out as strongly as he thought it would and that he was surprised Handsman “wasn’t returned” given his years of service.

But, Lam said, a little bit of change can be a good thing.

“There’s got to be a certain amount of continuity,” Lam said. “A certain amount of change is definitely positive, but the basic day to day work of the village that the trustees participate in has to be maintained.”

Gal, a member of the parks commission since 2009, said he has worked to get people to join the pool, use the village facilities and participate in summer events. This stemmed from his kids growing up and enjoying these activities, Gal said, which he hopes to boost as a trustee.

“I think I just wanted to try and do more,” Gal said, adding that he looks forward to serving.

Peter Chang, who previously served on the Lake Success Planning Board, was not immediately available for comment.

Patrick Farrell, the village administrator, said they will be getting final Village Party nominating petitions by May 3.

According to the Lake Success village website, the general election usually takes place on the third Tuesday of June – which, this year, is June 19. Whoever wins is then sworn in at the first July meeting for a two-year term.

“We’ve never had a write-in candidate where the write-in candidate was victorious because I think most of the people in Lake Success view this as the election,” Lam said. “They respect the Village Party process.”

The Village Party of Lake Success is the village’s only political party.

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