Manorhaven board votes to lengthen mayoral terms

Manorhaven board votes to lengthen mayoral terms

Manorhaven mayors will soon serve longer terms in office.

The Board of Trustees on Thursday voted 4-0 to lengthen the term of mayor to four years from two, making Manorhaven the only Port Washington village with a four-year mayoral term.

Trustee Rita Di Lucia was not present for the vote.

The change will take place after the 2018 mayoral election.

Mayor Jim Avena, who was elected mayor in May 2016, said he favors the change because the current two-year term limits how much a mayor can accomplish.

“When a new mayor comes in, it takes about four to five months to get the lay of the land,” he said. “And then if you’re going to run again, by January, you need to start planning a campaign strategy. The mayor needs years if he or she wants to accomplish things.”

Avena said he is unsure if he will seek another term in 2018.

“I thought this would be a good idea,” Avena said. “It wasn’t about me.”

Village Attorney Steve Leventhal said four-year mayoral terms are common in Long Island villages.

The last few mayoral elections in Manorhaven have been contentious, causing a stir in the village with residents concerned about parking, the village’s waterfront property, and repairing and maintaining infrastructure.

Last year, Avena defeated former Mayor Gary Pagano 505 votes to 371.

The board also passed a law to reduce the number of members on the Board of Zoning Appeals from seven to five.

Avena said the board has not yet decided which members will be removed from the board.

The zoning board will have two alternative members.

“It’s just easier to operate with five members,” Avena said.

John Orr, a resident, said a seven-member board isn’t a bad idea.

“It’s two more opinions,” he said. “I don’t see the downside of it.”

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