Readers Write: 4-year mayoral term would cost Manorhaven accountability

Readers Write: 4-year mayoral term would cost Manorhaven accountability

I, along with a group of my neighbors, are deeply concerned about Mayor Jim Avena and the Board of Trustees proposition to extend the mayoral term to four years and would like all our neighbors to come out and vote no.

We strongly feel this change is unnecessary as it has been a two-year term since the incorporation of the village in 1930.

Almost 100 years of past mayorships in the village conformed to this and past mayors did not feel the need to extend the Mayor’s term.

Moreover, no other Port Washington Village or other surrounding villages and towns have a four-year mayoral term – and with good reason. It never benefits the residents, only the candidate.

We are unsure why Mayor Avena and the BOT feel this change is needed now, especially in light of the fact that the village faces critical land development issues like Thypin Steel and other waterfront development.

My neighbors and I want to be in control to the degree that a four-year term allows us to elect a mayor who is aligned with our needs and wishes.

If the mayor performs and delivers, we will naturally re-elect him or her. Nothing is more elemental than this.

How can we, as residents, be in control if we give up our right to hold future mayors accountable every two years?

Accountability and Checks and Balances have been are the core of this great country and we want it to stay that way at our little village. We don’t want our right to vote every two years be taken away by career politicians, now or in the future.

Furthermore, a four-year term entails a serious risk of ineffective, bad or possibly worse corrupt government to remain unchecked.

Why would Mayor Avena and the board support such proposition? If they care about the village they should strenuously object to this proposition and ensure the term is kept as 2-years for the sake of future generations.

There is another very important point: biennial campaigns allow for fresh blood – so to speak. Fresh ideas and new candidates expose issues and highlight areas where life in the village can be improved. We feel that a four-year term promotes stagnation.

Finally, and this is key to the village of Manorhaven, the village by its nature, is one of most populated villages in New York State. It has a very high rate of rental properties and its residents’ average income is a lot lower than the other Port Washington villages.

That’s a fact. People are less involved in government and voter turnout is very low.

As a result, public officials can pass resolutions with a lower degree of scrutiny. Biennial campaigns is one of the most critical elements here is Manorhaven because it allows people to be knowledgeable about the issues, even if they cannot dedicate the time to come out and vote.

They receive flyers and campaign materials that highlight the issues at stake. To eliminate this would be very bad for the residents and will entail less transparency in political life.

Please make the time to come to Village Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 3 between 6 a.m.- 9 p.m. and vote no. Defeating this proposition should be of utmost importance to all of Manorhaven’s residents.


Dorit Farrington

Resident and former Village of Manorhaven trustee

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