Manorhaven rescinds resolution to lengthen mayoral term

Manorhaven rescinds resolution to lengthen mayoral term

The change to lengthen the mayor’s term from two to four years in Manorhaven was short lived.

The Board of Trustees on Thursday unanimously voted to rescind the resolution extending the mayoral term, which was to take effect after the 2018 mayoral election, and will consider trying to pass it with a referendum vote.

Mayor Jim Avena, who said he was in favor of the extension to allow mayors more time to accomplish campaign goals, said the change stirred up controversy in the village.

“We will look at the possibility of a referendum to move forward,” Avena said. “But I am still in favor of it, and I proposed it with only good intentions.”

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

Leventhal said changing the length of an elected official’s term could be done by a permissive referendum under state law.

The board would first need to pass a resolution extending the length of the term, place a legal notice in the newspapers to notify the public that the resolution will go into law in 30 days or if it’s approved by a permissive referendum, Leventhal said.

After the board passes a resolution, a petition signed by 20 percent of the village’s registered voters must be filed with the village clerk in order to hold a vote.

There are about 3,800 registered voters in the village, Avena said.

“When a new mayor comes in, it takes about four to five months to get the lay of the land,” Avena had 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.”

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.

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