Readers Write: Parente backs Gallo, Lark in upcoming trustee vote

Readers Write: Parente backs Gallo, Lark in upcoming trustee vote

On Tuesday March 19, there will be a contested election in the Village of East Williston. Two trustee seats are open with three names on the ballot.

As the current mayor and grateful resident, I enthusiastically endorse Trustees James Lark and Anthony Gallo.

I am so hopeful that residents will know the importance of coming out to vote on election day to support these two candidates. It barely takes a minute to go the East Williston Village Hall between the hours of 12noon and 9pm to cast your vote.

Here’s why I am supporting James Lark and Anthony Gallo.

In 2019, when a Trustee Anthony Casella decided to step down midterm, I was faced with a task and an opportunity to make an interim appointment to fill the spot.

Trustee Lark was not a personal friend (yet), nor was he a very close acquaintance. He was simply someone I knew in the community because he came to board meetings to make rational statements, was constructively critical during our Williston Park water discussions, and was becoming, at that time, heavily involved in scouting and other areas in our community.

I knew little else about him. I wasn’t looking for a trustee to be my wingman or someone to be necessarily agreeable. I wanted someone who took the issues seriously, someone who would challenge me, who would be willing to put the time in, and was ready to be a working member of a very busy board.

I chose right. Over the years, I am grateful that James Lark is willing put his personal cell phone number on our village answering machine for DPW and other emergencies after hours.

I am grateful that he, as the vice president of a large title company, has the expertise and resources to help our board navigate issues in his area of expertise, of which there are many. And I am in awe of the many times he has met village contractors, in person, on his own time, to oversee work in our village.

Soon after Trustee Lark’s appointment, at the next village election, Trustee Chris Siciliano made a decision not to run again. Chris is the best!

While I was incredibly disappointed, I had to acknowledge that he certainly deserved a reprieve. Few people have given to the community as much as he.  After getting through my disappointment, I was delighted to hear that Anthony Gallo was considering running for the spot.

Anthony was known by Trustee Lark but I did not yet know him well. I was impressed with his resume as a licensed professional engineer but was more impressed that as a young dad, he was already giving back to his community in the Little League and in scouting.

Four years later, I cannot believe, looking back, at how much Anthony’s expertise and dedication have helped our village.

Anthony works as a civil engineer, and dives deep into our infrastructure projects and contractor bids and translates them into a language we can all understand. He does this on his own time.

During the National Grid pipeline project, which seemed to exist forever in our small village, Anthony participated in weekly conference calls, for hours at a time, making sure the project was on target and being done properly.

During the holidays, when the fire department was short a Santa, Anthony volunteered. On Christmas Eve, he helped make sure every block in our Village was visited by Santa.

Residents often ask me what I do as Mayor or as a member of the Board. It’s not easy to articulate all of the areas we are involved in. It seems the smaller the Village, the more involved the Board members need to be, since we don’t have a large number of employees and departments. All of our employees, board members, committee members and appointees really need to pull their own weight.

I can’t say they’re un appreciated because I appreciate each and every one of them. I hope residents do too. Please show your appreciation and come out on March 19th to support James and Anthony.

Bonnie Parente

Mayor of Village of East Williston



No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here