Paul Pereira sworn in as new mayor of Mineola

Paul Pereira sworn in as new mayor of Mineola
Mayor Paul Pereira gets sworn-in to his new position Monday night with the help of state Senator Jack Martins. (Photo courtesy of Joel Harris)

“If you can dream it, you can achieve it” were the first words Mineola heard from the new mayor, Paul Pereira, after he was sworn in. 

At the reorganization meeting Monday night at the Mineola Community Center, Pereira was officially sworn in alongside Trustees Janine Sartori and Jeffrey Clark. Sartori recently completed the term of former Trustee Dennis Walsh and Clark was elected to the seat left vacant by Trustee George Durham, who did not seek re-election. 

After a swearing-in with the help of former state Sen. Jack Martins, Pereira said that he will continue a lot of the initiatives begun by former Mayor Scott Strauss, including investment in Mineola’s century-old infrastructure, Fire Department and water delivery systems, among others. 

Pereira spoke glowingly of Strauss, who gave his farewell to the village earlier in the night after 11 years. Strauss, in Pereira’s eyes, is the epitome of Teddy Roosevelt’s quote, “Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” 

“A man of character, a true leader in every sense of the word,” Pereira said. “And for me, above all else, he’s a true friend. On behalf of my family and the 20,000 residents of Mineola, thank you for your service.” 

Strauss thanked everyone in the village for their help during his 11 years as mayor. During his term, the former mayor dealt with the effects of superstorm Sandy and invested in Mineola’s downtown and infrastructure while guiding the village through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The former mayor thanked village employees, first responders, volunteers, business leaders and other community leaders for their commitment to Mineola. 

“I’ve had the honor of working with great people, talented people, people whose only wish is to make Mineola the greatest it can be,” Strauss said. “You all have contributed above and beyond simply because you care and have been great partners and a major part in keeping Mineola strong and vibrant. I will match you up against any other community.” 

Before signing off his speech in Portuguese with a message for his friends and family in the front row and his parents in Portugal, who will watch a recording, Pereira shared another quote now that his term as mayor has officially arrived.

“Walt Disney famously said ‘the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing,’ and I plan on doing just that.”

The next Mineola Board of Trustees meeting will be held Wednesday. The board is expected to appoint someone to finish out the original term Pereira had as trustee. 

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