Strauss thanks village during his 11 years as mayor at last public meeting

Strauss thanks village during his 11 years as mayor at last public meeting
Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss announced he his not seeking re-election for a fifth term this March. (Photo by Sarah Ibrahim)

At a packed house Wednesday evening at the Mineola Community Center, Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss conducted his last public meeting. 

On Tuesday, March 15, then-Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira became the mayor-elect of the village, giving Mineola its first mayor in 11 years, when Strauss was elected. 

Strauss said he will hold most of his comments for April 4, when Pereira and Trustees Janine Sartori and Jeffrey Clark are sworn into their new positions on the board. 

“The accomplishments that we’ve done here, and over the last 11 years are many, the list is quite long. There’s no one person that could do that job, or could take credit for that job,” Strauss said during his remarks. “That credit goes to everybody in this room and everybody in the community whether you’re a volunteer firefighter, animal school person, and then a coach, helping out a food pantry in a church, whatever the case is, it’s all of us collectively who made Mineola great.”

Throughout Strauss’s time, he has overseen part of the implementation of Mineola’s master plan, which began in 2004. 

Park renovations, downtown streetscapes, paving, recently opened parking and four transit-oriented mixed-use buildings are among the improvements made to the village’s business district. 

Strauss also oversaw the village during the COVID-19 pandemic and other infrastructure achievements while minimally raising taxes on residents.

Strauss thanked each trustee on the board as well as the Mineola Fire Department, who filled up almost the entirety of seats available, dressed in their blue and white formal uniforms. 

“Thank you, guys. for putting up with me, supporting me, fighting for me, defending me or whatever, whatever it took… I can’t believe it’s been 11 years. I don’t want to go but I have to go and we’ll see what the next step is. Thank you all very much for everything that you’ve done, I appreciate it.

It is unclear what plans Strauss has, if any, for future elected positions, but Pereira believes if he did choose to run for a higher office, there is no better candidate.

In February, Strauss was one of Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena’s six recommendations for the town’s board of ethics. Stauss, nor any of the other five nominees, were approved by the Democratic majority on a basis of lack of diversity, among other things. 

“I don’t have to tell the audience about Mayor Strauss’s character or leadership, we have certainly seen that here and it’s what we need at the county, state and federal level,” Pereira said. “He’s way too young to pack it in.” 

Trustee Paul Cusato during his remarks shared how he watched Strauss rise through the ranks of the fire department all the way to chief in the mid-2000’s. Cusato said the two men have been together for over four decades, when Strauss first became a volunteer and that he is one of two men in Mineola’s entire history to share the same distinction of serving as mayor and fire chief of Mineola, alongside former Mayor Joseph Nohowec, who was first elected in the 1930s. 

“Thank you for your commitment to our village for being the captain sitting at the helm, leading us in the right direction,” Cusato said.

Dennis Walsh, who resigned from his position as trustee in November when he was elected to North Hempstead Town Board, said during public comments how much of a joy it was to work with Strauss. 

“I said before how I learned more in this room than anywhere else in the world, and I learned so much from working alongside the Mayor,” Walsh said. “God bless you, we cannot thank you enough.”

Mineola’s newest elected officials will be sworn in at the village’s organizational meeting Monday, April 4 at the Mineola Community Center starting at 7 p.m.

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