Polls will be open at the Lynbrook Recreation Center on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. as Mayor Alan Beach and Trustee Robert Boccio will each be running in a special election. They are both unopposed.
Beach, who was serving as deputy mayor, was sworn in as mayor in October 2017 after the sudden death of William Hendrick from complications of a heart attack. Hendrick’s sons, Billy and John, provided the honor. Five months into the role, Beach said, he has enjoyed it so far.
“I like everything about it,” he said. “I work with a great group of people. The village staff has been wonderful with me and they work very hard to get everything I ask for done.”
Beach said the commercialization and revitalization of the downtown is a top priority for him. He has been active toward that goal since taking office. He has worked on bringing rental apartments to the site of the abandoned Mangrove Feather factory, and has been in negotiations with the building’s owner and Garden City-based Breslin Realty to get it done. He said he has also been brainstorming ways to fill in the vacant businesses near the Lynbrook Long Island Railroad station.
In addition, Beach said, he is also looking forward to the new Regal movie theater on Merrick Road, which is slated for an early April opening. “We have to make sure the movie theater goes off without a hitch,” he said, “and to bring some foot traffic to our downtown commercial area.”
Because he unexpectedly took over for Hendrick, Beach has to run for re-election this March and then again next March when the term ends. In December, Beach appointed Boccio as a village trustee to fill the vacancy left by Hilary Becker, who was appointed deputy mayor. Boccio will also have to run again in March 2019.
Boccio was born in Hauppauge and moved to Lynbrook from Forest Hills, Queens in 2005. He has experience in public service that dates back to the 1990s, which he said he believes makes him well equipped for the role of trustee.
Boccio said the transition to his new role has been an easy one. “It seems that where we all come from with our expertise, we seem to compliment each other’s strengths,” he said of the board members. “While there may be some occasional disagreement among the board, I think we’re trying to make Lynbrook the best possible place to raise a family, so that’s been very encouraging so far.”
He said his goals include smart development projects geared toward bringing foot traffic downtown, being aggressive in seeking out grants to beautify the village, supporting the Police Department and Greis Park and holding the line on taxes. He added that addressing parking with each phase of development is also vital.
“If we’re bringing something in, it makes the most sense for it to have a parking component that’s available to the village,” Boccio said. “That’s something we talk about with these different organizations.”
Beach said that even though the election is uncontested, it is important for the community to show their support and vote. “People should let me know how they feel either way and show up,” he said, “and let everybody know that they care about the village.”