Five Towns village elections are June 19

Mayoral race in Lawrence highlights four contested races, three for trustee


Residents in Atlantic Beach, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor, Hewlett Neck, Lawrence and Woodsburgh villages can go to the polls on June 19, where seven of the 19 seats are being contested. All terms are two years. In the contested trustee races the two candidates with the most votes win.

Deputy Mayor Michael Fragin is challenging Lawrence Mayor Alex Edelman. Edelman was elected for his first term as mayor in 2016. He said that he wants to continue to improve the village. “I think I know this community, and I want to do what’s best for the village,” he said. “I’m interested in getting the job done.”

Edelman would like to see the former site of the former sewage plant become seven single-family homes. Fragin would like to at least explore other options. “My basic feeling is that the property should have a public benefit to all the residents of the village,” he said.

Longtime resident and former Lawrence Board of Education member Stanley Kopilow is challenging incumbent Trustees Uri Kaufman and Syma Diamond, who are both running for their second terms.

The sewage treatment plant land is one the minds of all three candidates. Kaufman had proposed building a hotel. He is now advocating for an assisted living facility and would like to consider other possibilities. Kopilow believes that single-family homes would be the best option, generating revenue from land sale and then property taxes, while remaining in character with the surrounding area. Diamond said she is against putting a commercial property there, she’d like to see either homes or possibly a park.

Clarifying any confusion about being listed on lawn signs alongside Fragin and Kaufman, Diamond said, “I’m on the ballot independently, the lawn signs are just saying who to vote for mayor, trustee, trustee.”

The Lawrence Association will host a Meet the Candidates night at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club, 101 Causeway, Lawrence, at 8 p.m. on June 14.

Atlantic Beach Mayor George Pappas is running unopposed, but Kevin Kelley is challenging Trustees Linda Baessler and Edward Sullivan. All three expressed concern about the vehicular speeding along Park Street, the village’s main road. Kelley did think the village should be more vocal about environmental issues, and show support for the county’s proposed five-cent fee on plastic bags. Baessler and Sullivan are not opposed to the fee, but would like to see if the county passes it before looking to institute it for Atlantic Beach.

Hewlett Harbor Mayor Mark Weiss, is running unopposed, but John Novello is challenging incumbents Thomas Cohen and Kenneth Kornblau. The first contested race in more than 10 years.

Cohen has been a trustee since 2010. Kornblau since 2007. They are the village’s police commissioner and deputy commissioner respectively. Novello, a Cedarhurst resident, bought a house in Hewlett Harbor last August and has yet to move as renovations to house continue. He is also the deputy commissioner of the Town of Hempstead’s Building Department.

Unopposed elections

Hewlett Bay Park’s mayor, Steven Kaufman is running for his eighth term, as are Trustees Joel Schinder and Gail Rubel, and Village Justice Stephanie Kaufman.

Ross Epstein is running for a fourth term as mayor of Hewlett Neck, and incumbent Trustees Steven Hochberg and Aron Schnell are seeking re-election. All are unopposed. Mitchell Dix is running for the newly created Village Justice post.

Carl Cayne and Barry Platnick are seeking their eighth and third terms, respectively, in Woodsburgh.