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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
A new voice in village politics
Voice Party hopes to attract the disenfranchised
Courtesy Columbia Ciccimarro
Members of the Voice Party were handing out fliers, like this one, at the village’s firework’s show over the Labor Day weekend.

Saying they are tired of the one-party rule that has dominated politics in the Village of Island Park for many years, a group of residents have formed a new political party.

Called the Voice Party, the group hopes to give residents more choices at the polls during the next village election.

“We formed the Voice Party to give the community a voice so they have a choice in our next election on who they can vote for,” said Laura Hassett, one of the party’s founders, who ran for village trustee in March but was defeated. She was joined in forming the new party by Glenn Ingoglia, president of the Chamber of Commerce, and Columbia Ciccimarro, a member of the Island Park Civic Association.

The three, who make up the governing body of the party, insisted they don’t have any personal issues with the Unity Party, to which all five members of the village Board of Trustees belong. “[Having a second party] creates accountability, which is really what we’re looking to do,” Ingoglia said. “We’ve had one party in power for 40 years, so we’re looking for some accountability. And I think it will make things better.”

The idea to create a new party was hatched months ago, after Hassett lost her bid for trustee. After months of planning and paperwork, the Voice Party became official on July 3. Though it has fewer than 20 members, Ingoglia said, they hope to grow when they start holding public meetings, the first of which is scheduled for Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m., at the Fireman’s Exempt Hall on Long Beach Road. When the party had its official coming out at the Labor Day fireworks show, the reception was positive.

“We were out on the beach with some other members of the party, and people were receptive,” said Ciccimarro. “Some people were a little cautious, but others were like, ‘That’s a great idea. It’s been too long that it’s been like this.’”

In the next village election, in 2014, the Voice Party expects to have three candidates to challenge the Unity Party. Hassett plans to run for trustee again, and Ingoglia will run for mayor. A third candidate, who has yet to be chosen, will run for a second trustee seat.

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