Island Park’s Unity and Voice parties are preparing for a close election on March 18.
Lifelong resident Michael McGinty is running for mayor on the Unity ticket, and hopes to take over for incumbent Mayor James Ruzicka, who will retire at the end of his term.
McGinty has a history in local politics, having served as chief deputy receiver of taxes for the Town of Hempstead and director of budget and finance for the Nassau County Legislature. He is an adjunct professor of mathematics at Nassau Community College, and is the treasurer and a member of the NCC Foundation’s board of directors. The father of two boys, McGinty is the immediate past chairman of the Island Park Zoning Board of Appeals, volunteers as a lector and feast worker at Sacred Heart Church, and is the deputy grand knight of the San Gennaro Council of the Knights of Columbus and a charter member of the local division of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Running for trustee seats on the Unity ticket are incumbent Joseph Annarella and newcomer Matthew Paccione. Annarella, who has lived in the village for nearly 50 years, is the Town of Hempstead’s superintendent of sanitation. A former chief of the Island Park Fire Department, he serves as commissioner of public works, and led the department in its work in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy. He initiated a village recycling program prior to his previous election to the village board.
Paccione is the president of the Island Park Board of Education, and a community liaison and New York Rising coordinator for State Assemblyman Brian Curran. He is the financial manager at Paccione & Sons Landscaping, and volunteers as a lector, feast worker and religious education teacher at Sacred Heart Church and as co-organizer of its annual Thanksgiving dinner.
The Voice Party was formed in 2012 to challenge the more-than-three-decades-long domination of the Unity Party.