The Taxpayers Party won handily in Tuesday’s Bayville village election, just like it did in 2016, this time capturing the mayor’s seat and all four trustee seats. Bob De Natale, who was elected trustee two years ago, is Bayville’s new mayor. Peter Valsecchi, a former trustee who did not run for re-election in 2016, will return to the board, and newcomers Valerie Belcher, David Wright and Patricia Farnell will join him.
The village board is now populated exclusively by TIP members, as it was prior to 2014, when members of the new Bayville Revitalization Party were the big election winners. They ran the village government until 2016. With a TIP win of three trustee seats that year, the board was evenly represented by both parties, until the untimely death of TIP Trustee Michele Principe last December. Her seat was not filled until this election.
Neither BRP Mayor Paul Rupp, nor two BRP trustees, John Taylor and Tim Charon, ran for re-election.
The new mayor
A retired Manhattan jeweler and former U.S. Marine, De Natale, 77, said he loves Bayville. “I first summered here when I was 9,” he recalled, “and I met my wife, Pam, here.”
De Natale said he is proud that his 11 grandchildren attend the Locust Valley Central School District. He added that he was looking forward to leading the village as its new mayor. “This means a lot to me,” he said on the eve of the election.
Finding De Natale at Village Hall on Tuesday night, Charon congratulated him and offered his support.
“No matter who wins, all I want is what’s best for Bayville,” Charon said. “I’m giving my full support to Bob and the new administration.”
The election by the numbers
There are roughly 6,700 people living in Bayville and according to the Nassau County Board of Elections, 5,252 are registered to vote. But 440 of those registered voters are inactive.
In 2014, when the BRP took over the board, 2,312 people voted. In 2016, when the election resulted in both political parties representing the board, less people voted, with 1,970 going to the polls. On Tuesday, 2,024 people cast ballots. De Natale defeated Deputy Mayor Joe Russo 1,063 to 1,014. Valsecchi received 1,080 votes to defeat Erika Bruno, who received 913 votes. He will fill Principe’s seat, which has one year remaining.
Trustee candidate Wright received the most votes at 1,082. Farnell and Belcher captured 1,022 and 1,016 votes, consecutively.
Wright, Farnell and Belcher’s terms will be for four years.
The BRP trustee candidates received the following number of votes: Jen Jones — 1,005; Al Avazis — 1,000; and Christopher Pflaumer — 962 votes.
Who are the new leaders?
Wright, 51, is an attorney, and a lifelong Bayvillite. He said prior to the election that his experience of working as a senior principal law clerk for over 20 years where he has handled Article 78 proceedings involving zoning issues will benefit the village.
Valsecchi, 55, a machinist, has lived in Bayville for 51 years. He believes his experience of being on both sides — as an employee and employer — will benefit the village. He is also an experienced village trustee.
Farnell, 69, a real estate saleswoman, believes her people skills will be a benefit. She said she meets a variety of people in her line of work and will bring the commitment she brings to them to the village. She also has a financial background in banking and holds a business management degree, two plusses for her new position.
Belcher, 59, has been a special education teacher for the past 35 years. She will bring her skills of nurturing and caring perfected as a teacher to the village. She is committed to stopping plans for apartments and condos.
Information was not available as to how long Farnell and Belcher have lived in Bayville.
Who will fill the empty trustee seat?
Trustee Bob Nigro has two years remaining on his term as trustee. And although four new trustees will be sworn in on July 2 along with De Natale, there will be one seat that will be empty. De Natale had two remaining years on his trustee seat.
The question is who will he appoint to fill that seat? Will he choose an experienced BRP member, or will he choose a TIP member who has already served the village? Or will someone who is completely new join the board? De Natale also has the option to leave it empty.
For now, the answer remains a mystery. And De Natale could not be reached by press time for comment.