Atlantic Beach trustee not seeking re-election, new candidates emerge


Longtime Atlantic Beach village trustee, Linda Baessler, is not running for re-election and that has opened the door for two newcomers to village government.

Baessler, a village resident for nearly 49 years, became trustee in 2009.

Representing the 4Good Government Party is Barry Frohlinger and Anthony Livreri, who is part of the slate that includes incumbent mayor, George Pappas, and sitting trustee, Ed Sullivan.

Frohlinger, 69, said he has an important message for the residents of Atlantic Beach.

“I’m going to straighten out the financial situation that the town is currently in,” he said.

Frohlinger said he is running to make sure residents receive timely information concerning the village’s financial situation and create improved financial literacy within the board.

“I would like to get more financial information earlier to give my professional advice and experiences to make better decisions going forward,” he said.

The village’s property tax has risen 60 percent over the last seven years and 20 percent over the last two years, and the reserves are down 65 percent over the last seven years, Frohlinger claims. The property tax figures were independently fact-checked.    

The village also has to pay the Chabad of the Beaches in Long beach $400,000 for four years to settle the eminent domain lawsuit and legal fees of over $300,000. Atlantic Beach also has paid out $750,000 for the Libby property adjacent to Chabad site at 2025 Park St. That matter is also being adjudicated.

“I will create better communication to residents and a money strategy plan,” Frohlinger said.

He wants to fix the mismanagement of the budget and why the settlement are being lead how they are, along with making sure the residents know what the money is being used for.

Livreri, 42, is a new resident in Atlantic Beach coming from the Five Towns. He is married and has two daughters.

“I want to be able to contribute to the future of the village and hopefully shape how things are done moving forward,” he said.

Livreri said he is an “environmentalist” and wants to preserve the beauty of the village’s beaches and resident access. As a Beach and Parks Commission volunteer, he helps to keep the beaches clean and helps to ensure smooth operation with the lifeguards and security. He also wants to ensure beach policies and rules are adhered to. 

“A lot of my focus is on the environmental aspect of it because there is a lot of existential environmental threats and maintaining our part for the community,” Livreri said.

He wants to help bring in more of a “community aspect” with year-round residents and make Atlantic Beach something more than “just a beach town in the summer” and a “unified community.”

Elected mayor in 2014, Pappas has been a village resident for roughly 24 years. Sullivan became involved with the board in 2008.

Both presided over the failed eminent domain takeover of the Chabad of the Beaches land originally purchased from the village for $950,000 in 2021. A federal court decided the matter last November.

Both Pappas and Sullivan did not retuned calls for comment on running for re-election.

Voting is on Tuesday, June 18 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., at Village Hall, 65 The Plaza, in Atlantic Beach.