The uncontested June 15 village elections in Atlantic Beach, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Neck, Lawrence and Woodsburgh will not have the spiraling drama of last year’s presidential election, but what the municipalities’ ballot counting will lack in spectacle, there remains the nuts and bolts of our democracy: voting.
In Atlantic Beach, Trustee Patricia Beaumont (appointed in December to replace Danae Muddiman) and longtime board member Andrew Rubin, along with Village Justice Michael Myseron, are running unopposed.
Trustees Jay Levy and Alex Salomon in Hewlett Bay Park, Kenneth Frenkel and Michael Levine in Hewlett Neck, Michael Fragin and Jeff Landy (appointed last year to succeed Daniel Goldstein) in Lawrence and in Woodsburgh Mayor Lee Israel, Trustees Jacob Harman and Allen Hirmes, and Village Justice Brian Ziegler are all running unchallenged.
All trustee terms are two years, and the village justice term is four years.
Unchallenged races should not translate into a lack of voting. The candidates deserve their constituents’ votes. They decided to volunteer their time to help the villages they live in provide needed services that improve residents’ quality of life, and as we have seen, these elected officials must be prepared to navigate emergencies, from hurricanes and power outages to snow removal.
In governing a village, these officials must maneuver through a thicket of larger governmental entities, at the town, county, state and federal levels, to help ensure that their constituents are safe and secure. It is no easy feat.
Because they are questioned and occasionally viewed as either moving too slow or having made unpopular decisions, few people are willing to risk having their reputations potentially tarnished or decisions second-guessed by running for public office.
So, on this Tuesday, take the time to be involved in the democratic process by exercising your electoral muscle and voting. It is a sign of respect.