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Sea Cliff’s village elections will be socially distant

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The uncontested Sea Cliff village elections will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 15 from noon to 9 p.m. at the Sea Cliff Department of Public Works building on Altamont Avenue. An organizational meeting will be held to swear in new and returning Village Trustees will be held two days later.

Mayor Edward Lieberman said the DPW provides a large, open space in which people can maintain social distancing protocols while waiting to vote. He also said absentee ballots are available for anybody who requests them.

There are two open seats on the Sea Cliff Board of Trustees. Trustee Kevin McGilloway is running for his fourth term on the Board of Trustees, and newcomer Nick Pinto will be taking the seat left open following the resignation of former Trustee Henriette Rohl.

Pinto, 50, is an attorney with a practice in Manhatten. Although he grew up in Whitestone, Queens, he moved to Sea Cliff in 2005 with his wife, Monica. The couple have a son, Noah, 14, and a daughter, Mia, 11, who are entering their first years at North Shore High School and North Shore Middle School, respectively.

Having served the last three years on the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, said his love for public service is what has led him to pursue a role as a trustee. “I think that public service is the most important thing we can do for our community,” he said. “It’s our community, and we owe something to the community.”

Pinto has experience as an arbitrator, and Lieberman said the mediation skills that come along with that position will be useful when it comes to helping to run the village.

“He brings a welcome legal knowledge,” Lieberman said, “as well as dealing with people’s concerns and issues that go before and arbitrator such as himself.”

McGilloway, 71, has lived in Sea Cliff for 34 years, the last 16 of which he has spent in public service. He spent eight years on the Zoning Board of Appeals before started the first of his three terms on the village board. He has also served as Deputy Mayor for the last two years.

Sea Cliff is going through a huge burst of growth and popularity, McGilloway said, with real estate prices growing higher and higher. He said this can lead to a change in the village’s culture, and he said he believes he can help the village move toward the future while also maintaining its unique character

“There’s a lot of change going on,” McGilloway said. “I think people feel and I feel that a little bit of a steady hand with experience is a good thing now. A voice of reason with experience is an important thing…The combination of experience and also someone who will try to find the balance between growth and maintaining our charm.”

McGilloway and his wife, Jane, raised four daughters in the village, and he said he hopes to leave a lasting legacy in what will be his last term as trustee. He said he looks forward to working with Pinto and ushering in a new generation of leadership in Sea Cliff.

One of the biggest projects McGilloway see is the spearheading a group to decide what to do with the property at 325 Prospect Ave. New York American Water agreed to sell the property to the village in August, 2019, and the sale is expected to go through by the end of 2020. This, he said, could play a large role in what the village looks like in the near future.