Village general election 2024: Incumbents trounce challenger in trustee race


In a three-person race for two trustee seats at Village Hall, village voters cast their ballots and handily gave incumbent trustees John Tufarelli and Sean Wright, of the United Community Party, victory over Achieve Party challenger Anthony Bonelli. As the top two vote-getters of the at-large trustee race on Tuesday, Wright and Tufarelli, retain their seats for another four years.

The official results gave Tufarelli and Wright a resounding win with 1,317 and 1,225 votes, respectively, against Bonelli, far behind with 167 votes.

Wright, 54, who spent his career in law, served as a prosecutor for the village for more than seven years before being tapped by Mayor Ed Fare to sit at Village Hall in 2016, following the resignation of Virginia Clavin-Higgins.

Tufarelli, a 62-year-old longtime resident of Valley Stream, comfortably slides into his fifth term as trustee. Aside from a business career, he is the former president and coach of the Valley Stream Mail League Baseball League and a Blessed Sacrament Athletic Association board member.

“I’m very proud to return as trustee,” Tufarelli said in a statement following his win. “I pledge to continue to do my best for everyone in this community.”

“It is truly overwhelming to have the support of this community, which has come out to re-elect me as trustee,” said Wright.  “I am very excited that the voters have expressed their confidence in the work that I and Deputy Mayor Tufarelli continue to do for Valley Stream.”

As of press time, Bonelli could not be reached for comment regarding the results of the election.

It’s not the first time the incumbents successfully fended off a challenge from Bonelli who had fallen decidedly short of the necessary votes in 2020. Three years later, Bonelli also made an unsuccessful bid for the mayor’s seat.

Nevertheless, despite his run of election defeats, the Valley Stream District 13 school trustee has persisted in calling for a dramatic change in direction at Village Hall, promising to stand above political self-interest and represent a clean break from decades of United Community Party dominance. 

He lobbed criticisms at the village’s past fiscal management and spoke fiercely about his qualms regarding issues ranging from its employee hiring practices to its zoning approvals for recent apartment constructions. 

But while Bonelli’s list of grievances was long and varied, proactive policy proposals, at least in this election season, seemed few and far between.

On ongoing issues regarding reducing taxpayer’s burden and improving traffic safety, Wright and Tufarelli managed to toe the line in validating residents’ concerns while defending the village’s past efforts and laying out promises for future progress.

With the village’s troubled fiscal past casting a shadow, Tufarelli and Wright assured voters that the village’s finances were on a more secure footing and that prudent budgeting and savvy ways to secure alternative sources of funding were the way to keep things on course. Or, as Tufarelli, put it: “do more with less.”

Concerning roads, and making them safer for vehicles and pedestrians alike, Tufarreli and Wright both held up past road repair investments like “state-of-the-art pothole repair equipment” while also outlining future traffic-calming projects in traffic-heavy corridors like Hendrickson Avenue.

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