The Village of Manorhaven Village Hall (Photo by Julie Prisco)

Meet Candidates For The Upcoming Manorhaven Village Election

The Village of Manorhaven’s elections are on Tuesday, June 18, and this year’s races are shaping up to be anything but dull. 

The village’s elections are expected to be thrilling and competitive. The Manorhaven Village board has had some tension over the past few years, and now board trustee Jeff Stone is stepping up to run against incumbent Mayor John Popeleski.

Residents will be voting for the Village of Manorhaven Mayor (two-year term) and two trustees (two-year term).

Incumbent Mayor Popeleski is running as part of the Working People’s Party with trustee Harry Farina and trustee Monica Ildefonso. Mayor Popeleski was elected in 2022 after serving as a trustee on the village board since 2016. Trustee Farina is seeking re-election for a third term, and trustee Ildefonso is seeking re-election for a second term.

Mayoral candidate Jeff Stone is running as part of the Manorhaven Resident’s Party, along with Nancy Rozakis and Rob Swerdlow, who are seeking to be trustees. Stone has been a trustee on the village board since June 2023 and has lived in Manorhaven for 17 years. Trustee candidates Rozakis and Swerdlow are also long-time Manorhaven residents.

Residents will be able to vote at the Manorhaven Village Hall (33 Manorhaven Blvd.) from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

The Port Washington News contacted both candidates to discuss their respective goals and plans for the village’s future if elected.

Mayor John Popeleski (Photo from Mayor John Popeleski)

Q: What inspired you to run for re-election?

Popeleski: “The projects I am still working on. I am working on getting grant money for projects like road paving and working on the Manorhaven Preserve to finish the cement at the end of the trail. I want to be in office again to ensure these projects get done using grant money.”

“Also, I’m a very hands-on mayor. When people call the village with questions about projects they see in the area, I have the answers for them. I have much more work ahead of me, and I love the job and the residents. I’ve worked in the public sector for 33 and a half years, so I know how the government works.” 

Q: What accomplishments from your term as mayor are you proud of?

P: “Our new generator at the pump station. It was a very big project and didn’t cost the taxpayers anything. It was funded through a grant and was around $600,000. We are working to clean up the village, staying on top of street sweeping and relining our sewer mains. Relining the mains saves the taxpayer a lot of money. The village owns our sewer system, and I have our Department of Public Works Foreman working on our sewer maintenance program to clean troubled areas. We haven’t had any sewer water come out of our system, and being a waterfront community, that’s important to us. 

“We’re also restructuring the way we do our investments, which means more money in the bank.”

Q: What initiatives and projects will you implement or continue if re-elected?

P: “I will keep working on all of our projects and keep getting grant money because I’m trying to save the taxpayer dollars. We’ve been working with National Grid, Verizon and PSEG. With PSEG, we are replacing all the bad telephone poles on Manhasset Isle. We’ve replaced many now and continue to do so. We’re in communication with PSEG about the project, and when the poles are ready, Verizon and National Grid work to get everything transferred to the new poles. The village needs to constantly communicate with the companies about the project so I can have updates for our residents.”

Jeff Stone (Photo from Jeff Stone)

Q: What inspired you to run for Mayor?

Stone: “Some people wanted me to get involved in Manorhaven because of all the service work I do in town. They said it’d be good to change the status quo and the makeup of the Manorhaven government. After much thought and careful consideration, I realized it’s another great level of service I can provide for the residents. I like getting people together to do things for the community, and I’ve been doing that for some time. I figured that with the way people were talking about Manorhaven, I should use my skill set to serve others and see if I can make a difference.”

Q: How will your previous professional experiences aid you in the role of Mayor if elected?

S: “I am a co-founder of Project H.E.L.P Long Island, a board member of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce and Adult Activities Center, among other organizations like the Kiwanis Club. From the experience of all the service organizations I belong to and working with people to make a difference, I want to bring residents into the government and form teams. I’m forming committees in service, finance, quality of life, environmental and more. These people are not just passionate, but many have talent.”

Q: What are some initiatives you plan to focus on if elected?

S: “Transparency. Everything is going to be transparent. There will be no surprises, especially when it comes to big projects. If you can’t make an in-person meeting, I want to have Zoom capability at all board meetings. This way, you can log on and see the agenda posted early to view before the meeting. I implore people to speak up and speak out. And from listening to people and hearing what they have to say, I don’t like how this government constantly disrespects the residents. It’s all about helping people and people helping people. That’s how I want to govern.”

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