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Five Towns Villages 2012 Election Guide

Atlantic Beach mayoral race sees competition.

On Tuesday, June 19, villages across the Five Towns will hold elections for the positions of trustees, mayors and a village justice. All but one of the candidates, Atlantic Beach Mayor Stephen Mahler, are running unopposed. Patch reached out to almost all the candidates via email or phone. Responses have been edited.

polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at village hall, located at 65 The Plaza

Stephen Mahler is seeking his ninth term as mayor. He has lived in Atlantic Beach for 17 years.

  • Platform: “Our biggest problem is rebuilding the infrastructure. We manage to repave the roads and fix the lighting with hardly raising the taxes here. We do it through careful budgeting. What more can my residents ask for? I don’t think my adversary is someone [voters] want to turn the village over to.”

Edward Radburn, a 20-year resident of Atlantic Beach, is challenging Mahler in the Atlantic Beach mayoral race. He served on the board of trustees from 1996 to 2000. Radburn also ran for mayor in 2010.

  • Platform: “The infrastructure in our village is crumbling around. [Mahler] categorically refuses to get involved in education. Something has to be done. Raise the standards, raise the quality in Lawrence. A mayor can’t sit by and do nothing. 
    The present mayor doesn’t like any opposition whatsoever. He’s been in office for so long, he thinks it’s a fiefdom. If [voters] want to save the beaches and developments, they should come out and vote for me.”

Linda L. Baessler, who was appointed trustee in 2009, is seeking her second full term. She taught in the Island Park school district for 34 years, retiring in 2007. Baessler, a homeowner in Atlantic Beach for 37 years, is president of Atlantic Beach Cats Inc., a charity that helps to control the feral feline population in Atlantic Beach in a humane manner. She also serves as an elected member of the vestry at St. James Episcopal Church in Long Beach. 

  • Platform: “I am seeking re-election because I have a vested interest in the community I live in. It is a constant challenge to keep Atlantic Beach the kind of community that residents want to reside in and can enjoy. Numerous outside forces are constantly trying to change the character of our village and their goals are not always in line with what residents want and expect. The mayor and board strive to improve A.B. without raising taxes above the 2 percent cap and without cutting services.”

Edward Sullivan, who moved to Atlantic Beach in 1995, is running unopposed for his third term as trustee. He was appointed to the village board of zoning appeals in 2006, and was appointed to the board of trustees in 2008. Sullivan is currently deputy mayor. He is very active in youth activities, sponsoring family runs on the boardwalk and outdoor movie nights at the beach. Sullivan is a vice president of technology infrastructure at Goldman Sachs.

polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at village hall, located at 196 Central Ave.

Martin Oliner, who previously served four terms as trustee, is seeking his second term as mayor.

C. Simon Felder, who served as mayor prior to Oliner, is seeking his second consecutive term.

Irving Langer, a 14-year resident of Lawrence who works in real estate, seeks to fill the trustee seat vacated by the outgoing Edward Klar.

  • Platform: “I think I can be helpful to our community in Lawrence. I’ve been involved in some of the issues. I believe we have a nice group of people working as trustees and mayor. We’ll do what’s best for the community. I hope I learn from my experience.” 

Donald Buchalter, who has served as village justice since 1987, is seeking another term.

polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at village hall, located at 449 Pepperidge Rd.

Mark Weiss, an 18-year resident of Hewlett Harbor, has served as mayor for two and a half terms. He served one and a half terms as a village trustee before winning an election to fill the vacated mayoral seat. Weiss, 62, is co-founder of Harbor Group Communications, Inc., a public relations and strategic marketing communications firm.

  • Platform: “Against a backdrop of national discontent with government and what is perceived as out of control spending, I, along with what I call the hardest working and most talented group of volunteer village trustees, have worked to deliver the best value for every village tax dollar collected. My goal for my next term in office is to assure residents that their tax dollars are being well managed and that Hewlett Harbor remains the most attractive and vibrant village on Long Island — a wonderful place in which to reside and raise one’s family. 

Tom Cohen has lived in Hewlett Harbor for 20 years. He has worked as an international fur broker for more than 25 years. He was appointed in 2008-09 to fill a vacant trustee position.

  • Platform: "I am passionate about improving the village's roads and maintaining the lovely community in which we live. Village government is a seven-day a week 'job,' despite the fact that trustees serve without any compensation whatsoever. We deal with issues ranging from security, beautification, the cleaning of Willow Pond, construction, public safety and more."

Kenneth Kornblau is seeking another term as trustee.

polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at the , located at 190 Woodmere Blvd. South

Ross Epstein, who has lived in Hewlett-Woodmere area since he was born, moved to Hewlett Neck in 2010. He has served as the village’s road commissioner. Epstein, who works in real estate/property management, seeks to replace outgoing Mayor Stuart Troyetsky, who decided not to seek reelection.

  • Platform: “I want to help our village/community in any way I can with the emphasis on maintaining the integrity of the village and at the same time taking into consideration the fiduciary responsibility that the elected board holds on behalf of all the residents of the village. [My goal is] to maintain the integrity of the beautiful village of Hewlett Neck and at the same time look for financially responsible ways to improve the village.”

Bertram Kalisher has lived in Hewlett Neck since 1966. He served as the village treasurer for three years before becoming a trustee about 40 years ago. He is a publisher of international luxury magazine, Chronos.

  • Platform: “The environment is always on my mind. I’m interested in keeping the roads safe, in as much as we don’t have sidewalks. We want to make sure drivers are mindful of safety. We like to keep the integrity of the architecture.”

Steven Hochberg is seeking another term as trustee.

polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at village hall, located at 30 Piermont Ave.

Stephen Kaufman is seeking his fifth term as mayor.

Andrea Soskel, who has served as a trustee for 10 years, is running for another term.

Joel Schneider is also unopposed for his bid for another term as trustee.

polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. at the Keystone Yacht Club, located at 190 Woodmere Blvd. South

Edmond Mukamal, D.D.S., has lived in Woodsburgh since 1977. He grew up in Woodmere, where he currently practices dentistry. He became a village trustee in 1982 and presently serves as deputy mayor. He also serves on the boards of the and the Pankey Institute.

  • Platform: “I believe Woodsburgh is a friendly village and, as neighbors, we can resolve most problems at our monthly village meetings. I am most interested in the safety of Woodsburgh's residents, and the environmental welfare of the village; preserving its integrity as one of the most beautiful pristine villages on Long Island.”

Lee A. Israel, a resident of the Five Towns for over two decades, has lived in Woodsburgh for 12 years. He is president of Wesco Manufacturing, Inc. as well as several other corporations. He is also the president of the Woodmere Club and treasurer of the Woodmere Bay Yacht Club. He has held the titles of road commissioner and treasurer before being elected trustee.

  • Platform: “Most importantly, my objective is to improve the quality of life within the village and see that village tax dollars are spent wisely and conservatively. It is my genuine intention to assist in assuring that the Village of Woodsburgh continues to be a wonderful place to live. I am proud of our community and wish to see it continue to flourish, which is my primary motivation for public service. It is a tremendous honor to serve this community and one that is not taken lightly.”

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