Mineola voters will go to the polls today to pick their next mayor and two additional trustees to sit on the village board. While the mayoral contest only has one candidate running, three men are campaigning for the remaining trustee seats.
As part of our coverage on the election, here is the complete list of candidates, their biographies, and their affiliated party.
Scott Strauss, Mayoral Candidate, New Line Party
- Scott Strauss is a 47-year resident of Mineola, a graduate of Class of 1981 with an Associate’s Degree from . He continues to proudly reside in Mineola along with his wife, Pat, and sons, Bryan and Christopher.
- Strauss served for 20 years in the New York City Police Department, retiring with the rank of detective in 2004. During his career, Strauss received numerous awards including the Medal for Valor and the Medal of Honor, the NYPD’s highest honor.
- Strauss is currently the Corporate Director of Security and Emergency Management for the , which is comprised of 15 hospitals and hundreds of satellite locations. He is responsible for the supervision of investigations, development/enforcement of all security and emergency management policies and programs, the mitigation of all major incidents, advises senior management of security and risk implications of business activities, the development of risk assessment procedures, the establishment of security-related procedures and the management of corporate staff and the oversight of the financial management of all designated security staff and their assets.
- A 29-year member of the , Strauss has served as Assistant Chief, Chief of Department and as Lieutenant and Captain.
- He was recognized twice as Company No. 2’s Firefighter of the Year, and received the Town of Hempstead’s 2010 Firefighter of the Year award. Prior to joining the Mineola Fire Department, Strauss was a member of the junior firefighters.
- Strauss is also an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 45 and earned the rank of Eagle Scout in his youth.
- He has been a lifetime member of the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and is a former coach with the MAA for both Soccer and Little League. Strauss received the We Are Mineola Award from the in 2002.
Lawrence Werther, Candidate for Trustee, New Line Party
- Lawrence Werther Sr. moved to Mineola with his wife, Francine, in the spring of 1980. While it was supposed to be a temporary first home, Werther fell in love with his neighbors and Mineola and his roots deepened.
- His involvement in the Mineola community grew to include stints coaching MAA and PAL teams, duties as Cub Master of Pack 246 and Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 45 where both of his sons, Lawrence Jr. and Joseph attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
- Werther earned a Bachelors Degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Queens College CUNY. He has spent the last 26 years in the financial services industry and holds NASD Series 7, 63 and 65 licenses as well as Life and A&H licenses and certificates in Long Term Care. Werther has also authored legislation that changed New York State Banking law, Chapter 502 of the Laws of 1993.
- Formerly serving as the deputy mayor, Werther is currently serving as acting Mayor of Mineola and has served as Village Trustee for 8 years. He is the longest serving board member on the village board.
- Werther made the decision to run for trustee in Mineola in 2003 after becoming concerned with what he saw was rising debt, flawed budgets, flourishing illegal housing and a crumbling infrastructure.
- Since his election, Werther credits among his accomplishments open government, including a village television channel (which he affectionately dubs “MTV”) and website, eight consecutive balanced budgets with a healthy unencumbered fund balance, no new long-term borrowing, prosecution of illegal landlords, controlled spending and better relations with the business community where he has served as the village board’s Liaison to the Chamber of Commerce.
George Durham, Candidate for Trustee, New Line Party
- George R. Durham is part of a fourth generation Mineola family and also graduated from Mineola High School in 1981. The son of Fred and Josephine, Durham has been married for 15 years to his wife, Donna, and has two children, Brandon and Shannon.
- Durham is currently the Data Communications Manager for Nassau Downs OTB. He is responsible for all data, satellite and telecommunications for OTB’s betting parlors and Fast Track restaurants.
- Durham served as a member of the Community Planning Committee for 6 years on the village’s Master Plan and was Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Downtown Revitalization. He also sat on the Village Fence Committee.
- A member of the , Durham is also an assistant Scoutmaster, Life Scout and Senior Patrol Leader to Boy Scout Troop 45. He was a member of the Mineola Junior Fire Department from 1978-1981.
- He has managed an MAA softball team since 2005 and won the Mayor’s Trophy in 2008 for dedication and devotion to the youth of Mineola.
Chris Wales, Candidate for Trustee, Mustang Party
- Christopher J. Wales is a 22 year resident of Mineola. Wales attended C.W. Post where he graduated with a BFA degree. At C.W. Post, Wales worked on the school newspaper, the C.W. Pioneer, where he won two awards: the Outstanding New Editor Award and Lawrence C. Lobaugh Jr. Memorial award for Journalism. Wales was also part of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity.
- While living in Mineola, Chris documented Mineola through photography for the Village, the Mineola Fire Department, and the Mineola Marching Band. Chris and his son joined the Cub Scouts Pack 246.
- Wales served as an assistant Cub Master for 3 years and rose up to become the Cub Master for the pack He also chronicled the Pack events through photography. He worked to organize events like the scout walk, the Pack 246 food drive for Corpus Christi Church food bank and the Mustang Run Water Station support. Wales is also a former member of Mineola Chamber of Commerce.
- Chris and his wife Mildred have been married for 22 years. They are members of the parish and have two children, Kristen, who graduated from Mineola High School and now attends college, and son Joseph who currently attends Mineola Middle School.
- Wales is the Customer Service supervisor for Capri Album, which manufactures wedding albums, serving photographers all across America.