You can thank Paul Pereira for the first portion of the sub-headline; the Mineola deputy mayor writing it on the spot as he held up a dry-erase board in the back room of Piccola Bussola Tuesday night showing that the New Line Party not only swept the 2013 village election, but had done so in overwhelming fashion, putting out a 2:1 margin over former party member Lawrence Werther, who mounted his own independent bid after being dropped from the ticket and adding Dennis Walsh to the dais.
“This for us, more than anything, validates our work, validates our effort, it validates what mayor Strauss is doing, what the team is doing, what Mr. Hobbs and John Curry and everybody else started and Jack Martins started 10 years ago,” Pereira said. “It validates that we are on the right course and we thank you for it.”
Mayor Scott Strauss, who was running unopposed, received 930 votes. Incumbent trustee George Durham garnered 840 votes, while newcomer Walsh received 853 votes. Werther finished a distant fourth with 469 votes.
“It wasn’t me, it wasn’t just George, it wasn’t just Dennis, it was everybody in this room,” Strauss told those assembled. “Everybody in this room did something to help us and something to help make Mineola better. Everybody, every part of Mineola came together and pushed Mineola and this team together.”
“Everybody helped us out,” Durham said. “It was amazing going around, we had support, people talked to us, pushed us along. Now that you elected us, we have a lot of work to continue to do, finances are good but the infrastructure needs some work and we have designs so we want to take and try and build Mineola up to the standards that we all expect.”
Tuesday afternoon at about 3 p.m. there were about 800 persons who had voted at the community center according to village estimates with many seemed to be split among the trustee candidates.
Mrs. Davidson stated that they had voted for Werther because “he’s the right man for the job,” while her husband added that “he’ll argue with the people if they’re not doing the right thing. He thinks the mayor does something wrong, he says something and he don’t just buckle and go right along with it. I think that there should be a spattering of different people on the board, people who feel one way and feel the other and come to a consensus agreement.”
Another senior woman stated that she voted for Werther because “he was a trustee before and I thought he did a good job.” She also voted for Strauss because while “there is no other choice but Strauss, but Strauss has done ok.”
One couple said they voted the New Line Party line due to “the incumbency of the mayor and the other trustee and Walsh lives in our area.”
“I don’t feel like this is my victory or George’s victory or Scott’s; everybody is involved,” Walsh said, adding tongue-in-cheek that he was “winging” his speech. “I’ve been very nervous – not nervous – pensive about this and probably talking to myself normally more than I talk to myself. We handed out 12,500 pieces of paper – you know, propaganda.”
“Stop wingin’ it!” came Strauss’s voice from the back, “I’m going to cut your mike off!”
When reached Tuesday night via telephone Werther stated that he had attempted to contact Walsh to offer his congratulations but was unable to get through. He also had contacted Durham and spoken to him, expressing his congratulations as well.
When asked about what the biggest initiative the board would have for the new term, the downtown area was the topic most discussed.
“The downtown is coming together, there’s project coming, but we’re still looking for that one piece that’s going to make the downtown a destination site,” Durham said. “We want to find and take that one piece, the missing piece to that puzzle, that’s something we’ll be looking for in the next two years.”
Added Walsh: “I want to see the development of the district and I’d like to be part of the team that develops the downtown of Mineola and it’s long overdue. We need a strong team to make that happen and I want to be part of that team.”Candidate Party Votes Mayor Scott Strauss New Line Party 930 Trustees Dennis Walsh New Line Party 853 George Durham New Line Party 840 Lawrence Werther Mineola My Home Party 469