Saturday, November 20, 2010


The election for Mayor and Trustees for the Village of Mastic Beach is coming up, and I have reached out to the many candidates running for various positions. For the next couple of weeks I hope to get responses from them so I could feature them here, and have everyone become familiar with the candidates. This is the fourth installment of "Meet The Candidate", featuring Barbara O'Malley who is running for Village Trustee.

1) Tell us a bit about yourself. How long have you lived in the area?
I graduated from SUNY at Stony Brook and obtained my JD from Pace University School of Law. I have been an attorney for 26 years specializing in the field of real estate law and now foreclosure defense. I worked as an associate for the Village of Lake Grove Attorney in the late eighties and I currently work as a managing attorney supervising a Court Appearance and Closing Department in the Law firm where I work.

I first discovered the community of Mastic Beach when I represented clients that were purchasing a home in the area in 1986. That closing not only brought into my life very dear friends that I have known for 24 years but it brought me to this place that I now call home. I have lived in Mastic Beach for eleven years.

2) Why did you decide to run and were you for or against the village?
I had been part of an unofficial email campaign in support of the Village. I was later approached by the MBVEC in October to run for Trustee and I met with 6 of its members for the first time at my interview. I was so impressed by the caliber of the people I spoke with that day, including Paul Breschard, our Village Vision Team Mayoral Candidate. Since the vote to form the Village was so close, they wanted to make sure that the people of Mastic Beach knew that this government would be working for all of them. Their genuine concern convinced me to get involved. Since I had always been a Village supporter but not really actively involved in the process, I felt I wanted to make a substantial contribution to the success of our fledgling government.

3) What do you believe your responsibilities are as a trustee?
I believe first and foremost that I must be responsive to the needs of the people of Mastic Beach. The Village exists to serve them and for no other purpose. I believe if the Mayor and Trustees can convey this message then it may help end the divisiveness in our community. A variety of methods for residents to communicate with their government must be established so that their representatives are accessible, responsive and their actions transparent. Residents must have ample opportunity to make their needs known since it will require the input of everyone living in Mastic Beach to make our Village a success.

I also believe the single most transformative power that our new Village Government will provide for Mastic Beach is effective Code Enforcement. Our community is approximately 30% non owner occupied and my belief is that if Landlords are required to toe the line when it comes to the safety and well being of their tenants, occupancy limits and the conditions of their properties that many of them will look for another neighborhood to do business in. The Landlords that are willing to meet their responsibilities are welcome to stay. This will put the residents of Mastic Beach back in control of their community at a minimal expense with a maximum return. Rental fees and fines can generate a substantial income, especially if Landlords refuse to meet their responsibilities.

4) What outside experience do you bring that can be applicable to the position?
I have an extensive legal background and I am a specialist in the field of Real Estate Law. I have worked as an associate with a Village attorney and am familiar with Building and Zoning issues. I have worked in a supervisory capacity for the last 15 years and have extremely good management skills. Also, as a sole practitioner I have run my own business. Most importantly, I am intelligent, hard working and in love with Mastic Beach and so I will do everything in my power to see it reach its full potential.

5) What do you see as the positives of Mastic Beach, and what are the negatives?
Positive - Mastic Beach is a quaint, historic and visually exquisite area. Our water front is massive and our view of Fire Island unique. I also love the fact that our community is so diverse. I believe this brings a dimension to our Village that many others don’t have. Our community is comprised of hardworking and caring people that want a neighborhood they can be proud of and they are willing to fight for this.

Negative- Illegal Rentals in our community which are in poor condition and overcrowded have put a tremendous drain on our community. Also the fact that the Town and County see our community as a source of affordable housing for sex offenders, sober homes and recently released prisoners. I believe every community must house their fair share but our community, for one reason or another, has been saturated with them.

6) How do you envision the Village of Mastic Beach in 5 years?
I believe Mastic Beach will finally be seen as a desirable and attractive water front community that prospective homeowners will want to live and raise their families in, where local businesses are thriving and long time residents are once again proud to call it their home.



Anonymous said...

As a real estate attorney you are incredibly well qualified to be a Trustee. Also working in the area of foreclosure you really do understand the problems of working people. I liked that you also have experience working in another Village..
I agree with you that code enforcement is the most pressing issue to deal with. You have my full support.