This year’s village elections were anything but a slam dunk in the Incorporated Village of Plandome, as a surprise candidate was written into the mayor’s office.
Tom Minutillo, seven-year veteran of the village, has received the support of his Plandome neighbors and friends and was that write-in candidate, garnering 71 votes. That was 100 percent more than the candidate running for office, Andrew Bartels, who received 35. There were several write-in candidates for office but no one received as many votes as Minutillo.
The upset was intriguing and raised many questions, specifically, how did this happen? Minutillo was very open about the series of events.
“Shortly after the filing period ended, I was approached by a few neighbors who had been looking for a suitable mayoral candidate to add to the ballot,” said Minutillo. “At the time, I was hesitant, due to the fact the filing period had expired. I thought I missed the opportunity to build support, and interact with additional residents while collecting the appropriate signatures. As the election neared, I was again approached by a significant number of residents that were interested in changing the makeup of the board. They supported a proposed write-in campaign.”
So history was made. Minutillo works full time at Whitaker Securities in fixed income products. He and his wife Lynn are raising three children, T.J., Kayla and Matthew. The couple has lived in Manhasset for 20 years, but most recently in Plandome. Lynn is very active in the community.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to volunteer my time and energy to serve our great residence as mayor,” said Minutillo. “I feel my past experience serving on other boards will allow me to create effective lines of communication with our residents and village hall. In addition, I want to make sure we continue to support the Plandome Fire Department, maintenance crew, and village employees and volunteers. I am certainly appreciative of all the hard work and dedication they put forth to ensure our village continues to be a safe and peaceful community to raise our families.”
With Lloyd Williams retiring after a 12-years as mayor, the election sparked some action. Residents were upset with the recent development that is occurring:Trees being cut down, eliminating wooded areas that gave the village character. The building of multiple homes in the village seems to be at the crux of the discord. Many feel that the look and feel of Plandome is drastically changing. And, according to one resident who did not wish to be named, “There is a lack of transparency on spending and actions taken by trustees.”
Minutillo, who is 52 years old and a member of Plandome Country Club, has not been active in Plandome politics. “My goal as mayor is to create effective lines of communication between village hall and our residents, and seek to offer a high level of transparency on subjects that affect the village,” said Minutillo. “I am looking forward to communicating details on topics such as our annual budget and water cost for residents, just to name a few.”
Obviously, the people have spoken and it is time for a change. As is prominent sentiment throughout the community, Minutillo loves Plandome and the people who live there.
“I would like to thank Andy Bartels for running in the 2019 mayoral election,” said Minutillo. “His time served in our community should be recognized. As mayor, I look forward to working with Andy as a trustee. I plan to get to work with the rest of the board and discuss specific topics that will ensure Plandome continues to be a great place to live and raise families.”
Minutillo will assume office on April 1.