2010-10-28 / Politics

Four Vie for Two Village Trustee Positions

Staff Reports

There are four contenders vying for two available seats on the Village of Brewster Board of Trustees. The November 2 ballot will list two new candidates, one current village employee, and one trustee seeking reelection.

Of the two available seats, Yoshihiko Ito—a trained, but non-practicing lawyer—is up for reelection after having served nearly four and a half years on the board. The other seat is being vacated by William Banks, who decided not to run for re-election, telling the COURIER it was time to move on. 

Newcomers to the ballot include Renee Diaz— Ito’s running mate and member of the village planning board —Tom Boissonnault, and Mary Bryde. Like Banks, Ito and Diaz are both registered Democrats running on the New Brewster Line, whereas Bryde and Boissonnault are registered Republicans running on the Better Brewster Line.

Boissonnault said that running for village trustee seems like a natural progression since he and his wife created the Hill Neighborhood Association of Brewster over one year ago. This community group of roughly 60 members is made up of active “Brewster homeowners who really care about our neighborhood,” Boissonnault explained.

“People of the village are really motivated,” Boissonnault said. “I picture the village as kind of an underdog and I’d like to be a part of it.” He added that the trustees have an important job ahead of them and that by electing new faces to the board, new opinions could potentially change the face of the village—which he calls a “a great little community.” 

Neither James Schoenig, village mayor, nor Peter Brewster Hansen, village clerk, were willing to openly support any specific candidate but said that all individuals had the potential to do well. “All [candidates] have their hearts in the right place when it comes to the village,” said Schoenig.

Trustee Teresa Stockburger said she will definitely be voting for Boissonnault but that she was still undecided as to her other vote. “I’m voting for Tom, but as far as my other vote, it depends on how I feel when I wake up [Tuesday] morning,” Stockburger said. Boissonnault shows a record of “having done things,” both with the Hill Neighborhood Association and with his presence at village board meetings, according to Stockburger. Christine Piccini, deputy mayor and trustee, could not be reached for comment.

Banks had no qualms in telling the COURIER exactly who he’d be voting for—Ito and Diaz—feeling that Bryde and Boissonnault were too inexperienced. “We’re very lucky because all of them are good people and good neighbors,” said Banks. “[But] it’s about balance and experience. To get good people on the board is more important than partisanship. By being a bipartisan board, we’ve achieved more in a decade than any other group.”

Ito said his experience—over four years as a trustee and 12 years on the planning board—his background in law, and his work ethic, exemplify the “three unique qualifications” for why Brewster residents should re-elect him for another two-year term. “Both other candidates are fine people; I have no problem with either of them,” he said. “The only thing that separates us is our experience.”

Neither Diaz nor Bryde could be reached for comment as of press time Monday.


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‘No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.’ ~Hal Borland