by Rick Pezzullo
“If you love your community there is no greater honor than to play a direct role in its preservation, especially at such a local level.”
“As we confront the issues of further development and rising taxes, we must be mindful of our volunteers and public workers, the fabric of our community.”
Two Board of Trustees candidates and an incumbent village justice are running unopposed in Irvington this year.
Mark Gilliland will be elected to his third term on the board, while Larry Lonky will replace Christina Giliberti, who opted not to seek a second two-year term.
“It was a tremendous privilege and opportunity to serve as a trustee. If you love your community there is no greater honor than to play a direct role in its preservation, especially at such a local level,” Giliberti stated. “It’s also a tremendous time commitment. Even though I had worked in government, I was blown away by the amount of time and effort members of the board — both the trustees and mayor — spend on a constant, regular basis in dealing with the various issues that come before the village. Because of developments over the past year in my professional life, it would be impossible for me to continue to contribute as a trustee and representative in a meaningful way.”
“One thing I can say from my time on the board is that everyone is deeply committed to the residents of Irvington, and safeguarding and advancing the quality of life we enjoy, and that’s exactly how it should be,” she added.
Gilliland was instrumental in formulating the “Slow Down Irvington” traffic safety campaign and is involved in the new “Walk Safe” pedestrian safety initiative. He has also devoted much of his efforts to environmental, conservation and affordability issues.
“I want to ensure that Irvington remains a great place to live and raise a family,” said Gilliland, 61. “Together, we need to address many pressing issues relating to managing growth and taxes. By continuing the tradition of the last several years, keeping the year-to-year operating budget with very modest inflationary level gains, we believe that the village should also be able to invest in infrastructure and long-range capital improvements.”
Lonky, 59, has been a village resident since 1985 and chairman of the Recreation and Parks Advisory Committee since 2011. He said raising money to build a basketball court at Scenic Hudson in honor of his friend, Bob Speisman, a victim of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, gave him a new perspective on the community.
“The reasons people live in Irvington are the same now as they were when my wife Nancy and I moved here in 1985,” Lonky said. “We have a historic, tight-knit community, blessed with abundant parkland, dedicated public servants, a charming Main Street leading down to the Hudson River. How do we maintain the balance between lifestyle and affordability? As we confront the issues of further development and rising taxes, we must be mindful of our volunteers and public workers, the fabric of our community.”
Village Justice Desmond Lyons has served on the bench since 2010. A lifelong village resident, he served as village prosecutor for almost a decade prior to beingelected as a judge.
“As village justice, I am humbled and honored to have the privilege of playing a small part in the life of our village,” Lyons said. “Each time I take the bench, I strive to treat everyone who appears before me with utmost respect, professionalism and courtesy, recognizing that the court process for most is an extremely intimidating experience and the Village Court may be their only interaction with the court system.”