FABGC candidates sweep election

Updated Thursday, March 17,2022 at 4 p.m.

In heavy voting on Tuesday, March 15th, candidates for the For a Better Garden City Party swept the election for four seats on the Garden City Village Board of Trustees.


For A Better Garden City Party:
Mary Carter Flanagan (West) – 1,667 votes
Charles P. Kelly (Estates) – 1,480 votes
Bruce A. Torino (Central) – 1,490 votes
Lawrence N. Marciano, Jr. (East) – 1,466 votes

Community Agreement Party:
Judy Courtney (East) – 1,209 votes
Michael Daab (Estates) – 1,161 votes
Tracey Williams (Central) – 1,152 votes

Write-in candidates – 195

The above totals include all votes, both in person and absentee. The following number of absentee ballots were received for each candidate: Flanagan 621; Kelly 570; Torino 581; Marciano  551; Courtney 205; Daab 166; Williams 156; Write-ins 14.

39 responses to “FABGC candidates sweep election”

  1. Publish the in-person v. absentee ballot votes please.

    • Christine Mullaney says:

      Don’t hold your breath, Tom.
      Here they are: The in-person totals were led by Mary Carter Flanagan (1046), endorsed by both FABGC and the WPOA, followed by Judy Courtney (1004), Michael Daab (995) and Tracey Williams (996). The FABGC candidates trailed at Charles Kelly (910), Bruce Torino (909) and Larry Marciano (915). Vote harvesting by FABGC made the difference.

      • Of the 311 disabled residents in Garden City that get absentee ballots every year because they are disabled, I’m sure they will be very appreciative to know they were “harvested”, Ms. Mullaney.

        • The ballot application I picked up at Village Hall indicated that a voter could designate someone to pick up the actual ballot for them. My husband designated me to to pick up his ballot since he didn’t have the time to do so. I guess I harvested his ballot. Perfectly legal. Seems like sour grapes to me to criticize this process, which clearly increases voter turnout from the POA preferred few hundred voters. But, hey, its a lot of work. Like holding a primary.

          • Oh, the good old days when the POAs could have 200 people vote in an election and the Estate POA Mayor wins with 119 votes.

            Democracy is so hard……………..

          • You are neglecting Mary Flanagan who the Western POA nominating committee challenged with a write-in candidacy. You should never cherry pick like that.

          • I’m not about to start taking math lessons from The Six Million Dollar Man

        • That is very unfair comment because you know that Christine is not referring to the disabled residents who automatically receive an absentee ballot without an application by law.

          Ballot collection or harvesting is legal in NYS and your team was successful executing on that strategy again this year. Time to move on and I wish the candidates the best as they take on their trustee responsibilities.

          • Rosalie Panthaki says:

            Richard Catalano, my layperson’s understanding of election law in our state is that ballot harvesting is prohibited and that any person “engaging” in unlawful ballot harvesting will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor (the most severe of misdemeanor crimes) and any person “willfully engaging” in unlawful ballot harvesting will be guilty of a class D felony.

            Surely you’re not suggesting with your flippant use of the word “harvesting” that a significant number (i.e., enough of a number to swing the votes in FABGC’s favor) of absentee voters committed a crime? I think not. But nonetheless, I do think you should stop equating the legal process of “ballot collection” with the illegal process of “ballot harvesting” now that you know by legal definition they are not one and the same.

          • Richard,

            You, Christine, Steve Llardi and other members of CAP/POA all continue to repeatedly voice these same negative insinuations and inferences which seek to claim that the absentee ballots that were counted are somehow invalid, yet you have provided no basis for these accusations nor have you even tried to substantiate your false assertions with any evidence or even an explanation of your position. It’s clear that some of your ilk are calling into question the integrity of this election.
            So if something illegal has occurred, can you please enlighten the rest of us as to what the basis is for these claims?

            Considering the well-publicized facts regarding previous BOT’s disgustingly egregious fight to prevent handicapped parking access on 7th St, it makes perfect sense that the vast majority of the 311 absentee ballots that were automatically sent out to disabled residents were cast for FABGC.

            As others have said, perhaps it’s time for POA/CAP to focus on the actual issues which cost them the election, rather than continuing to spout off these meritless claims.

          • Rosalie – I have seen the terms ballot collection and ballot harvesting used interchangeably. I was not aware of a legal differentiation in NYS – I see proposed bills online to outlaw ballot harvesting but no specific legal statute.

            But regardless of terminology, no one is questioning the validity of the absentee ballots or the election. I observed the process as a poll watcher. While some people may not approve or like the strategy but it is legal and clearly effective.

            “Jack West” – POAs are always looking for new members and we welcome you to attend the next meeting in your section to help make our POAs even better.

          • Richard, you are an accountant. The POAs got 43% of the vote, not 45% of the vote. FABGC got 57% of the vote, not 55%. All the POAs can spout the wrong numbers, but a 4% swing in claimed votes is extremely misleading.

          • The exact percentage split for the three opposed races – CAP 44.3% | FABGC 55.7%. Very meaningful difference Don – you’re right.

        • Richard pretending that if absentee ballots weren’t allowed, that the FABGC supporters would not just have come and voted in person is just silly. While maybe not 100% would have made it, the “conversion rate” could have been below 50% and FABGC would still have won.

          The focus on FABGC’s ballot drive is an attempt to distract from how disappointed the residents are with the lack of any real reform by the POAs.

          • 45% of residents voted for the CAP candidates which indicates that the POAs still have strong support in the village. Hopefully, an open primary process can be adopted by section so we can collectively put an end to divisive village elections. For example, any resident with 50 votes makes the sectional primary, town hall meetings are then held to meet the candidates. The residents then can focus on the qualifications and experience of the candidates themselves rather than being bombarded with political ads from CAP and FABGC.

          • Richard,

            I’m a former and now recovering member of the EPOA.
            Perhaps it’s high time for the POAs to embrace true reform and institute primaries so residents can actually choose a candidate as opposed to the current process of the small group of unelected nominating committee members deciding who the candidate will be.
            Additionally, every resident should be able to have a say in who they want to represent them without having to pay a $20 dues fee.
            Not a single CAP/POA candidate has won a a seat in the last 2 elections. The vaunted 100 year old group has been completely and entirely usurped by a populist movement that was only formed 2 years ago.
            How do you reconcile this?
            Do the POAs actually believe that they have their fingers on the pulse of their constituents?
            What more does it take for a group to pause, reflect and then finally begin looking within to find the true source of their failures?

          • Jack – The POAs are unique civic associations made up of volunteers who want to provide an opportunity for residents to get closer to their local government – to express concerns and also to get involved. There was an ad in last week’s Garden City News that highlighted the POAs many accomplishments which is worth reading. All of us understand the reasons behind the last two elections. It’s time to move forward and make the POAs the best they can be and fully support our board of trustees. I hope you will consider coming back and contributing to your local POA. Best, Rich

      • Michael Ryder says:

        Give it a rest and move on. Just curious as to why you feel the need to speak up for Daab, Williams and Courtney? I would like to think they are more than capable of expressing their own opinions if they felt aggrieved.

        “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” —George Washington

        “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” —Benjamin Franklin

        “Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.” ―John Wooden

        “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” ―George Washington Carver

        • I have written this before, but it is worth stating again. In the year since the last election, POA supporters have done nothing to change the status quo.

          They have been continually aggrieved, as though they had a god-given right to control politics in GC. They have not looked inward at the glaring inequities of having a one party system. And the reason why only a handful of POA loyalists ever vote in election. That is alarming in and of itself and should have caused a desire to increase turnout.

          They have refused to acknowledge the cliquish nature of the POAs or the flaws in the nominating system, which renominates very flawed Trustees.

          They backtracked on running a promised primary because its hard work. One POA, the West, has apparently all be creased to exist.

          WE NEED A TWO PARTY SYSTEN IN GC. CAP/POAs, please reform your ways.

          • We now have a two party system.

            The POAs will continue to evolve their nomination process to continue to be open and transparent. You would have to admit that the POAs nomination process was much more transparent than the FABGC’s process this year.

            We hope that the FABGC follows up on its commitment to hold open primaries for their nominees next year.

          • We had ground rules. You ignored them all.

            Wish you continued success in your POA role.

          • Don – please post the ground rules here so all can see. I never got my copy.

          • Well, you weren’t a POA President. So please contact your POA President.

          • Our POA presidents don’t have them either – please post them as I think its important to understand what you believe was agreed to.

          • Mr. Catalano, it is great to see you refer to a “two party system”, after you and the POAs spent a full year claiming the POAs were not a “party”. Thanks for acknowledging the obvious.

          • Don – you are being petty with semantics. This is staring to feel like you are sealioning again..

        • Richard, the POAs said they would have a “open primary” in the East. Than after people thru their hat in the ring, they backpedaled on that promise. It was unfair to those that were told their would be a debate, and interview, etc, with the residents deciding, while Judy, as a long term POA member was selected without even telling those that offered to run that the primary had been cancelled.

          In the West, they “nominated” Mary, but than handed out door flyers with no memtion of Mary, and no one representing the West. So much for the Community Party vow to represent all sections. Than, to make it even more convoluted, someone from the West nominating committee launched a write-in campaign against Mary.

          FABGC strength in the last two elections, is not that we have a 101-year old developed process, that is mainly form over substance, but that while the POAs pick three candidates from their nominating committee, FABGC will continue to look for the very best residents in the village, not the very best from a small clique.

          So, I don’t find the POA process “open”, I found it misleading and duplicitious, from what was said, and what actually transpired. The East backtrack was particularly egregious. The West challenge of its “nominee” with a write-in candate by a nominating committee member was just bizarre.

          • Just some facts for the record:

            1) You did not run any Town Halls for the residents who submitted an interest to FABGC in running as one of your nominees
            2) You did not hold any “open primaries” to determine your nominees
            3) The POAs selected three outstanding residents who were very capable as serving as trustees. Their past service on the nominating committees does not disqualify them.
            4) What happened in the West was the result of your attacks on certain residents on social media – you own that, all of it.
            5) You have committed to hold open primaries by section next year – I applaud that and wish you well in implementing that needed change in your nomination process.
            6) Let’s work together next election so it is much more civil – let’s set ground rules on social media, hold joint Town Halls, debates, etc.

            Deus omnium nostrum auxilium.

        • Our POA presidents don’t have them either – please post them as I think its important to understand what you believe was agreed to.

  2. Luke Kelly says:

    Thank you.
    Gerry Kelly

  3. Suggest everybody start working together because the mandate is no longer there. Things will get much better if you do. Congrats to the Fab group on a gray campaign.

    • Mr Sullivan, after a century of single party rule, how are two elections, including the last election with a margin of victory of 57-43%, 8 FABGC BOT members, 0 CAP members, lead to you thinking a “mandate is no longer there”? But national standards, 57-43% is a major repudiation of the CAP lack of reform. Only in comparing to last years 73-27% blowout, a truly unheard of margin outside Eastern Europe, is this not a mandate.

      I’m seriously curious as to your thoughts here…

      • Come on. Be reasonable. I’ll give you last year but this year you squeaked by. Also it is a shame that Judy, who is one of the most devoted volunteers in the village is not representing the East. She was the best candidate on the ballot. Larry who?

        • By the way, thank you Meg for updating the results with in person and absentee ballot voting.

        • Larry who? That Mr. Hogan is really beneath you. Again, the POA attitude, if you have not been a member of the POAs your contribution to this village does not count.

          This is why the POAs are becoming irrelevant.

          I also think you owe not Larry “who”, but Larry MARCIANO an apology.

          • I agree, Don, and is that the qualification for being a Trustee, being a devoted volunteer, and I mean no disrespect to Ms. Courtney, but if that is how the POAs select nominees, it explains a lot. The POAs select the same people to serve on committees and commissions time and time again, that is their cliquish nature. Sadly, they could be far more vibrant and far more residents could be involved if they didn’t turn new people away for the old guard.

          • Right. Like Linda Ryan.

  4. Great campaign.

  5. Douglas Henning says:

    My dad was head of nominating for CPOA back in 60’s and 70’s.. He had no time to actually serve as a Trustee but he liked the role he had in choosing the leaders… It amazed me even as a kid how there were no real politics in our town…

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