Candidates for Town Board came to Huntington Station Monday night to
answer questions on subjects ranging from parks to jobs, voting rights,
town finances and party politics.
Sponsored by the Porter-Trejo Action Network, the forum at Light of Salvation Church
drew Gene Cook, running for supervisor, and Council candidates Josh
Price and incumbent Mark Mayoka on the Republican side. Supervisor Frank
Petrone and Council candidates Tracey Edwards and incumbent Mark
Cuthbertson rounded out the lineup on the Democratic side.
political figures who attended but were not part of the forum were
Suffolk legislative hopefuls Rob Conte and Jim Martin and incumbent 18th
District legislator Dr. William Spencer, and highway superintendent
Though mostly polite, the candidates occasionally took or gave heat over the accuracy or thrust of other candidates' comments.
two supervisor candidates tangled a few times, with Cook, who
identified himself as an independent, but is running as the Republican
nominee, and Petrone portraying their reasons for running in very
Cook, elected to the Town Board in 2011, said,
"I don't think much of politicians but I was forced to come into the
political game to do more for our community. I want to have term limits."
Petrone said, "I came in 20 years and inherited a town in great
shambles. ...I'd like to finish the job I started, to see the
revitalization started and i see this town continuing in great fiscal
They also argued over whether town employees or outside
workers were more qualified and less expensive to use on certain
projects. Cook insisted Petrone didn't understand how to get things done
while Petrone countered that Cook didn't have his facts right on costs.
was consensus on some topics; candidates voiced support for Huntington
Station revitalization plans, and cited the reopening of Jack Abrams
school as a positive development. Responding to a question about the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year on the Voting Rights Act,
Edwards, Petrone and Cuthbertson cited differences between Democrats
and Republicans on the topic. While Mayoka and Cook said they disagreed
with the Supreme Court, they said they didn't see it in political party
terms, while Price explained the decision as a matter of fairness among