Karen Dunne (R), an attorney in private practice in Manorville and deputy chair of the Town of Brookhaven Planning Board, and Kerry Spooner (D), an educator and founder and president of Sound Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for individuals involved with the justice system, are running to succeed Dan Panico, who is running for Brookhaven for Town supervisor.
The district includes Calverton, Center Moriches, East Moriches, Eastport, Manorville, Mastic, Mastic Beach, Smith Point and parts of Brookhaven Hamlet, East Yaphank, Ridge and Shirley.
Dunne is president of the Manorville Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Eastport-South Manor School District Board of Education for 22 years, including serving as its president.
Dunne, who said she’s gained support from both Democrats and Independents, said her top priorities include preserving open space and the environment, while promoting sustainable development and maintaining the area’s quality of life. Brookhaven faces a challenge of providing affordable housing opportunities for residents, she said.
Dunne also wants to deal with coastal flooding in the Mastic Beach area and create more park space in Manorville.
Dunne has been talking with voters in her district who tell her they want to see more sit-down restaurants and businesses other than fast-food restaurants in the tri-hamlet region, now that sewers will be coming to the area.
The future of the Brookhaven Town landfill, including how to replace tipping fees that will end when the landfill closes, is a major issue, she said.
Dunne is married. She and her husband have four adult children and three grandchildren.
Spooner, who holds a doctorate from Stony Brook University, said she’ll be an independent voice on a town council on which Republicans currently outnumber Democrats, 6-1.
She wants to address quality-of-life issues in the town, which includes promoting safe drinking water, improved street lighting, repairing roads and bridges, and improving public safety in areas such as the children’s park at Robert Miller Memorial Park. She wants the town board to involve residents in making decisions on important issues, such as the town landfill, which needs to be closed, she said.
She’s been talking with residents who say the town needs to do a better job of enforcing parking laws at Webby’s Beach in Center Moriches, where, she said, non-residents take up many of the street parking spaces.
Spooner would also like to see the town work with the county to shore up the coastline in the Moriches and Mastic Beach to make it more resilient to climate change.
Spooner is married. She and her wife have one child.