Brookhaven Town CLERK

Donna Lent (R)

In 2017, town clerk Donna Lent earned certification as a registered municipal clerk (RMC) by the New York State Town Clerks Association. Registered municipal clerk designation is earned through numerous hours of education and training, as well as extensive experience requirements.

Lent has a long history of public service and dedication to the community. For more than two decades, she was a stalwart volunteer for the Sachem Athletic Club, a sports program for boys and girls aged 6 to 13, where she served as a coach and mentor to numerous young athletes. Her guidance and oversight as the club’s treasurer was instrumental in the expansion of the program, enabling hundreds of additional Brookhaven students to benefit from the program.

While earning her B.A. at Stony Brook University, Lent enjoyed a successful career as a law office manager and small-business owner. In 2001, she left the private sector to enter public service.

A lifelong supporter of women’s rights, she also serves as the president of the National Women’s Political Caucus, a bipartisan, not-for-profit organization established in 1971 whose mission is dedicated to seeing more women in elected and appointed office.

Lent and her husband of 48 years, Greg, raised their three children in North Patchogue and today have the additional joy of 10 grandchildren. She now resides in Blue Point.

If reelected, she promises to continue Brookhaven Town’s shared services project and the digitization and consolidation of records through a grant awarded several years ago. Recently, she hopes to partner with the Village of Patchogue to help save taxpayers money.

“When I came to the town, we started to review our records,” she said, explaining that some records were filed with multiple copies of the same letter, taking up space and becoming unorganized. “I have also maintained a level of service in this department through the horrific year and a half we just had. I was able to maintain resident services and help them with the documents they needed.”

She also referenced being proud of hiring seven Spanish-speaking staff members to further help aid the needs of the community, and noted she was able to keep her employees safe and continue to process death and marriage and birth certificates throughout the pandemic.

“I think being able to steer the ship through the pandemic gives people an indication of the kind of administrator I am,” she said of why people should vote her into another term. “This is a job that I love.”

Ira Costell (D)

Ira Costell has been a resident of the Three Village-Port Jefferson Station area for more than 50 years. A graduate of Suffolk County Community College, Costell graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science from C.W. Post College. He also holds a master’s degree in environmental planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Costell is the father of two daughters who attended Comsewogue High School.

Costell has a record of region-wide leadership in the fields of environmental conservation and preservation. He served as chair of the Suffolk County Pine Barrens Review Commission. He was also New York State commissioner of the Long Island North Shore Heritage Area Planning Commission.

In addition, Costell was a member of the county executive’s Watershed Protection Advisory Committee. He was also a member of the Long Island Maritime Preserve Study Group and the Suffolk County Watershed Protection Advisory Committee.

He said he feels his background is exactly what would make him a good clerk.

“I have a long history of participation and involvement in Brookhaven Town,” he said of his environmental work.

He also promised to make accompanying meeting materials readily available in a timely fashion. If elected, he said, he will make a checklist within the clerk’s office to make sure the community is informed.

“I believe the clerk’s office has the responsibility to have a pulse beat on the public and advocate for them, not blindly take part in procedures,” he said.

His passion is advocating for those struggling in the opioid epidemic, after his 22-year-old nephew died from an overdose. Costell is often found in Albany fighting for legislation.

“The town clerk needs to be a positive force,” he said of his mission. “I’ll be dammed if I sign another death certificate as clerk to another young person dying from a drug overdose without knowing I’ve done my best to help.”

“I didn’t come to get a job,” he added. “I came to do a job.”


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