Last month, longtime Brookhaven Town clerk Donna Lent announced her retirement after 30 years of service. During the meeting in which she announced her retirement to the public, she was wished well by her colleagues, who called the longtime county clerk “a truly committed resident of the community.”
A special election to fill her vacated seat will be held on Jan. 17, 2023. Early voting will start on Jan. 7 through Jan. 15. Current councilman Kevin LaValle will be running against community advocate Lisa Di Santo.
Councilman Kevin LaValle was elected in November 2013 to the 3rd Council District in the Town of Brookhaven. His area includes Lake Grove, Centereach, Selden, and parts of Lake Ronkonkoma, Farmingville, Port Jeff Station, and a piece of Holbrook. He was raised in Centereach with his parents and four siblings.
He attended Middle Country School District and graduated from Centereach High School in 1995. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in political science from Salisbury University, where he graduated from in 2000. He currently resides in Selden.
Prior to his election, LaValle worked for Legis. Daniel Losquadro as his chief of staff for three years, before he became president and part-owner of Pinnacle Title Agency from 2007 to 2011. Most recently, LaValle served as a legislative aide to Legis. Thomas Muratore.
He is also a licensed loan mortgage originator and works for Lynx Mortgage Bank. He specializes in working with first-time homebuyers.
“I am proud to accept the Republican and Conservative nominations to run for Brookhaven Town Clerk. As Town Clerk, I will work every day to properly and effectively secure residents’ sensitive information, work to increase the efficiency in which residents can access their personal records, increase transparency within Town government, be accountable for the management of the Clerk’s office, and promote accessibility to services for disabled and elderly residents," he said.
LISA DI SANTO
Lisa Di Santo has 30 years of experience as a community advocate in the Bellport/Patchogue area, beginning as a board member of Bellport Area Community Action Committee (BACAC). She also became the vice president of the board as it transitioned in 1996 into the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area.
From 2001 on, she served in various leadership positions in the South Country Central School District PTA and as the legislative chair of the districtwide PTA Council. Most recently, she served from 2009 to 2020 as a trustee in the South Country Central School District.
Her over 20-year experience as a practicing educator includes working as a secondary educator teaching Participation in Government, Global Studies I and II, and American History and Government in grades 7-12. Additionally, for more than a decade (2001-2013) she owned a government and public relations firm, which specialized in health care, not-for-profit social service organizations, and professional associations.
Her local political advocacy activities began as a canvasser for NYPIRG in 1986, when she knocked on doors throughout Suffolk County encouraging/educating people about the original bottle bill and canvassing in Hempstead against the incinerator that would later be bought and operated by Covanta. As a Democratic Committee member throughout the 1990s, she first spoke out against the 1991 Brookhaven Town Ash for Trash deal and then worked on the 1991 and 1993 Brookhaven townwide Blakeslee Team campaigns as campaign coordinator for fundraising, scheduling, and youth volunteers. She subsequently volunteered for Patricia Eddington’s state and town campaigns, Ed Henessey’s campaigns, NYS Senate campaigns for Brian Foley and Adrienne Esposito, and managed the creation of Tim Bishop for Congress’ first campaign website. She also ran for Brookhaven Town Council in 2017.
When asked why she has decided to run for town clerk, she said:
“I am on the ballot because it is time town residents have a real choice to vote for a candidate that has a proven record of community service. It’s vital that the town clerk’s office be an independent voice for adherence to open government practices clearly outlined in both the Town Code and the New York State Constitution. Our government officials do need to be accountable, and the functions of the town clerk’s office need to be more accessible to all residents as well. Modernization in the use of technology in the clerk’s office is warranted, with an emphasis on cybersecurity.”