Brookhaven Councilwoman-Elect To Continue 6th CD Projects
Brookhaven Councilwoman-Elect To Continue 6th CD Projects

Brookhaven Councilwoman-Elect To Continue 6th CD Projects

MANORVILLE, NY — Sixth Council District councilwoman-elect Karen Dunne-Kesnig plans to pick up where her predecessor left off, prioritizing continuing projects like the redevelopment of Mastic Beach, flood mitigation, crime reduction, and open space preservation.

The redevelopment of Mastic Beach is a top priority, she told Patch in an interview Tuesday.

The area includes around 37 acres of the hamlet, encompassing 140 parcels, of land, running from Commack Road and the intersection of Mastic Road and Doris Drive to the north; Doris Drive to the east; and Victoria Place, Linden Place, and Commack Road to the south.

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Housing developers, the Beechwood Organization, has undertaken a study, collecting input from residents on what they would like to see.

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Kesnig, a Manorville attorney in private practice, attended a meeting on Wednesday morning so that she has as much information as possible ahead of January when she takes office.

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“I can jump right in and know more about what’s going on with that,” she said.

Flood mitigation along roadways is also a concern, so Kesnig has been taking the time to learn more about what is happening in neighborhoods and how the situation can be improved.

As far as crime is concerned, Kesnig heard from voters on the campaign trail that they are very concerned about an increase in shootings in the hamlets of Mastic and Mastic Beach. She believes that the town might be able to help tackle the issue.

“There are so many different things, and all kinds of priorities; things I would personally love to help work on, but I have to take one thing at a time,” she said.

Continuing open space preservation in the Eastport, Manorville, and Moriches area is also a concern for Kesnig.

She credited Councilman Dan Panico, who was elected supervisor in last week’s election, for all of his work in the last 13 years.

“He’s done a great job at that,” she said, adding that she wants to continue to preserve as much as “we can possibly can to keep it open space and purchase for the better for all of us.”

A former Eastport-South Manor school board member, Kesnig is married with four adult children and three grandchildren. She will continue her work as an attorney when she takes office.

In the meantime, she is really excited to take over her new post.

“One of the reasons I ran for this position was because Dan Panico sought me out,” she said. “We’ve known each other for 20-something years, and I have great respect for the work he’s done and how responsive he’s always been to the community.”

“I would love to follow in his footsteps and work with him as the supervisor to continue to work in the right direction,” she said.

Kesnig defeated her Democratic challenger, Kerry Spooner, by 9,075 votes or 68 percent to 4,219 votes or 31 percent, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

In a statement to Patch, Spooner said that though the election results were not in her camp’s favor, she is “thankful for the remarkable support and dedication of those who believed in our new vision.”

“Campaign volunteers, supporters, and voters made our journey possible and worthwhile,” she said. “Our campaign focused on communities consistently ignored and underserved, such as Shirley and the Mastics. Having dedicated much of the summer and fall to knocking on doors in the tri-hamlet area, it’s clear there’s support for our new vision.”

Spooner said her campaign highlighted critical issues, including the need for comprehensive addiction and mental health services, repairing dangerous and outdated infrastructure, inter-municipal commitment to ecological sustainable redevelopment, governance transparency, and accountability, and landfill cleanup.

“With only 13,304 votes cast out of approximately 55,000 registered voters in District 6, there’s a clear challenge for both parties,” she said. “While I’m honored to have garnered 32 percent of the votes, the focus now shifts to mobilizing and engaging voters, especially in the tri-hamlet area of CD6.”

Spooner envisions the possibility of entering another political race in the future, she told Patch.

“If the circumstances align, and I believe that my candidacy, coupled with my role as a public servant, could bring about meaningful impact, I would consider taking on the challenge once again,” she said.

Spooner concluded by extending her “best wishes” to Kesnig.

Kesnig joins the board as the member of a Republican super majority that leaves the lone Democrat on the board Councilman Jonathan Kornreich.

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