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Incorporated Village of Asharoken

Mayor's Transition Report — August, 2008

2008 Elections

I would like to begin my first newsletter as mayor by saying that it is an honor to have been elected by the voters of Asharoken. Working together with the people of Asharoken, I am certain we will succeed in accomplishing the tasks necessary to keep our Village strong.  Thank you all very much for coming out to vote.

Congratulations also to Dr. Avrum Golub and Joseph Affrunti, our newly elected Trustees. Peter Masterson has been appointed to a one year term to fill the trustee position that I vacated when becoming mayor.  With these three new board members, and Trustee Alex Janow returning for the second year of his current term, I am confident that we have the team assembled that will move the Village forward in a positive direction.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Mayor Bill Kelly and Trustee Eric Fauser for their dedication to the Village and for the countless sacrifices that they made while in office.

Moving Forward

Thank you for the incredible outpouring of support that you have shown me.  During this initial period in office, I have met many people who are excited about the new direction for Asharoken.

At the top of my priority list, I am establishing the principles that I believe were the fundamental reasons why I was elected:  

The government in Asharoken works for you, our village residents.

The government will be open and decisions will be made to benefit the whole.

Your elected officials and the employees of this Village will strive to act in a professional manner, at all times. 

The Mayor and your Board of Trustees will work tirelessly to find solutions to the issues that are impacting our village.

We will establish a spirit of cooperation with all government levels and agencies that are required to support us, and we will hold those agencies accountable for what they do.

The Transition

The Village has not experienced a mayoral/administrative change in 26 years.   In order to move us forward, I have spent a large part of my first 20 days getting people organized.

These efforts started with the paid village staff. I completed meetings with the Police, Sanitation, the Village Clerk/Assessor, the Village Treasurer and the Building Inspector.

I am pleased to announce that Ray Mahdesian will continue on as Police Officer in-Charge and Barry Bradley as our Sanitation operator.

Tony Wenderoth submitted his resignation as Building Inspector before I took office.  The Village thanks him for his many years of service.

For all other positions, I had planned to keep the prior staff on a month-to-month assignment until I could fully evaluate performance. Both the Village Clerk/Assessor and the Village Treasurer declined this month-to-month assignment, and as a result, we immediately sought to fill these important positions.

Nancy Rittenhouse has been appointed as the new Village Clerk. Nancy is a CPA with experience working for a large accounting firm. She is dedicated, organized and she has a proven track record of volunteerism and community support.

Douglas Adil is the Acting Building Inspector; having served as Deputy Building Inspector with Tony Wenderoth.  As an architect already familiar with our village, Doug is licensed and certified as a code enforcement officer, and is helping in the transition until a permanent replacement is appointed.

In order to ensure the proper separation of duties, we have split the Assessor function from the Village Clerk.  John Condon has been appointed to this new position. He has a Masters in Public Administration and is the former Huntington Deputy Director of Planning and former Member of the Huntington Board of Assessment Review.

Ken Savin has been appointed Village Attorney, replacing Laure Nolan. Ken has a Northport Law Practice specializing in Real Estate and Land Use, and holds an undergraduate degree in Government and a Law degree with an emphasis in municipal law. 

Good luck to this new team.  If you require the services of any of these positions, please call the Village Clerk, Nancy Rittenhouse at 261-7098. 


There are a number of special committees that exist within the village.  Over the next month or two, we will be finalizing the committee functions. Anyone interested in participating on any of these committees, or, if you have any recommendations about new/old committees, please contact me or one of our Trustees.

We are seeking volunteers for the following committees: 

Please allow me to include a special thank you to Martin Hakker and his entire family on behalf of their efforts with the Fireworks.  The Independence Day display was simply amazing.

I want to extend a thank you to those residents who rearranged their bonfires due to the close proximity of the plover nests.  

Village Hall Expansion

Fundraising for this project began under the previous administration and although there will be no expenses allocated for this project this year, this fund raising project will continue through the efforts of Mrs. Joan Ettinger and others.  In-kind pledges and monetary pledges will be reviewed and a village financial audit will take place.  Many residents have expressed an interest in moving this project forward and contributing their ideas for their new Asharoken Village Hall/Police Station.

LILCO/National Grid Lawsuit

There are many important issues and the new administration is working to get a handle on each of them. Certainly near the top of the list is the ongoing LILCO/National Grid lawsuit. Unfortunately, the appeal experienced a setback this month when a judge denied a motion by our appellate attorney for a preference.

The status of the lawsuit is very important since we have already invested over a million dollars and years of effort. With that said, we will be pursuing all options to get sand on the beach. All groups (Asharoken, Huntington, Suffolk County, New York State, the DEC, the Army Corps of Engineers, National Grid and others) have a stake in this effort. We will be holding each one of these groups accountable.  We want solutions.  The next step is a planned meeting with the Army Corps.  I will keep you posted.


Your new administration has worked hard these past few weeks to progress towards organizing staff and building positive momentum.  Our vision is clear.  We have some difficult issues of which we are all aware.

We expect to tackle both the easy and the more challenging.  My efforts, to have the loose rocks in front of the seawall removed, have paid off.  These loose rocks posed a danger (and a safety hazard) to passing vehicles when high winds and water were present on the road.  Due to inter-municipal cooperation with the Town of Huntington Highway, along with permission from the Army Corps of Engineers, they were removed at no cost to the Village.

A contract is in the works with the Town of Huntington for snow and ice removal within the Village. Final revisions are expected from the Town before the end of the month.

The Village’s contract with Verizon for video (TV & cable) is being reviewed by our Village attorney.

Thanks to Steve Trombetti and Eric Maffei for the new Asharoken Village website.  Please visit

Nancy Rittenhouse has already organized files and is making every possible effort to retrieve files from the computers and gather current information (although one computer has been down for months). Our new attorney is negotiating contracts that have been outstanding for months and even Chief Asharoken (as you enter the Village) now has a nice clean shine, thanks to a volunteer.

It’s a new day in Asharoken,
Pat Irving

Attachments/Dates to Remember

Village Minutes

Asharoken Board of Trustees Meeting minutes are posted on  if you are not on-line, please see Nancy, our Village Clerk, for a copy or call and when requested, we will mail them to our residents/beach lot owners.

Planning Board Appointments

Chair:  Andrew Mendelsohn

Members:  Kevin Barry, Cai Eberhardt, Bruce Harris, Mike Kaufman

Alternate Member:  Patrick Cleary 

Zoning Board of Appeals

Chair:  Brian McLaughlin

Members: Greg Blower, Edward Toscano, Michael Elsas, Anthony Winger

Ad Hoc Member:  Heidi Hayden