I am so proud of stepping up and running for mayor. My journey began after a gang shooting took place outside of my home where I grew up as a child. The lack of concern by the village infuriated me and propelled me into the race.
I was called by the political party and told to get out the race that Pearl was going to win big and I was going to lose so badly I would never recover from it. That further fueled my efforts. I took on a Herculean task of learning how to get on the ballot, knocking on doors and getting my message out through articles. I spoke truth to power, investigated information and came into the race with a solid platform not political slogans and no big money backing me. I used my own funds. I was a party of one with a message.
We had three major events during this time period—COVID-19, a massive power failure and a flood. The leadership failed the residents each time. They really could have stepped up to communicate with the residents. During the storm they shut their doors to the residents when they should have been open to those who had no power. I went to Mineola when the head of PSEG was testifying and I spoke my mind as a private citizen of what occurred in our village. When the storm hit and streets on Ocean and Philadelphia flooded I received a call from a woman I never met asking for my help because she couldn’t get a hold of anyone from the village. I made several phone calls and eventually reached someone. I went over to see her and looked at the flooding which apparently has been going on for years in spite of pleas from residents for help.
I learned of the money going out of our budget for lifetime healthcare for part-time elected officials at $210,115 annually. This is not sustainable. People have lost jobs and as taxes keep rising and quality of life deteriorates due to crime and lack of services, people will move out. This has to stop.
While many people stayed in during COVID-19, I was out on the streets talking to people and learning the issues that were specific to their areas. That was the best part of this process—meeting the incredible people that make up the rich history of this community. I went to the maintenance building, met all the workers, studied road maps and engineering reports and learned about the sump pumps emptying out the streets. While people stayed home and binged on Netflix, I studied municipal law.
We have two new trustees and a mayor who was a former trustee who works full-time for the Town of Oyster Bay. I want to see this new leadership succeed and set us back on the right track and I wish them all the best.
Every new administration deserves a chance and our respect. I will still watch and ask questions. If they do a great job, then I will go back to being a painter as I was the day after the election. If not, then you just might see me on the ballot again. Only time will tell.
After the election so many people called and couldn’t understand why I was so upbeat.
When I became a pilot I learned valuable lessons. You start your journey you plot your course. To fly, you face resistance—that’s how liftoff begins. Sometimes you hit turbulence just like a campaign and you fly your way around it. In the end you if you stay the course, follow your moral compass, you don’t crash and burn and no one dies, it’s all good. I am so proud of participating in the Democratic process. It took great courage to do what I did and I am thankful to all the people who came out and supported me along the way. What an incredible ride it was.
—Dr Cynthia Paulis