Asharoken mayoral challenger defeated two-term incumbent at the polls Tuesday, 230-165. Letica is set to take office July 2.
Letica, 55, a dentist, businessman, and lifetime Asharoken resident, said his first priority will be changing the way village government deals with residents.
"I want to deal with them in a neighborly, respectful fashion where their opinions matter, where I encourage their counsel to come forward at meetings," he said. "I want to have participation in government, I want to increase the number of volunteers we have and do what you have to do as mayor, but just do it through the village residents like it's always been done."
Though Letica admits he has been too focused on the election to consider who he will appoint to various positions, he had his mind made up from the start to replace current Village Attorney Ken Savin. Part of Letica's campaign was to reduce the scope and responsibilities of the village attorney position, to "have the village attorney handle legal matters only, instead of being an $80,000 per year Village general manager," as written on his campaign website.
Celebrating alongside Letica at a victory party at an Asharoken home, supporter Kevin Barry said he's glad to see Savin gone. "It was incredibly inappropriate to be wielding as much authority as he did being an unelected official of the village," he said, adding that Letica will have the right governing style for a village like Asharoken."I'm hoping that he'll run the village wisely and listen to the village residents and take care of what we all care about here."
Current Trustee Joseph Affrunti decided not to run for reelection and was replaced by Deputy Police Commissioner Melvin Ettinger, running unopposed, who received 245 votes. Incumbent Trustee and Deputy Mayor Joseph Tilleli, also running unopposed, received 240 votes.
What did you think of the results of the mayoral election? Tell us in the comments below.