Former Westhampton Beach Deputy Mayor Toni-Jo Birk hopes to avenge last year’s election defeat, in which she lost her reelection bid by two votes, in next month’s Village Board race.
Ms. Birk, 53, who previously served on the five-member Village Board for six years, finished third in last year’s race, behind current board members Ralph Urban and Charlie Palmer. She announced her intention to seek one of the two open seats in next month’s village election in a Letter to the Editor that will be published in this week’s edition.
“I am asking for your vote, a vote of confidence that I will do, act, vote in the best interests of you, the taxpayer,” she wrote.
A native of Boston, Ms. Birk and her husband, Bart, have lived in Westhampton Beach for more than 20 years and her family owns Bike ‘n Kite on Potunk Lane.
This week, Ms. Birk said she had been dealing with a lot of personal issues and family loses over the past few years, which contributed to her defeat. She can now dedicate more time to the board and the upcoming election. She added that, if elected, she hopes to be able to help the make village government more transparent.
“As in the past, I want to continue with my open, honest, transparent ways of government,” she said. “I have always been openly available for any taxpayer to contact me and reach out to me. I am open to look at any and all suggestions.”
Ms. Birk is once again running as a member of the Beach Party, and said she has already been collecting the 50 required signatures to be included on the June 21 ballot.
Ms. Birk will be challenging incumbent Deputy Mayor Hank Tucker and Village Trustee Patricia DiBenedetto, who are up for reelection and launched their respective campaigns earlier this month. They will again be running as members of the Lightning Party.
It is not yet clear if there will be other challengers. All candidates have until Friday, May 17, to file their nominating petitions with Village Hall.