Manlius Village Trustee Mark-Paul Serafin will be sworn in as mayor in just a matter of days. Voters who took to the polls March 18 chose Serafin over opponent Marc Baum who was appointed trustee last year after Tim Fox's resignation. Serafin, a self-employed freelance graphic designer, will succeed Mayor Rick Penhall, who is seeking a position with the town.
Eagle Bulletin Editor Tami S. Zimmerman interviewed Serafin about his recent victory.
Congratulations on your election! Please describe how you felt when you learned of your victory.
I was humbled and honored. I was also deeply moved by everyone who came to hear the results ... elected officials from the town of Manlius, the villages of Fayetteville and Manlius, appointed board members as well as my family, friends and supporters who braved the cold damp weather gathered round as the votes were counted ... all of whom made the victory even more memorable.
What are the first few things you'd like to tackle as mayor?
We have to first finalize the 2009-2010 budget. During these difficult economic times we have an opportunity to right size our village budget and government. I will be seeking federal stimulus package funding for several "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects that are scheduled to be completed during the upcoming construction season.
What do you feel will be your biggest challenge going in?
I am a fiscal conservative and believe we are stewards of our taxpayers hard earned money. Not raising our tax rate while providing the services and ensuring the safety of our residents at consistent high levels every day is my number one priority.
What would you most like to see change in the village of Manlius during your term as mayor? Remain status quo?
Without question the "village renewal" of the commercial district that spans from Express Sales to the former Temple's building will have the largest impact on the village of Manlius.