Update: Ryan wins Mattituck Parks District election

RESULTS: Mike Ryan was elected to the Mattituck Parks District Thursday evening. He received 189 votes to 79 cast for his opponent, John Cleary.

PREVIEW: Voters who live within the Mattituck Parks District will be asked to elect a new commissioner Thursday, as two candidates are running for the seat being left vacant by outgoing commissioner Nicholas Deegan.

Mr. Deegan, who was re-elected last year to a one-year term on the three-member board said in a letter to The Suffolk Times this week that he is not seeking re-election due to “family obligations.”

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to have served the residents of the Mattituck Park District for the past six years,” he said. “I will always be grateful for the opportunity to have done so.”

Running for the seat are Mattituck residents Mike Ryan and John Cleary.

Mr. Ryan, 52, is a founder of North Fork Beach Volleyball and a Mattituck-Cutchogue Little League board member. The 20-year Matituck resident is seeking election to the board for the second time in as many years after launching a write-in campaign against Mr. Deegan last year, losing by just 23 votes — 164 to 141.

Mr. Ryan, a machinery salesman, said that as a dad whose kids play soccer in the community, he’s grown “frustrated as a parent and a taxpayer” when it comes to parks management.

“My kids can’t play home games here because of politics,” he said.

Mr. Cleary, 70, said he was approached to run by Mr. Deegan because he has developed a reputation as someone who is “apolitical and speaks up for the people.” Specifically, Mr. Cleary, a retired financial services businessman who also worked for Nassau County government and the U.S. Treasury Department, has been an outspoken critic of the town and county regarding waterfront property lines and public beach access.

The 12-year Mattituck resident said he is looking forward to learning the business of the parks district and addressing the concerns of residents.

“There’s a lot of parks district land in our community and a lot of people using the parks,” he said. “I want to hear from them.”

The election will be held Thursday, Nov. 14 at the Mattituck Parks District office at Veterans Memorial Park. Voting is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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