Albertson Water District Commissioner Howard Abbondondelo is running for re-election against Albertson Square Civic Association President Ed Scott.
Abbondondelo, a lifelong Albertson resident, has served as commissioner for the last 15 years. Currently, he serves alongside Richard Ockovic and Kenneth Vey. The election for a three-year term will be held on Tuesday.
“I’ve continually stressed the importance of conservation in protecting our water supply for long-term stability and sustainability,” Abbondondelo said.
He is an active member and past president of the Nassau Suffolk Water Commissioners’ Association. He is also part of the Long Island Water Conference, where he has sat on multiple committees, and the American Water Works Association. Professionally, Abbondondelo has owned and operated a printing business for over 45 years.
The Albertson Water District spans 1.5 square miles and has a population of 13,500. There are three storage tanks with five wells. In addition, there are 447 fire hydrants and 50 miles of water mains.
Scott, 54, is a retired NYPD sergeant who owns his own business in Albertson and has served as the local civic association president for the last nine years.
The challenger said he wants to advocate for the residents and taxpayers as much as he can because as an unincorporated village that representation is hard to come by from town officials sometimes.
“I did not want to see what happened to the city out here on Long Island,” Scott said in an interview with Blank Slate Media. “I want to keep suburbia suburbia.”
Abbondonelo, 74, said that if re-elected, his focus will be on continuing economic stability while maintaining infrastructure improvements. The incumbent said during his tenure the district has replaced equipment when necessary to meet new state regulations.
“A major objective of mine is to continue to create economic sustainability with a sound financial strategy,” he said. “I’ve successfully kept our water rates extremely low, and in most households, it is the lowest utility bill of any provider.”
If elected, Scott said, he will focus on being fiscally responsible in order to keep money in the taxpayers’ pockets. Specifically, Scott referred to benefits the commissioners received in years past that he said were disproportionate for someone working less than a part-time job. Scott said that even when commissioners finished their tenure, they were eligible for benefits through the district.
The decision for Scott was made, he said, when after attending many district meetings and speaking with commissioners, he grew concerned that excessive benefits for commissioners would be revived in a future vote.
“It has a domino effect and it would come at an unnecessary cost to the Albertson residents,” Scott said. “To me, it’s greedy. The Albertson residents should not have to foot the bill for someone else’s medical benefits.”
Abbondondelo said during his tenure the district’s commitment to infrastructure has kept it out of trouble.
“We have a dedicated program of preventative maintenance so we are always ahead of the curve,” he said. “Our equipment is up to date and we keep our fleet in top shape to ensure our staff will respond to any water emergency within minutes.”
Scott said he believes when voters go to the polls they should consider his experience advocating on their behalf as president of the civic association and his commitment to transparency.
“We don’t have a mayor. I am used to speaking up and not serving myself, but the people,” Scott said. “The issues about excessive spending and misuse of finances will affect future generations.”
Abbondondelo said his experience over multiple terms speaks for itself in regard to the district’s accomplishments.
“I’ve worked to create innovative technology solutions including a sophisticated digital monitoring system of all our wells and plants,” Abbondondelo said. “I’ll continue to be fiscally responsible, working with my fellow commissioners to deliver the best service possible and keep our water rates to the lowest possible rate.”
The election will take place on Tuesday from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Albertson Hook and Ladder, Engine and Hose Company No. 1, located at 100 I.U. Willets Road, Albertson. The winner will begin his term on Jan. 1.