Albertson Water Commissioner Brian Hassan is running unopposed in the district’s Dec. 12 election to continue giving back to his community and serve the interests of residents after being in the community for more than 45 years.
Hassan, a resident of Albertson since 1977, has served on the water district’s Board of Commissioners since April when he was appointed to the office. He was selected after former Commissioner Richard Ockovic moved out of the district, leaving a vacancy on the board. He is finishing Ockovic’s term through Dec. 31.
He is an electrical engineer and an account executive for PSEG Long Island, working in customer service and electric utility for 40 years. He said he finds similarities between working for an electric utility and the water district.
Hassan is also a trustee for the Herricks Public Schools Board of Education. He is currently completing his 12th year on the board.
He said he has been actively involved in his community for the past 20 years and is looking to continue those efforts.
“I’m a firm believer in giving back to the community that you live in,” Hassan said.
Since his appointment in April, Hassan said his work over the last eight months has focused on learning how the water district works, its operations, challenges and concerns.
Prior to joining the board, he began attending Albertson Water Commission meetings as a member of the public to learn about the issues the water district is facing.
“That’s really been doing more in the listening, the fact-finding phase,” Hassan said.
He said issues the water district is working on are addressing contaminants in the water, balancing its budget amid constraints, and developing and maintaining infrastructure.
“I’m also a firm believer that with a fresh set of eyes and looking at something you can always make improvements,” Hassan said.
Hassan said going forward, he is examining ways to lower the budget and operation costs in order to keep water rates and taxes hikes “at bay” or with minimal increases at a sustainable rate.
“Anything we can do to keep those at a sustainable level would definitely help every resident in Albertson,” Hassan said.
Using his electrical engineering background, Hassan said he has ideas about how to lower the water district’s electricity rates by operating wells more during the night as opposed to during the day’s peak rate periods.
Although it is an uncontested race, Hassan said that he’s the right candidate for the job due to his history in the neighborhood, his budgetary knowledge from working on a school board – one that is bigger than the water district’s – and his knowledge as an employee of a different utility company.
He said living in the district, he too is affected by water rates and understands the desires of the residents.
“So my goal is to keep everybody’s rates, including my own, as low as possible,” Hassan said.
The Albertson Water District spans 1.5 square miles and has a population of 13,500 while serving Albertson, Searingtown and parts of Roslyn Heights. There are three storage tanks with five wells. In addition, there are 447 fire hydrants and 50 miles of water mains. The district provides water to both residential and commercial sites with a daily capacity of 7.7 million gallons. About 4.5% of its 4,069 connections are commercial in nature.
The election will be held at the Albertson Fire House at 100 I.U. Willets Rd. in Albertson from 3-9 p.m. on Dec. 12. Registered voters who live within the Albertson Water District are eligible to vote.