Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena will hold her second State of the Town address on Friday, Jan. 27, at the Clubhouse at Harbor Links in Port Washington.
The address will be part of a luncheon hosted by the League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset.
“I am so excited to deliver this year’s State of the Town address and speak about the Town’s many accomplishments under the first year of my administration,” DeSena said in a statement. “This year will mark the 36th anniversary of the State of the Town address, and I want to thank the League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset for all their hard work presenting this time-honored tradition. I am excited to share all the ways my administration has been hard at work putting our residents first.”
In 2021, DeSena was the first Republican nominee to win the town supervisor election in over 30 years, succeeding Judi Bosworth, a Democrat, who did not seek re-election.
Since her administration began, DeSena and the two Republicans on the board who were also elected last year, David Adhami and Dennis Walsh, have sometimes had tense relations with Democrats, who hold a 4-3 majority on the seven-member board.
DeSena campaigned on making town government streamlined and more efficient, citing issues with North Hempstead’s Building Department.
In June, the Town Board passed legislation submitted by Democrat Councilmember Veronica Lurvey to require reports given to the Town Board from commissioners and department heads at the Building Department to be delivered on a monthly basis rather than yearly.
A month later, a local law was passed to make modifications to the procedure for requests for expedited permits.
Another reform to require the town Building Department commissioner to make a decision on expedited permits within seven days and remove the Town Board’s ability to override the department’s decisions was continued without a date in August. Shortly after the Aug. 4 Town Board meeting, Nassau County Comptroller Elaine Philips announced an audit of the town’s Building Department after DeSena asked for one in July.
For the town’s Board of Ethics, four of the seven members were appointed last year to defined terms, leaving three serving unexpired terms at any time. When DeSena took office, all seven members at the time were serving on unexpired terms.
North Hempstead also adopted a $162.8 million budget for 2023 in November. The initial $158.4 million budget submitted by DeSena was later amended unanimously by the Town Board to include a 5% tax cut after Democrats abstained from voting on an 11% tax cut proposed by Desena after her initial budget submission.
Lurvey said in a statement at the time the 11% tax cut was “too extreme” and the adopted budget allows the Town to be better prepared for certain economic conditions.
The Town’s comptroller and deputy comptroller position, which has been vacant since DeSena took over, remains unfilled after Democrats voted against the appointment of John Morris to be comptroller in December.
Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte, a Democrat, cited a Newsday article that reported Morris was not re-hired as the Smithtown comptroller and that council member Robert Creighton said his term “didn’t work out to our satisfaction” before she voted no.
Democrats also voted to appoint Douglas Schlaefer as superintendent of highways and reject DeSena’s pick, Gerrard Losquadro, during the Dec. 20 meeting.
After DeSena’s first address last year, Lurvey recorded a response for residents about “protecting the progress that has been made here in North Hempstead over the past several years and about what lies ahead” that was aired on North Hempstead TV.
Lurvey described town accomplishments under Bosworth, specifically during COVID-19, and elaborated on priority initiatives for the year that town Democrats released last week. She added that constituents can expect a bevy of improvements to roads and other infrastructure, and the revitalization of North Hempstead Beach Park while the town maintains an AAA bond rating.
The address is set to begin at 1:15 p.m. and is free to the public. For the luncheon, which begins at 11:45 a.m., registration must be completed by Jan. 20. There is a $40 charge per person.
Amy Bass, chair of the luncheon, said the league is happy to be hosting the event.
“The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset looks forward to presenting Supervisor DeSena and to welcoming our community members to our annual Lunch with the League,” Bass said in a statement. “We’re all so happy to once again be offering this event and this service to our community.”
Registration can be found at www.lwvofpwm.org or by calling 917-270-1340. The address will also be livestreamed on the town’s website and Facebook page.