North Hempstead Town Board has heated exchange after DeSena’s support for LGBTQ+ and trans gender residents questioned by resident

North Hempstead Town Board has heated exchange after DeSena’s support for LGBTQ+ and trans gender residents questioned by resident
North Hempstead Town Board members holding the LGBTQ+ pride flag before it was raised on June 4. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

A resident’s question about North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena’s support of the LGBTQ+ community and transgender residents touched off a heated exchange at the Town Board meeting on Tuesday and accusations of a partisan attack.

During the public comment part of the board meeting, Eli Lefcowitz asked DeSena for greater support of the LGBTQ+ community and transgender residents amid a trans athlete ban approved by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Republican county legislators.

“You would think that the flag’s presence over our town government building would signal that the town is a safe, welcoming, inclusive place for all residents, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” Lefcowitz said, referring to a Pride flag flying over Town Hall. “But Supervisor DeSena, actions speak louder than flags.”

Town Councilmember Dennis Walsh, a Republican, jumped in to accuse Lefcowitz of being a political operative who was part of a concerted effort to attack the supervisor.

“Because you can’t take the fact that you’re not in control of this town board anymore,” Walsh said to Lefcowitz, referring to the Democrats.

In a letter to the editor that appeared in Blank Slate Media in 2020, Lefcowitz listed himself as an intern for Democrat Melanie D’Arrigo, who was running in the Democratic primary for Congress.

The town board raised the LGBTQ+ pride flag on June 4.

At the town board meeting afterward, DeSena said it would only fly for a few days and not the whole month, which was met by opposition from another resident and Town Councilmember Mariann Dalimonte, a Democrat.

DeSena announced Tuesday morning the flag was still flying.

Lefcowitz said Blakeman’s executive order and a recent bill in the county Legislature that would bar transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams were attacks on LGBTQ+ individuals in the town.

He said DeSena, a registered Democrat who ran for county executive twice as a Republican, has stayed silent on this issue. He added that DeSena has campaigned with Blakeman in the past.

“Your silence speaks volumes,” Lefcowitz said. “It’s a silence you can’t drown out by raising a flag or posting a rainbow.”

Lefcowitz called for the supervisor to act on protecting LGBTQ+ town residents amid these issues.

DeSena said the town has nothing to do with Blakeman’s actions.

Lefcowitz asked DeSena if she would enact similar transgender legislation, which she said would not make the actions comparable.

DeSena asked Lefcowitz who he works for, which Lefcowitz refused to answer. He said the board does not question every citizen’s employment.

Lefcowitz said he was not ordered by anybody to speak about the topic at the meeting Tuesday morning.

Raising his voice, Walsh then called Lefcowitz a “political operative.”

“The detest that you show to constituents is abhorrent,” Lefcowitz said to Walsh.

Town Councilmember Robert Troiano joined fellow Democrat Dalimonte in defending Lefcowitz, saying that he has the right to speak just like every other resident and asked for board members not to attack him.

“You may not like his comments, but he has the right to talk to the public any time,” Troiano said. “But there is no right, there’s no obligation on anybody to reveal who their employer is or what their politics are. He’s making a statement that speaks to what he believes, which we should invite every citizen of this town to come and take this opportunity to speak truth to power.”

Troiano called it an “outrage” that board members were unwilling to listen to the resident.

Walsh accused Dalimonte of spreading misinformation by emailing residents that the flag was taken down by the board and said she was conspiring with residents to raise these issues at the meetings. Dalimonte denied Walsh’s claims.

In other news, the town board approved amendments to a 2020 bond resolution to increase and improve Albertson Water District facilities.

The original bond issuance included replacing and improving wells, implementing a SCADA system, and replacing a water storage tank.

The bond appropriated $31,482,000 for the projects. Grants amounting to $12,428,409 have aided in funding it.

The revised project includes additional wells replacement and improvement and an upgrade of transmission mains. The project cost is now capped at $43,910,000.

Architect Wiliam Merklin said the amendments are in response to state and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on PFAS, or polluting substances in waterways, and modifications to the scopes of the work.

Anthony LaMarca, counsel to the water district, said the amendments will cost nothing additional at this time.

He said estimating how the bond resolution change will affect Albertson taxpayers is difficult.

The board also approved a resolution to instate a full stop southbound on Funston Avenue at the intersection with Evans Avenue in Albertson.

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  1. An important omission from the article is that Mr. Lefcowitz pointed out that several of the County’s athletic facilities from which the trans females are banned are in the Town of North Hempstead, and this is why the County’s ban most certainly does have something to do with the Town, contrary to Supervisor DeSena’s response.

    The treatment of Mr. Lefcowitz (who was there as a private citizen exercising his right to appear before the Board) by the Supervisor and Councilman Walsh was nothing short of execrable in its aggressiveness, disrespect of his rights as a CONSTITUENT, and its bullying. No one who behaves that way is qualified for elective office, which requires at minimum listening and speaking to EVERYone who comes before their office with respect and decency, no matter what party he belongs to, where he worked, whether or not they think he voted for them, or whether his views align with theirs. Members of both parties should have no difficulty agreeing that DeSena’s and Walsh’s behavior at that meeting was unacceptable and unworthy of their offices.

  2. Perhaps a flag of Kermit the Frog may wake (not “woke”) folks up to stop subscribing to ideologies against just “people,” as in just “humanity?” Just saying. What is wrong with us all?? Mental Health Pandemic? …Hmm… look inside your hearts and choose the light or the dark! Only you can make the choice… Only you!

  3. This trans whatever it is, is an abomination to God. If this world continues to go down the path of evil, more evil awaits. I wish no harm to these misguided people. They need repentance and forgiveness for their sin. As far as the politicians good. They couldn’t care less. They only want your vote. They are worse then there sin.

  4. This is insanity with all this gay crap ! And that obnoxious flag ! One day is enough for this nonsense never mind an entire month ! And Yes ban any males competing in female sports , that’s is ridiculous!


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