2015 Endorsements

0
2015 Endorsements

North Hempstead Town Supervisor

In her two years as Town Supervisor, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth has made significant progress toward fixing a scandal-plagued building department that served to frustrate town residents with long delays and indifferent service.  She has also kept tight reins over the budget, earning upgrades in the town’s bond rating, and increased government transparency.

Bosworth has managed to do so with an open, non-confrontational manner that has avoided some of the friction that existed under her predecessor, Jon Kaiman. She has also been an energetic traveler and strong ambassador for the town, seemingly taken part of every community event. 

Bosworth is opposed by Carle Place Board of Education Anthony Bulzomi, a community minded Republican who has called for greater communication between the various North Shore government entities 

We would like to see Bosworth and the town do more to address the empty storefronts in local shopping districts as well as to make the town affordable for young adults and young families. 

But Bosworth has done a very good job and deserves our strong endorsement.

North Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes

In two stints as North Hempstead Town Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman has used a strong background in the assessment process to improve service to residents and keep them informed about all the property tax exemptions available to them — and how to apply for them without having to pay a law firm.

Scott Diamond , his Republican challenger, promises to improve the office’s communications through social media. 

But Diamond lacks Berman’s knowledge of the assessment system. 

We endorse Berman.

Nassau County Legislature, Ninth District

Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello, who is also the Deputy Presiding Officer of the Legislature, has served since the county Legislature was founded in 1977 and has earned the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his knowledge and courtly manner. He is also involved in many groups that serve the communities he represents.

But Nicolello is also a leader in a county that was placed under state supervision in 2000 because of financial mismanagement and has stayed there ever since.  

In August, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos, a Republican, warned that the county is facing a budget deficit of as much as $62 million in 2015 and scolded County Executive Edward Mangano, also a Republican, and Nassau’s financial control board for relying too heavily on borrowing to pay expenses.

And on Oct. 16, NIFA Board Chair Jon Kaiman wrote, that the agency would reject the county’s 2016 budget, impose a hiring freeze and make “drastic cuts in all departments, programs and agencies that receive discretionary dollars from the county.”

Kaiman said NIFA estimates that the county deficit hit $191 million if the budget goes unaltered.

This at a time that both the federal government under U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and the District Attorney’s office under Madeline Singas are or have been conducting investigations involving contracts made by Nassau County.

Singas’ report presented what she called “troubling problems” in the county contracting process, including no requirements for vendors to disclose subsidiary companies, criminal convictions, political contributions or whether a vendor is barred from government contracts in other places.

Nicolello said the county has created an escrow account for property taxes challenged by taxpayers that will eliminate a major driver of county financial problems and made changes — combined with increased legislator vigilance — to put the county contract process in better order.

Nicolello is opposed by Mal Nathan, a resident of Williston Park who patrols Manhasset Bay as the Town of North Hempstead’s chief bay constable but has no other political experience other than volunteering with several local Democratic campaigns.

Nathan said his blue-collar background makes him a “man of the people” and a strong choice for Nassau County Democrats.

We think Nicolello has earned the benefit of the doubt and endorse him for re-election this time around. He will have to show more to get it next time.

The Ninth Legislative District includes Plandome, Plandome Manor, Plandome Heights, Munsey Park, Roslyn Estates, Albertson, Williston Park, East Williston, Mineola, Garden City Park and New Hyde Park.

Nassau County Legislature, 10th District

In May 2014, county Democrats, Town of North Hempstead officials and community members called for Nassau County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum, a fellow Democrat,  to step down for racially insensitive comments about the African-American community.

Robert Troiano, vice chair of the Town of North Hempstead Democratic Committee, said at a May 19 rally calling on Birnbaum to resign that “a collective recollection” of people who heard Birnbaum was that the freshman legislator said “Why would anyone want to go there?  It’s a bad neighborhood. It’s a ghetto. It’s full of those black people.” And, later,  “all [African-Americans] want to do is play basketball.”

Birnbaum denied using the word “ghetto” and said she was commenting on the financial situation on the center.

When Birnbaum refused to resign, Nassau County Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams stripped her of her committee assignments, banned her from the minority and Democratic caucus and removed one of her staff members.

Birnbaum remains an outcast from her own caucus to this day, though she said she has attended every legislative committee meeting since her banishment.

We agreed in 2014 that Birnbaum should have stepped down and despite Birnbaum’s assertions that she has diligently attended every legislative committee meeting we still think that would have been the right thing to do.

Inexplicably, the Nassau County Democratic party nominated Birnbaum to run for re-election so it will be up to voters to enforce the verdict that Democrats made on Birnbaum in 2014.

Birnbaum is opposed by Republican Lisa Benjamin and Green Party candidate Cassandra Lems.

Benjamin is a retired technology director from the North Shore Hebrew Academy, whose only political experience was attending county Legislature meetings with her husband, Jeffrey Benjamin, a consumer fraud lawyer in Queens, when he was running for town councilman two years ago.

Although she is a Republican, Benjamin criticized the handling of the county’s budget and said Mangano’s proposal to raise property taxes in 2016 is not the answer to balancing the budget, unless the only other option was to cut programs necessary to the public.

Lem is a paralegal who only previous political experience came in 2014 when she ran against Democrat Adam Haber for the Green party line in the 7th State Senate District race.

In an election that only received 11 votes, Lems lost by one vote.

Lems said her focus is more on environmental issues than balancing the budget, but had several interesting insights when discussing county contracts and making county taxes fairer.

We think the choice between Birnbaum and Lems is a toss up.

The 10th Legislative District includes Great Neck, Herricks, North Hills, North New Hyde Park and Searingtown/Albertson.

Nassau County Legislature, 11th District

Democrat Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, a ranking member of the Legislature’s finance committee, has touted the county’s assessment reform, saying it had bipartisan support and introduced a bill to provide for legislative review of all contracts, even those less than $25,000, which the county executive can currently push through without the Legislature’s approval.

Her Republican opponent, Matthew Connolly, said he would tweak the grievance system to make it “a simple, transparent process that’s going to save people money.”

He also favors more transparency, he said, in the county’s contract process.

DeRiggi-Whitton has been an active legislator, offering well-reasoned solutions to county problems. 

We endorse her for re-election.

The 11th legislative district includes Sands Point, Port Washington, Port Washington North, Manorhaven, Baxter Estates, Flower Hill, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Glenwood Landing, Sea Cliff and Glen Cove.

Nassau County Legislature, 16th District

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs has served in the Legislature since its founding in 1997 and served briefly as the presiding officer when Democrats briefly were in control.

Jacobs is an energetic, experienced legislator who has used her extensive knowledge of county government to get things done for her constituents most recently in getting the county Department of Public Works to address dangerous conditions on Roslyn Road in East Hills. 

Jacobs is opposed by Republican Angel Cepeda, a business consultant from Plainview who promises a more energetic approach to the position and offers a sensible approach to business development.

We side with experience and a long proven track record and endorse Jacobs.

The 16th Legislative District includes all or parts of Roslyn Heights, Old Westbury, Woodbury, Syosset, Plainview, Jericho, Old Bethpage and Hicksville.

Nassau County Legislature, 18th District

Democrat Dean Hart, an Oyster Bay optometrist, has never run for political office and has more to say about problems in the Town of Oyster Bay than Nassau County. He also says his run for county Legislature could be a stepping stone for higher office.

His message is not exactly what we would like to hear from candidate for the Legislature.

On the other hand, his opponent, Legislator Donald MacKenzie, who was one of three county legislators — Legislature Presiding Officer Norman Glansalves was another — who recently at taxpayer expense mailed a postcard that falsely claimed that the county had not raised property taxes for five years – including 2015. County property taxes actually went up 3.4 percent in 2015.

For their part, the Republican legislators — people who make laws in Nassau County — have attempted to argue that down is up in defending the mailing.

They contend that a state tax rebate for homeowners negates the county property tax hike for homeowners who earn less than $500,000.

The problem with this claim is that homeowners would have received the rebate even if taxes hadn’t increased.

Hart asked the state comptroller and attorney general to investigate “the blatant misuse of taxpayer money.” Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas asked for an investigation by federal prosecutors.

MacKenzie, according to Newsday, said Hart’s request “is nothing more than a campaign tactic to distract voters from the real issues. We will continue our legitimate communications with our constituents with our constituents about our achievements.”

In other words, he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and plans to do it again.

It’s time to send a message to MacKenzie and other legislators who put their own interests over the county’s.

Though Hart has a thin resume, in this case we prefer what we don’t know about Hart than what we already know about MacKenzie.

The 18th District includes East Hills, Roslyn Heights, Greenvale, Glen Cove, Bayville, East Norwich, Glen Head, Old Westbury, Mill Neck, Locust Valley, Muttontown, Jericho, Syosset and Woodbury.

North Hempstead Town Board, Second District

Democrat Town Councilman Peter Zuckerman, a former Village of East Hills trustee appointed and then elected to a one-year term, is now seeking re-election against Republican Henry Golis, who worked in the town’s public works department for 35 years.

Zuckerman, a lawyer, brings a strong record of achievement at both the village level where he helped in the acquisition and construction of the Village of East Hills parks and the town, as well as strong involvement in the community. 

His opponent brings 35 years of experience with the town.

We appreciate Golis’ work on behalf of the town but strongly endorse Zuckerman.

The Second District includes Greenvale, Roslyn Harbor, East Hills, Roslyn Heights, Albertson, East Williston, Searingrtown, Herricks and Manhasset Hills.

North Hempstead Town Board, Fourth District

The Fourth District Council race pits two strong candidates in Democratic Councilwoman Anna Kaplan and her Republican opponent, Mary Kay Barket, an actuary with 25 years in the insurance industry.

Kaplan, who is the Town Council’s first Iranian-American, has been an active member of the Town Council and touts her role in the renovations to Manhasset Valley Park in Manhaset which were completed in three stages dating back to 2013.

The park’s two athletic fields — one for baseball and another for multipurpose use — received a synthetic turf surface, culminated in its renaming after Manhasset athletics legend Jim Brown, followed by new lighting and bathrooms, which Kaplan said is expected to be unveiled in October.

Kaplan also has experience on the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals and as a trustee for the Great Neck Library District

Barket, who is a political newcomer, has criticized Kaplan’s claimed achievements, saying the projects began before she was in office, and that her opponent has ignored the needs of Manhasset — something that she says she would rectify. 

While we believe both candidates are well qualified, we believe Kaplan has both the drive and experience in government to serve the district well.

We endorse Kaplan for re-election.

The Fourth District of the Town of North Hempstead includes the villages of Roslyn, Roslyn Estates, Munsey Park, North Hills, Great Neck, Great Neck Gardens, Kensington, Kings Point, Thomaston, and the unincorporated areas of Manhasset and Great Neck, including Great Neck Gardens and Allenwood.

North Hempstead Town Board, Sixth District

The race for the Town Council’s Sixth District pits Republican Dina De Giorgio against political newcomer Emily Beys, a former sales management executive in media sales.

Beys, who was the president of the Port Washington Parent Home Association, has said the town needs to do more to address empty storefronts.

She said that De Giorgio has a conflict of interest because she practices law in Port Washington and her husband operates a construction also operates a construction business there. 

In an interview with Blank Slate Media, she also claimed that De Giorgio had included her husband’s business in an improvement zone in which government money would be used to upgrade store fronts.

De Giorgio said Beys’ claim was a “lie,” and that her husband’s business was not in the improvement zone.

De Giorgio also said the strong ties to Port Washington that she and her husband shared allowed her to effectively represent the needs of her district.

She also pointed out had only voted in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, but never in a local election.

De Giorgio, who ran unsuccessfully two years ago against Judi Bosworth for town supervisor, has aggressively pursued improvements for her district and is actively involved in many organizations, which we view as a strong positive.

She has also been an effective watchdog of town spending.

We believe she has been an effective advocate for her district and deserves our endorsement.

The  6th District comprises Port Washington, including the villages of Baxter Estates, Manorhaven, Port Washington North, and Sands Point, as well as the villages of Flower Hill, Plandome, Plandome Heights, and Plandome Manor.

No posts to display

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here