Gillen again calls for special election referendum

Gillen again calls for special election referendum
Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen renewed her call for a special election referendum. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen called for the Town Board last week to hold a vote for a referendum on whether the town should hold special elections to fill vacancies.

Gillen’s comments came after Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Cairo commented in Newsday that Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s veto on establishing an elected assessor took “the choice out of the voters’ hands, the taxpayers’ hands, and I think that’s unfortunate.”

The Democratic town supervisor called for a special election after Councilman Edward Ambrosino resigned due to pleading guilty on corruption charges in early April. The GOP-majority council decided to appoint Councilman Tom Muscarella to the seat.

Gillen has proposed the referendum a handful of times and each time the council has elected to table the matter.

All of the Republican members of the board were initially appointed to their posts, while Gillen and Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby were both voted into their seats.

Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney, the council’s majority leader, told Newsday in August that appointments are common but Gillen “continuously fails to address the enormous cost to taxpayers associated with holding a special election.”

“If Nassau Republicans truly believe in giving taxpayers a voice in choosing their elected officials, then they should have no problem untabling my resolution for a referendum that would give voters the choice on whether to hold special elections to fill vacancies,” Gillen said.

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