Challenger Nadine Delmonte and incumbent Bill Scaglione made their cases for a three-year term as Port Washington Garbage Collection District commissioner on Tuesday.
The League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset hosted the debate at the Port Washington Public Library. Three elected commissioners with staggered three-year terms govern the district. One of the three positions is up for election each year.
The district’s primary responsibility is to collect and dispose of trash and recyclables. They do this by hiring a third-party contractor and monitoring their performance.
“My mission as commissioner is to uphold efficiency and affordability,” said Scaglione. “Our district operates effectively with three commissioners and no employees — no medical benefits or retirement benefits for our commissioners. So your tax dollars go directly to garbage collection and disposal.”
Scaglione is seeking a seventh term. He has owned Bill’s Auto for over 30 years and has a background in engineering. He also volunteers with Port Youth Activities, Catholic Youth Organization Port Washington and other organizations.
Scaglione said the average garbage tax is $300. He urged residents to look into their tax bills to see what they’re paying for and what they’re getting in return.
“After 18 years of being involved in this district, I would imagine that the goals are going to stay the same: transparency, affordability, efficiency,” he said. “As far as what we can do going forward, we always keep our eyes open and listen to all sorts of suggestions that help the community. If it’s better for the community, it’s better for all of us.”
Delmonte, his opponent, is a party planner and general manager at LaMotta’s Waterside Restaurant in Port Washington. She also serves as a secretary on the Greater Port Washington Business Improvement District Board of Directors.
She said she would seek to foster dialogue and feedback from constituents to find ways to improve the status quo for the betterment of the community.
“I will be proactive and collaborate with the community — both businesses and residents,” said Delmonte. “And pursue possible new solutions and approaches by working with the Town of North Hempstead and key town groups representing their constituencies.”
Delmonte said if elected, she will look into the district’s $2 million fund balance and its necessity. She would also investigate ways to improve pickups, such as having alternative locations that leave sidewalks clear.
“The Port Washington Garbage District must engage with the community and pursue possible new solutions and approaches to cleaning up Main Street and the business district,” she said. “Currently, many local community groups have taken on the responsibility of cleaning litter on Main Street. The need is visible and real and the residents and the businesses cannot improve without the garbage district’s assistance and proactive cooperation.”
The district currently contracts Dejana Industries, which will receive $2.301 million, $2.324 million and $2.347 million for 2022, 2023 and 2024, respectively.
The district is budgeted $2.392 million in the adopted budget of the Town of North Hempstead for 2023.
The election will be held on Dec. 13 at the Polish American Citizens Association at 5 Pulaski Place between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. The winner’s term will begin on Jan. 1, 2023.