Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton likes to point out her bona fides as a centrist Democrat – her husband is a Republican, her father a former Republican mayor of Glen Cove — and her ability to reach across the aisle.
We think she strayed too far across the aisle this term in opposing Nassau County Laura Curran’s long-overdue reassessment of all residential and commercial property as premature and her support of legislation giving police the right to sue protesters for harassment.
Of four Democratic legislators who sponsored the bill, DeRiggi-Whitton remains the only one to still support the legislation – even after state Attorney General Letitia James said the bill was probably unconstitutional. Republicans supported the bill that was vetoed by Curran based on James’ opinion.
Still, DeRiggi-Whitton, a resident of Glen Cove, has established a record of accomplishment, particularly on the environment since she was first elected in the 11th District, which incorporates all or part of Sands Point, Port Washington, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Glen Head, Glenwood, Sea Cliff and Glen Cove.
And for that reason we endorse her.
Among DeRiggi-Whitton’s accomplishments, she co-introduced legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secured passage of measures banning the use and sale of liquid fracking waste products in the county.
She has also helped to secure funding for multiple sewer studies to prevent dangerous toxins and chemicals from entering our underground aquifers, secured millions in county funding to support Sea Cliff’s ongoing sewer expansion project, and advocated for enhancements for parks and open-space projects such as Crescent Beach in Glen Cove and Shore Road in Port Washington.
In addition, DeRiggi-Whitton serves on the Western Long Island Aquifer committee, which is working to protect Long Island’s sole-source aquifer and our drinking water from the dual threats of toxic encroachment and saltwater intrusion.
She has also worked to support seniors by backing legislation that allows homeowners over age 65 to renew exemptions they have received for at least five consecutive years by filing a sworn affidavit affirming their eligibility with their tax payments rather than completing new paperwork year after year.
DeRiggi-Whitton is opposed by Meagan McCarty, a Republican from Port Washington who served as a volunteer for former state Sen. Elaine Phillips, former North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, and state Senate candidate Dave Franklin.
McCarty said she would be an energetic representative who listened to her constituents but seemed to hold stale Republican ideas on reassessment, including the idea that an elected county assessor would improve the county assessment system. This was an idea tried by the county that failed with county residents voting against it in a referendum.
She also joined the many Republicans and voters who claim the county reassessment raised taxes. This is not true. The total amount of taxes collected by the county remained the same. It just makes how the taxes are apportioned fairer and as a result, some people saw their taxes rise and others saw them fall.
At least DeRiggi-Whitton acknowledged after some adjustments were made to the original reassessment that taxes are now more fairly apportioned than before the reassessment.
We give McCarty points for saying she would support vaccine mandates for county employees, but think her refusal to acknowledge that Joe Biden won in a free and fair election is disqualifying.
For her strong work on behalf of her district, we strongly endorse Delia DeRiggi-Whitton for re-election.