Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth took a victory lap during her state of the town speech on Friday, outlining the town’s success in passing new laws, upgrading its bond rating and undertaking infrastructure projects.
“John F. Kennedy said that ‘every accomplishment starts with a decision to try,'” she said at the beginning of her speech. “And we have made that decision to try again and again over the past year, whether it was to solve an unexpected problem, to improve an existing program or embark on a new initiative.”
Speaking at the Harbor Links clubhouse in Port Washington, Bosworth noted that the town achieved its goal of receiving a triple-A bond rating, the highest possible for a municipality. She said the town has reduced its debt by $32 million since 2014 and that all budgets have stayed under the state’s tax cap, even as North Hempstead has begun several new projects.
“Our fiscal stability and conservative budgeting practices give our town a firm financial foundation,” she said.
Bosworth gave updates on some of those projects such as the completion of Alvan Petrus Park in Port Washington, the ground-breaking of the Clinton G. Martin pool renovation and plans for upgrades to North Hempstead Beach Park. She also noted that through the town’s five-year capital plan, $5.2 million would go toward sidewalk repairs and road repaving throughout North Hempstead.
She also reviewed some of the laws passed by the town including a ban on the sale of tobacco to anyone under the age of 21, a new anti-nepotism law, and laws that improved transparency by providing more details in financial documents and posting meeting transcripts on the town’s website.
“Accessing public information shouldn’t require jumping through hoops,” she said.
She thanked Port Washington Water Commissioner Mindy Germain for fighting to prevent New York City from pumping water from an aquifer in Queens that serves as North Hempstead’s sole source. She also said that town employees could voluntarily learn how to administer Narcan, a drug that can save those who have overdosed on opioids.
Finally, Bosworth outlined some of the programs that the town had put together to engage park visitors, senior citizens and veterans, among others.
In attendance were County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, members of the Nassau County Legislature, the North Hempstead council and numerous mayors and elected officials from villages across the town. Bosworth was interrupted on several occasions by applause from the audience.
A few members of the crowd did have some qualms, which they expressed during a questions-and-answer session after Bosworth finished her speech.
One resident said he felt that too many old homes were being torn down to be replaced with megamansions and that the homes were not being sufficiently documented before being destroyed. He suggested that the building code be changed so that developers would have to take photographs of the inside of a house before it could be demolished.
“It’s something we’ll discuss with our Building Department, but we would like to get that out to our historical society because that is definitely something they would be interested in,” Bosworth replied.
Allison White asked for an update on the town’s waterfront development moratorium in her Port Washington community.
“We know that there are properties looking to sell, and that would mean more development,” Bosworth said. “We understand how precious the waterfront is, how important it is to have access to the water, so we … have six months to look at the codes and see what we’d like to change … There will be many meetings and lots of opportunity for comment.”