Town of North Hempstead council members and Supervisor Judi Bosworth remained quiet on the controversy over the renovation at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park at a candidates’ night event in Manhasset.
The supervisor and council members joined their opponents in a question-and-answer forum for those running for seats in Nassau County and the Town of North Hempstead last Thursday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Port Washington-Manhasset.
Audience members at the event were invited to submit questions for each of the positions, with the seven candidates for three seats in the North Hempstead Town Board questioned together.
During the session with candidates for town supervisor, the moderator read a submitted question: “The town is currently in court with the contractor who made repairs on Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park. What would you do in the future so that this does not occur with future town projects?”
The town is currently in Bankruptcy Court with contractor Gramercy Group, which claimed that it is owed over $2 million because of change orders from the town.
“Because we are in litigation, I can’t really comment on Clinton G. Martin Park,” Bosworth said. “We’ve asked anybody involved with the town not to do that.”
Bosworth pointed out that the park had been open for two seasons following renovations, and remarked that they town has had “so many town projects that have gone successfully.”
Her Republican challenger, David Redmond, said in response to the question that the project had been “managed terribly.”
“[The town] picked a contractor who had previous legal trouble, so they had good cause not to select them, even though they were the lowest bidder,” Redmond said. “Now [the contractor is] bankrupt, and that’s in litigation, which is avoidable. I would change it by having due diligence and finding proper contractors, and make sure that there’s no reason why the lowest bidder is the lowest bidder.”
The seven candidates for the three available districts on the Town Board were the last group brought on. Democratic Councilman Peter Zuckerman, running for re-election to his 2nd District seat, echoed Bosworth in one of his remarks in stating that he could not comment on Clinton Martin Park, since it was still in litigation. Fellow Democratic Councilwoman Veronica Lurvey also declined to comment on the park for the same reason.
“Sometimes there are projects that have difficulties, and we’re always looking for better ways of doing that,” Bosworth said.