‘We’ve got this,’ Supervisor Bosworth on growing female leadership in town, county

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Town of Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth hugs a resident before being sworn in for her third term on Sunday. (Photo by Rebecca Klar)

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth said she’s excited to no longer be the only woman leader in Nassau County government.

“It’s going to be girl power in 2018,” Bosworth said before a packed room on Sunday afternoon when she was sworn in for her third term. 

Fellow Democrats Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, who attended the ceremony at Clinton G. Martin Park, were sworn in for their first terms last week.

Curran is the first female to be elected Nassau County executive, and Gillen is the second female Town of Hempstead Supervisor. Town of Hempstead also elected a female Town Clerk, Sylvia Cabana who joined Gillen at Sunday’s ceremony. 

“I look forward to working with both of these extraordinary women as they take on these important leadership roles,” Bosworth said “And if anyone still doubts if a woman can run government let me just say – we’ve got this.” 

Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen with Nassau County Legislator Arnold Drucker at the Town of North Hempstead swearing in ceremony.
(Photo by Rebecca Klar)

Two other women were sworn in on Sunday, Councilwoman Lee Seeman and Councilwoman Viviana Russel.

Russel echoed Bosworth’s words, telling the audience that “this is the year of the woman.”

Russel also thanked Town of Hempstead Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, who attended the swearing in, for “paving the way as the first African American woman ever elected on Long Island.”

Town Clerk Wayne Wink and Councilman Angelo Ferrara were also sworn in.

Wink said it is not lost on him that many of his mentors have been – and are – women, including Bosworth and the late, former Supervisor May Newburger.

Ferrara joked that he and town Councilman Peter Zuckerman, who wasn’t up for re-election this term, are a “dying breed in government.”

Along with Councilwoman Anna Kaplan and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, who also weren’t up for re-election this term, the women make up the majority on the town board.

“This is something new for the county, and this is something new to the Town of Hempstead, but we’ve been used to this in North Hempstead,” Ferrara said. “We’ve been in the minority forever.”

Ferrara is in the minority on the town board for two counts: he’s one of only two men and two Republicans.

Regardless, he said, he’s worked well with Bosworth over the years.

Councilwoman Lee Seeman was sworn in by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for her fourth term.
(Photo by Rebecca Klar)

He said he doesn’t think any Republican and Democrat confide in each other as much as he and Bosworth do.

“It really works for the good of the community not putting any party first, but putting the people first … if we do the right thing for the people that is the right thing for your party,” Ferrara said. “Regardless of what that party is.” 

The successful bi-partisanship of the town board needs to be echoed across the country, according to Ferrara.

A country that, Ferrara said, he’s never seen more polarized.

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that in a time of great division, Bosworth rises above the negativity that is seen in politics today.

DiNapoli said Bosworth, whom he called an “innovator” and “financial watchdog,” is a role model to all elected officials.

“She’s smart, she’s tough, she’s also compassionate,” DiNapoli said. “She’s a person of complete integrity and honesty; someone who really cares about the people that she serves.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi speaking with state Sen. Elaine Phillips before the town swearing in ceremony begins.
(Photo by Rebecca Klar)

DiNapoli said Bosworth’s tenure as supervisor has consisted of taking what was already good and making it even better.

Bosworth noted the town retaining its Aaa bond rating and voting in a six-year collective bargaining agreement with the Civil Service Employees Association as two of the board’s accomplishments this year.

She also said that the board approved a slate of ethics reforms, including a new anti-nepotism law.

One of the town’s biggest projects, the pool opening at Clinton G. Martin park, is on schedule to open this summer, Bosworth said.

Bosworth said this year the board will focus on redesigning North Hempstead Beach Park and launching a reeducation for recycling campaign.

“With this new day, this new year, and a new two-year term,” Bosworth said, “I have my sights on implementing even more initiatives that will continue to transform our town into one of the best places to live, work and raise a family.”

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