Nassau County Legislature District 10

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Nassau County Legislature District 10

Description:

Candidates (choose 1):

Ellen Bimbaum

Party: DEM, WFP, IND

Photo provided by the League of Women Voters
Biographical Info:

Campaign Phone: (516) 361-0073

Campaign Web Site: http://facebook.com/ellenbirnbaumld10

Campaign Email: friendsofellenbirnbaum@gmail.com

City/Town of Residence: Great Neck Town of North Hempstead

Prior Civic Service: Director of the Office of Intermunicipal Coordination for the Town of North Hempstead

Questions:

Q: What two or three specific actions would you take to help reduce the real estate tax burden on Nassau County residents?

A: Sales tax, which makes up the largest revenue source in the County’s budget, should be monitored carefully. New York State has recently enacted laws to collect sales tax on internet purchases and with the County’s share of this new source of revenue, the County’s budget will be positively impacted. In addition, it is important to monitor the collection of Off-Track Betting revenue, especially from Video gambling at Belmont. The development of the Hub area with businesses, retail stores and residential units should also provide a new stream of revenue to the County. Lastly, I would look to developing mixed use areas of commercial and residential properties in downtown areas around the County to contribute to the tax base.

Q: On a Scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most and 1 being the least, how much do you consider climate change an important issue, particularly how it may affect Long Island (i.e. flooding, erosion, rising sea levels)? What steps would you take to address this issue?

A: 5 Climate change is such an important issue since we live on an island which has already seen the devastating effects of recent hurricanes. Both the South Shore and the North Shore have had to deal with the results of major flooding and destruction of property. We know that future extreme weather events are sure to bring challenges which we must prepare for by doing things such as enforcing strong building codes and promoting renewable energy projects. In addition, the County can switch to eco-friendly vehicles and build electric vehicle charging stations. I will support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels, and produce electricity from renewable sources,

Q: What will you do to increase resident involvement in the decision-making process in Nassau County?

A: In my Legislative district I will continue to convene many public meetings to deal with important issues such as pedestrian safety, traffic calming and traffic safety. It is very important to have input from the community before making any changes that affect the local residents. I have also invited constituents to the County to take part in meetings with other County officials such as with the Police when there are safety concerns, with the DPW when dealing with specific traffic requests, and with the Office of the Aging when discussing meals to be served at local Senior centers.

Q: What specific steps will you take to ensure more transparency?

A: Transparency in government is extremely important and I support the newly created Office of Inspector General. have met with the new Inspector General to discuss what kind of issues can be investigated if necessary. I believe it is vital to make sure that the disclosure statements that vendors fill out when bidding for a contract with the County are complete and accurate. It is also imperative to keep our residents informed about issues and ask for their input at both community meetings and at County Legislative meetings.

Helene Sherman

Party: REP, CON

Photo provided by the League of Women Voters
Biographical Info:

Campaign Phone: (516) 877-0111

Campaign Web Site: http://www.HeleneSherman.com

Campaign Email: lawyerhs@aol.com

City/Town of Residence: Great Neck, New York

Prior Civic Service: Assistant District Attorney, Nassau County

Questions:

Q: What two or three specific actions would you take to help reduce the real estate tax burden on Nassau County residents?

A: Try to reduce unnecessary government. We have a bloated infrastructure both in the Town of North Hempstead and in the County. If everyone’s position is not absolutely necessary, we should downsize. We should also try for competitive bidding if certain projects are required. However, if it is less expensive to have such projects be performed by Nassau County employees, then have those persons already employed by the County (or Town of North Hempstead) do the work. Try to have the work done without overtime, and by persons who are paid a lower salary as long as they are competent to do the work (instead of paying the most senior workers whose base salary is higher by virtue of seniority). Community projects, particularly those involving construction, should be voted on by residents. We are forcing all residents to pay huge taxes when not all of them have use for certain projects. Refrain from costly projects that just ‘look nice’ but do not provide more or different service.

Q: On a Scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most and 1 being the least, how much do you consider climate change an important issue, particularly how it may affect Long Island (i.e. flooding, erosion, rising sea levels)? What steps would you take to address this issue?

A: I would estimate 2.5 because not everyone on Long Island lives in the particular areas that are affecting by extreme climate (such as flooding).

Q: What will you do to increase resident involvement in the decision-making process in Nassau County?

A: Put civic projects to a vote; do not just have a few people, such as Town Board Members, or the County Legislature, vote on spending public monies that come from people’s taxes but do not necessarily affect all residents equally. Also post budgets, allow residents to not only vote but to effectively speak out against certain projects. My experience has been that a meeting in the Town or County will be posted, and concerned residents will attend, but no matter what they say the project will be passed depending on the will of the Town/County Board, instead of based on the will of those residents voting. Make constituents feel that they actually have a voice.

Q: What specific steps will you take to ensure more transparency?

A: Have large projects (anything costing more than $400,000) put to a vote even if it means a special election. Have the budgets for larger projects posted in public areas or on the public websites so people can see where their tax dollars are going. Have “effective” voting, meaning if there is a project to be voted on and public monies allotted, let the votes that are cast really count. If residents vote against spending money on something, then the vote of the residents should decide the issue. The Town Board or other local government should not “override” the will of the people.

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