Nassau County Legislature District 8

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Nassau County Legislature District 8

Description:

Candidates (choose 1):

Barbara Hafner

Party: DEM, WFP

Photo provided by the League of Women Voters
Biographical Info:

Campaign Phone: (516) 286-1609

Campaign Email: barbarahafner4nassauleg@gmail.com

City/Town of Residence: West Hempstead

Prior Civic Service: President of the West Hempstead Education Association, Serve on the NYSUT Board of Directors, Long Island Federation of Labor Executive Board, West Hempstead Chamber of Commerce Board, Women’s committee for both NYSUT and the Long Island Federation of Labor A.L.L.O.W., Past West Hempstead PTA President, West Hempstead Cub Scout Leader, past President of the Garden City Nursery School

Questions:

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

A: 1. I would exam our assessment plan which is now in place. Is it easily understood by the residents? Is it working? If yes, let’s educate the residents of its success. If not, what needs to be done to improve the process. 2. Improve economic development – how can we build our downtown areas to attract businesses and residents. The 5 Boroughs should not be the only places people what to move to. By bringing in businesses and residents, our tax burden will be lessened and spread among the commercial and residential taxpayers. 3. Public Transportation needs to be improved. Young people are choosing or cannot afford to purchase, or lease automobiles and Seniors are choosing to no longer drive. We need to give everyone the ability to travel around Nassau County easily and quickly.

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 a major issue we need to address now. We need to review our recycling practices and are they working? If yes, can we improve on them, if not what are the steps to make them work? Plastic bags – need to be regulated. It’s time to make reusable bags a constant practice. Plastic and Styrofoam uses need to be examined. We need to find ways to replace them with more environmentally friendly products.

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

A: I believe regularly scheduled meetings with the members of the community needs to be on-going, not just when it’s an election year. As a teacher we work with our administrators and meet monthly to discuss issues. What is working and what needed to be improved. Communication and collaboration are the keys to a successful relationship. I believe this is exactly what needs to happen between county government and our residents.

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

A: Create laws to make sure all transactions are approved through multiple levels. No more backdoor deals. Bring plans that affect our residents to the forefront. Have levels of meetings to bring the topics out in the open prior to finalizing plans that will affect the residents. Meetings are primarily during the day, when most residents work. Have meetings where residents can attend. We should conduct meetings when most residents are available.

Vincent T. Muscarella

Party: REP, CON, IND

Photo provided by the League of Women Voters
Biographical Info:

Campaign Phone: (516) 581-6649

Campaign Web Site: http://none

Campaign Email: gopvtm@aol.com

City/Town of Residence: West Hempstead

Prior Civic Service: America Lodge Sons of Italy; F.S. Lions; F.S., W.H., and Elmont Chambers of Commerce; W.H. Community Support Assoc.; N.Y.S. Assemblyman

Questions:

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

A: Zero-Based Budgeting practices should be required from all Department heads. This requires all expenses to be justified from dollar one. Oftentimes departments merely add a percentage increase over the previous year’s expenses. Zero-based budgeting disregards previous expenses and requires a complete evaluation of needs and expenses for every new budgetary period. Pro-growth, smart development projects must be pursued to increase the tax base. Transit-Oriented Development and development such as the HUB must lead our economic growth. I stress, however, that new growth must supplement and not supplant the existing local businesses.

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: Living on an island, certainly the environment is a top priority. The legislature over the years has tackled issues from public transportation to sewage treatment, from an electric vehicle fleet to banning Styrofoam, and from Aquifer protection to our Sustainable Energy Loan Program. Nassau County must reach out to the Federal, State, and other local municipalities to join in a coordinated effort to protect our planet.

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

A: Having grown up in Elmont, owning a Small General Law Practice in Franklin Square, and now living in West Hempstead, I have a deep understanding of the problems and concerns of the residents of the 8th District. The best thing I can, and have done, is make myself available to the citizens I serve. I do this by attending and participating in as many community organizations as I can. By being accessible and listening to people they become part of the decision-making process through me as their representative.

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

A: I believe that the Nassau County Legislature has done a fine job in promoting transparency. From its inaugural session where we allow the public to participate in committee and general legislative meetings to increasing disclosure requirements, the Legislature is always promoting open and honest government. The Legislature is currently considering the use of technology for disseminating information and financial documents to allow access to government workings.

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