Town of North Hempstead Council Member District 4

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Town of North Hempstead Council Member District 4

Description:

Council District 4

 

Candidates (choose 1):

David Yaudoon Chiang

Party: REP, CON

Photo provided by the League of Women Voters
Biographical Info:

Campaign Phone: (516) 627-8888

Campaign Web Site: http://electdavidchiang.com

Campaign Email: electdavidchiang@gmail.com

City/Town of Residence: Manhasset, Town of North Hempstead

Prior Civic Service: Community Activist, President of CAANH

Questions:

Q: As sea levels rise and flooding and erosion become greater threats to our community, what specific actions will you take to address these challenges? How will you budget and ensure that our town is prepared to thrive in the face of these changes?

A: I personally try to tread very lightly on this earth. Our house runs on 100% solar power and We drive an electric car. As an official I would encourage our residents to be more environmentally conscious to reduce our carbon footprint. We must work with county and state agencies and governments to ensure adequate funding to protect our shorelines and communities from natural disasters. I would work with all the town departments and try to reduce our carbon footprint and become one of the greenest towns in the state. I would also encourage the town and businesses to start to implement EV chargers to attract residents to downtown and create opportunities for customers to linger downtown and support of businesses. With my background in finance, I will go through our local budget and reduce waste and inefficiency. As a town, we must live within our means and plan ahead with a rainy-day backup plan…

Q: How would you revitalize/better utilize our town’s downtown and commercial districts? What barriers exist to full occupancy of storefronts and what would you do to address them?

A: Work with local businesses, chamber of commerce and civic organizations to brainstorm and bring forth the best ideas to revitalize our downtown areas. Offer incentives to bring in anchor tenants which will attract locals and visitors to our downtown areas. Also, I will help promote shop local, eat local and increase awareness to the importance of having a beautiful buzzing downtown community where our young and old can go and enjoy. I would work with other board members and town supervisor to streamline permitting for businesses and residents of TNH. Currently, it takes over six months to a year to get residential permits. Commercial permits seem to take even longer. These types of delays discourage businesses from coming into our communities and add to their costs of opening a business in our town. We must work to reduce red tape and burdensome/outdated regulations and be a partner to local business not a discouragement to their success.

Q: What is the most significant or pressing issue facing the Town of North Hempstead, and how would you address it?

A: The major issues facing Great Neck, Manhasset and Roslyn is the same as the foremost issues confronting all of our residents. In specific, soaring taxes are not sustainable. Governments have to live within a budget, just like the families that we serve. Revitalizing all the main streets, like Plandome Road, by installing new sidewalks, planting, traffic calming and pedestrian safety measures are a very high priority for me. I believe that new potential small business owners perceive that the Town is not business friendly because obtaining building permits takes so long and is so difficult. I would focus on initiatives that make the Building Department consumer friendly and streamline the process so that businesses and homeowners receive permits faster. The protection of our bay waters and drinking water, and the need for a comprehensive roadway and infrastructure improvement program are also important issues for me.

Veronica Lurvey

Party: DEM, WFP, IND

Biographical Info:

Campaign Phone: (516) 253-6611

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

Campaign Email: info@veronicalurvey.com

City/Town of Residence: Great Neck

Prior Civic Service: Co-Founder of North Shore Action, a nonpartisan community action group that advocates on local issues, a former member of the Kensington Zoning Board of Appeals, and former VP of Temple Israel of Great Neck.

Questions:

Q: As sea levels rise and flooding and erosion become greater threats to our community, what specific actions will you take to address these challenges? How will you budget and ensure that our town is prepared to thrive in the face of these changes?

A: We are already feeling the effects of global climate change in the Town of North Hempstead. I support bold climate action. We need to make sure our infrastructure is ready for more frequent extreme weather events, including our electric distribution and water systems, which means working with utilities and special districts. During Superstorm Sandy, the highest storm surge was reported in Kings Point. We need to investigate and decide how best to protect against future storm surges. I am attending a public meeting at the end of October, put on by the Army Corps of Engineers, regarding the placement of sea gates meant to protect Manhattan, to ensure that the impacts on the North Shore are taken into consideration. We need to coordinate emergency response to extreme weather events and make sure that there are locations throughout the Town that can serve people without heat or electricity. Trees protect against erosion, and I am focused on protecting the Town’s trees. I am working on legislation to strengthen the Town’s tree code to protect its tree density and provide for clearer replanting requirements. In addressing the effects of climate change, we need to consider how our actions contribute to climate change. This involves asking how the Town should be involved in reducing our collective carbon footprint. Addressing these issues is critical and needs to be a priority. I take the budgeting process seriously by planning ahead, borrowing when interest rates are low, and support aggressively pursuing grants.

Q: How would you revitalize/better utilize our town’s downtown and commercial districts? What barriers exist to full occupancy of storefronts and what would you do to address them?

A: A variety of issues affect our downtowns, including parking, walkability, marketing, permitting, and taxes. I have made it a priority while in office to work collaboratively with the different constituencies of District 4 to best address these issues. Through discussions with the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, for example, we have identified several ways to improve the parking situation along Plandome Road, such as increasing the parking restrictions from one hour to two. This will give shoppers time to visit several retail establishments in one visit. Pedestrian safety initiatives are also critical for foot traffic; when a downtown is friendly for pedestrians, everyone benefits. Keeping downtowns clean and well maintained is critical, so that shoppers enjoy their time in the area. I will make sure the Town continues to offer matching downtown beautification grants. I am in a great position to help the Villages and communities cross-market the different cultural offerings through the Town’s Cultural Master Plan. For example, the Cultural Master Plan could help restaurants attract customers who are in Town for a cultural or film festival. I will help downtowns determine what makes them a destination, especially one that attracts younger people. Understanding that permitting is a hurdle, I support continuing changes to the Town code to simplify and update the Town building and permitting process and continuing to fund the Town’s successful Resident Advocate program to assist filers. Working with Supervisor Bosworth and the Town Board, I will focus on keeping taxes low, to minimize the tax burden on commercial establishments.

Q: What is the most significant or pressing issue facing the Town of North Hempstead, and how would you address it?

A: A top issue in the Town is financial in nature: taxes and the cost of living. I will continue to work with Supervisor Bosworth and the Town Board to keep the Town tax as low as possible. This means making sure that the Town is running efficiently, and money is spent wisely. Good communication between Town departments is critical, as is keeping overtime low. I will make sure that the Town maintains its Aaa bond rating, the highest rating possible, to make it cheaper to finance capital improvements like roads and park improvements. Seniors, including veterans and others on a fixed income, are most vulnerable to cost of living increases. I will make sure to continue funding Project Independence and Veterans programs to help the most vulnerable in the community.

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