Readers Write: Ex Floral Park mayor backs Laura Gillen for Hempstead supervisor

Tuesday Nov. 7 is Election Day.

One of the most important elections on the ballot is for the Town of Hempstead supervisor. We the people have the opportunity to pull the lever and end the childish chaos and insidious cronyism that the current town supervisor, Anthony Santino, seems to epitomize. For far too long we the people have been taken for granted while secret backroom deals and insiders’ club cronyism rules.

We the residents of Western Nassau County, the villages of Floral Park and Bellerose and the Town of Hempstead hamlets of Elmont and Bellerose Terrace have felt the impact of that influence.

Who will ever forget that the Town of Hempstead supervisor wanted to put a casino in the midst of our communities?

Without prior notice or community input, the arrogant Republican leadership from our now disgraced County Executive, the dysfunctional majority caucus of the county Legislature, our now indicted Town of Hempstead councilman and especially our current Town of Hempstead supervisor, who, while only in office one day, announced that they wanted a casino at Belmont Park to be run by the unprofitable and bloated Nassau OTB patronage mill.

It is time for us to change horses.

These interconnected insiders decided that the Nassau County OTB needed to be propped up and saved even if it meant to burden the very communities they had solemnly pledged to serve.

These insiders agreed the casino was too good a deal for them to pass up, even if it was a terrible idea for the rest of us.

We knew the truth was that they were wrong. Only hours after our current Town of Hempstead supervisor was in the office, promises were broken and schemes hatched.

We had no voice and no seat at the table as all the insiders took their orders as well as “talking points” from their party puppet masters. It is time for us to change the game.

They knew the fix was in and the wheelers and dealers were all set to win.

Bad enough these same insiders have saddled us with the white elephant that is the “new” Nassau Coliseum, now they wanted their constituents to pony up another $175 million for a taxpayer-funded boondoggle at Belmont Park.

No business plan, no transparency – just do as we say.

Their methods were draconian, their rationale and projections, conjecture at best. But thankfully our constitutional right to peaceful assembly could not be ignored and assemble we did and we ultimately persevered. But this came at a steep price.

Our local village government expended treasure for legal fees and we rightfully felt unfairly subjected to yet another challenge to our village’s cherished quality of life.

We were betrayed by some of our own elected representatives, particularly the current Town of Hempstead supervisor.

Now Belmont Park is once again the subject of new development proposals. Belmont Park is too valuable a resource to Nassau County and to the future of our communities to be left to our current Town of Hempstead supervisor, whose unengaged demeanor and arrogance is both astonishing and unacceptable.

The Town of Hempstead has been handcuffed by uninspired, even allegedly corrupt leadership for too long.

This Election Day Nov. 7, we can change that and start anew by electing Laura Gillen as supervisor for the Town of Hempstead.

Now is the time for us to make a change in the Town of Hempstead supervisor’s office.

Laura Gillen and I may not agree on every fundamental issue, but none of these are within the direct responsibility or jurisdiction of the Town of Hempstead supervisor.

Gillen’s clearheaded, insightful yet pragmatic approach to problems, her pleasant, welcoming manner and engaging, personal outreach to the people of the town during her campaign have been a welcome breath of fresh air.

New collaborative leadership and perspective are needed from our town supervisor, something the current Town of Hempstead supervisor seems incapable of providing us.

The Town of Hempstead needs Laura Gillen, who understands that her first responsibility is to the people, not the high paid lobbyists and insider cronies.

The best way for the Town of Hempstead to move ahead and correct its course into the 21st century and truly represent those they are sworn in to serve is by joining together with me and voting for a woman who is an intelligent, independent thinker and courageous leader.

The race for Town of Hempstead supervisor is in the home stretch. I ask you to please join with me and vote for Laura Gillen as supervisor for the Town of Hempstead on Nov 7.

Thomas Tweedy

Former Mayor of Floral Park

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The Island Now

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