Readers Write: O’Brien has experience, qualifications for M-L water/fire

I am a long-time resident of Manhasset and have supported and voted for candidates who have the qualifications and experience required to be effective in the position they seek to fill.

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, I am voting at the Firehouse on Bayview Avenue for Donald O’Brien for Manhasset-Lakeville Water/Fire commissioner.

I have known Mr. O’Brien for over 20 years, and he has demonstrated that he is well qualified based on his education, financial management career with major financial firms, and his 2 previous terms totaling six years as a commissioner of the Manhasset-Lakeville Districts.

The community has already seen the level of Mr. O’Brien’s skills in both management and finance. He has already made an impact on the Districts by developing budgets under the tax cap, by paying off the fire district bonds, and by substantially reducing the outstanding bond debt for the Water District bonds.

He works effectively with the water superintendent and the fire supervisor on operating issues, as well as with legal counsel on legal issues. Mr. O’Brien has shown that a business manager can learn the operational, management and financial areas of the water and fire districts and be an effective commissioner. This approach is used by many CEOs and senior managers in the private sector.

I was impressed by his preparation when he first decided to run for commissioner. He spent three months attending the weekly board meetings, asking questions, and meeting with the water superintendent and fire district supervisor.

Mr. O’Brien also participated in the debate conducted by the League of Women Voters that year. His opening statement and responses to questions from residents clearly demonstrated that he had devoted the time necessary to understand the operations and issues of the two districts.

Unfortunately, this year the residents do not have that same opportunity to meet and ask questions of the two candidates because his opponent refused to participate in the debate. Mr. O’Brien’s recent interview in the Manhasset Times showed me that he has stayed informed about the issues affecting Long Island water and our volunteer fire departments. I cannot say the same about his opponent since he was unavailable for comment.

It is disconcerting to me to refuse to meet our residents when you are running for such an important position. Friends and neighbors have many concerns about the quality of water on Long Island.

I would have liked to hear about the current status on the quality of our water and any key issues that need to be addressed in the coming years. Many, including myself, are also very interested in the position taken on the development of the Macy’s property. It is hard to consider a candidate who is unwilling to let their positions and opinions be known.

I urge you to join me in supporting Donald O’Brien on Tuesday, Dec. 10. I am convinced that he is the clear choice for Manhasset-Lakeville Water/Fire commissioner.

Doreen McDonough


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