Readers Write: Vote for Donald O’Brien for M-L water, fire commish

We have a contested election for the Manhasset-Lakeville Water/Fire Districts on Tuesday, Dec. 10.  Donald O’Brien served two terms as Commissioner from 2011 through 2016.

He ran originally based on the importance of a board member having a private-sector career in financial management.  Mr. O’Brien received an MBA in Finance from the NYU Stern School of Business.

In addition to his financial background, he has experience in business management, negotiating contracts, and working with lawyers, accountants, and other professionals.

He applied all his knowledge and experience to the business of the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District and the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire District as a commissioner on its boards.  He was instrumental in restructuring the budgets and reducing costs so that the savings could be applied to the capital budgets of both districts.

During his tenure, the outstanding bond debt of the Fire District was paid off and the Water District bond debt was paid down by over 50 percent.  There has been no new financing in either district since then.

In 2016 he ran for re-election for a third term and lost a close election because many of his supporters assumed he would win again without their votes.  His opponent has again refused to accept an invitation to debate from the League of Women Voters.

Therefore, residents of the district are unable to perform a side-by-side evaluation of the two candidates’ backgrounds, experiences, accomplishments, positions, or abilities to face the public on important issues.  During his time as commissioner, Mr. O’Brien regularly met with residents and Village and Town officials on issues regarding the Water District.

A debate offers residents the opportunity to ask the candidates questions and make an informed decision based upon their ability to communicate with those they serve.  The debate would be recorded by Public Access TV and shown numerous times to the electorate, prior to Dec. 10, so those unable to attend could still gain important knowledge of the candidates.

I urge residents to show their support and vote for Donald O’Brien on Dec. 10 because of his experience and positive performance as a commissioner.  There are many important issues facing water districts on Long Island, as reported by Newsday.

Mr. O’Brien has the experience and decision-making ability to take actions necessary to keep the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District a leading District in delivering water that meets or exceeds all local, state and federal standards.

The fire district is the business manager for the Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department and Ambulance Unit.  Mr. O’Brien has demonstrated his ability to work closely with the Supervisor of the Fire Department in making certain that the all-volunteer Fire Department has the equipment and training necessary to serve the community effectively.

Please join me in voting on Dec. 10, between noon and 9 p.m., at your local firehouse for Donald O’Brien as commissioner of the Manhasset-Lakeville Water and Fire Districts.

His past successful job performance in both the public and private sectors clearly demonstrates that his background in finance and management has been a real asset to the position of commissioner and the taxpayers of the community.

Oleg Rybalko



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