Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman Viviana Russell said her experience working in local government and familiarity with town departments makes her the ideal person to serve as town clerk in an interview with Blank Slate Media on Tuesday.

Russell has represented the 1st District, which encompasses Westbury, New Cassel, Carle Place and Old Westbury, since her initial election in 2009, and has been re-elected twice since then. Russell said she is the ideal candidate for the town clerk position after more than a decade serving the community.

“I have experience in the town … you want someone who is coming into office that knows the roles of the office,” Russell said.

After receiving endorsements from current Clerk Wayne Wink and outgoing Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Russell said she aims to provide the town with online training resources, tutorials and enhanced technological tools, quick and efficient response times for important Freedom of Information Law requests, and “practical and innovative ways to help reduce the town’s carbon footprint.”

Russell said the clerk not only keeps the town’s records, but is also the town’s registrar in charge of birth and death certificates along with passports. Touting the work of Wink and the clerk’s office under his supervision, Russell said she wants to make the clerk’s office more accessible to the community, whether it be online or in the form of a mobile service center for senior citizens.

“I’d love to expand on some of the services that the clerk’s office provides,” Russell said. “We have some things that are currently online that you can access, but I’d like to bring more services online, making sure that people that are not able to get out that they can go online and access applications and forms.”

If elected, Russell would be the first African-American to hold townwide office in North Hempstead. Russell is running for clerk against Republican Ragini Srivastava. Russell said the reason she desires to be clerk is the same reason she wanted to enter local government more than a decade ago: to help improve her community. 

“I am a wife, mother, grandmother, sibling, primary caregiver to my elderly mother-in-law, and an individual committed to leaving this world a better place than it was when I entered it,” Russell said in a statement. “Commitment to family, friends, faith, and community defines who I am. As I seek this new opportunity to work on behalf of all the residents of our great town, I am taking nothing for granted and I humbly ask for their support of my candidacy for Town Clerk.”

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