Mindy Germain was pushing her daughter in a stroller through Blumenfeld Family Park in 2001 when she saw a group of people picking up litter, wearing Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington T-shirts.
“It made a deep impression on me,” Germain said.
In 2007, Germain joined Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington, a community group dedicated to improving the Port Washington community, and is now its executive director.
As executive director, Germain said, she immersed herself in studying data on the sustainability of the community’s drinking water.
“I believe the health and safety of Port Washington’s drinking water is critical to making Port Washington the best place to live and raise a family,” she said.
In 2012, Germain, hoping to continue her work with water in Port Washington, replaced Thomas Murray, who retired, as one of the Port Washington Water District’s three commissioners.
Germain is running unopposed for election on Tuesday, and said she’s “honored to serve in a district that puts community first.”
Growing up in Greenlawn, Germain said, she would often go to Northport, a nearby village, and its similarity to Port Washington drew her to the community in 2000.
“I loved Northport and that is what drew me to Port Washington, along with the great schools and community,” she said.
Spearheading multiple projects since becoming a water commissioner, Germain said, the water district’s goal is to engage and consult residents in the areas surrounding potential work.
“This has resulted in state-of-the-art infrastructure that is not only cost effective but also blends in with the fabric of Port Washington,” she said.
Since 2012, the water district replaced approximately three miles of water mains, Germain said, and “put an emphasis on education and intermunicipal collaboration.”
“For example, we just went out for bid on new equipment together with the Sands Point water district, creating an opportunity for greater cost efficiency,” she said.
Germain said involving the community is a priority as commissioner, and she wants people to know she’ll be “proactive monitoring conditions and embracing technology and programs to ensure that we continue to have a safe sustainable water supply.”
“I don’t want to ever be facing a crisis like California,” she said.
As the executive director of Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington, Germain said, she has the opportunity to work with a team and complete projects that make Port Washington a better place to live.
With the Long Island Rail Road station area of Port Washington facing parking problems, Germain and Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington have been surveying residents on their parking habits to figure out a solution.
Over 1,000 residents responded to the survey.
Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington is also working with the Port Washington School District to promote environmental leadership with its “Get Your Green On” program, which has over 400 students involved in sustainablity projects.
“Everything we do at Residents is a team effort, and I am just so grateful to help facilitate so many important projects,” Germain said.
Whether she’s working with Residents For a More Beautiful Port Washington or the water district, Germain said, all of the projects rely on the “partnerships in the community and government.”
“When we are all working together, we accomplish great things,” she said.
Germain said she works with many groups in Port Washington because she has pride in her community.
“I think it comes from my Grandma Sophie,” she said. “As a little girl I remember her giving speeches to her community and volunteering in many organizations.”
Port Washington, she said, is full of things to be proud of and that’s why people should get involved.
Living in Port Washington with her husband, Victor, and their three children, Sophie, 17, Gabriel, 14, and Harry, 10, Germain said her favorite part of the community is the people.
“Living and working side by side with so many brilliant, passionate hardworking people has made me grow exponentially,” she said.