If there has been positive change over the past six years in District 11, representing Port Washington, Roslyn and Glen Cove, Zefy Christopoulos says she has not seen it. That is why she is running as the Republican candidate against Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton.
“I feel that our current legislator is too bogged down in politics,” she said during an interview at Blank Slate Media. “It’s not allowing her to vote for the funding of infrastructure projects because the politics are getting in the way.”
The Democrats are currently holding up the county Legislature over a demand that a independent inspector general. But Christopoulos opposed that idea.
“I don’t want to add another layer of government,” she said. Instead she proposed reforming the Ethics Board in a manner suggested by Jack Martins, the Republican candidate for county executive: no more than two members per party on the board.
She struck a similar note when it came to fixing the county’s assessment process. Like Martins, she wants the towns to handle it.
“I still think we have to bring it home … the local municipalities should do it,” she said.
As for the budget, she said she would “absolutely not” support increasing fees. She would prefer cutting spending over raising taxes but did not specify what she would cut. And like DeRiggi-Whitton, she said that the county should not use borrowed money to balance the budget.
Like DeRiggi-Whitton, Christopoulos is a resident of Glen Cove. Christopoulos said she was especially upset that DeRiggi-Whitton voted no on the proposed bonding plan for the Glen Cove Waterfront Redevelopment Program.
“I believe that she turned her back on her hometown and my hometown,” she said.
Christopoulos has lived in Glen Cove for years and has been an active member of local government there. She was a public relations officer for the city and served as the campaign director and chief of staff for Mayor Reggie Spinello.
When it comes to problems facing Port Washington, Christopoulos said her biggest concern was filling empty store fronts.
“Surely, Main Street must have issues, the same way Main Street or the traditional shopping district of Glen Cove has empty stores,” she said.
Christopoulos said she felt that the villages were better equipped to handle problems and then let her know if she could help. She did say that she would have been more involved with the Baxter House to prevent its destruction.
When it comes to party, Christopoulos said she was an independent but was willing to represent the Republicans in the race. Though she agreed with the party on several issues, she disagreed with how to handle gerrymandering. She supports an independent redistricting commission.
“Take it away from the politicians,” she said.
While she felt sympathy for children brought to the country by their parents, she said that people who have emigrated to the United States illegally must be sent back to their home countries.
“You break the rules, you pay the price,” she said. “If you’re not here legally, you’ve got to go.”
Christopoulos is a first-generation American herself. Her parents both emigrated from Greece – legally, she added – and she was born in Manhattan shortly after they arrived.