Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wink, Chisari Debate Issues Affecting Nassau County, Glen Head, Glenwood Landing

Candidates for the District 11 seat in the Nassau County Legislature appeared last night at Meet the Candidates Night sponsored by the Port Washington-Manhasset League of Women Voters at the Port Washington Library. District 11 includes all of Glenwood Landing and Roslyn Harbor and parts of Glen Head and Sea Cliff (see previous postings for more information).

The candidates, Louis Chisari (R,C) and Wayne Wink (D, I, WF), agreed that District 11 voters have a historic opportunity to affect the direction the county takes at this juncture because, with the departure of District 11 Legislator Craig Johnson (D) to the NYS Senate, the legislature is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

The March 27 election will determine which party takes the majority.

Mr. Chisari, who was a prosecutor in the Nassau County District Attorney 's Office, said that under no circumstances would he ever raise taxes or fees for services. He pointed to increased property taxes and increased golf fees as unacceptable. He said he would attempt to hold the line on costs by seeking savings in the executive office and the legislature. He said that these two branches of county government probably have too many people on staff. He said he would not seek savings in the budgets of the departments that deliver services.

Mr. Wink said that sharing and consolidating services can help hold the line on taxes. He said that the Town of North Hempstead, where he currently serves as a councilman, has entered into inter-municipal agreements that make the town sign shop available to incorporated villages. He said that Hempstead Harbor Park, a county facility adjacent to Bar Beach, a town facility, will soon be transferred to town jurisdiction.

Mr. Wink said these arrangements will save money because the town sign shop can provide services at a lower cost than the open market and because the beaches will now be maintained by one staff instead of two. He said the county will redeploy Hempstead Harbor Park staff to other county facilities where they are needed.

Mr. Chisari said he is an independent thinker and that Mr. Wink would vote in lockstep with the “tax and spend” policies of the Democrats.

Mr. Wink said he maintains an independent voice and pointed to his vote to deny the Glen Harbor application in Glenwood Landing for a change in zone from industrial use to multi-residential use as an example. “I was one of two votes against,” Mr. Wink said. “Five of my colleagues, including the one Republican on the town board, voted in favor.”

Mr. Wink said that the Republicans in the county legislature virtually always vote as a block and rarely, if ever, break rank. He said that the Republicans do not encourage debate. He said the Democrats might be appear to be “messy,” but at least they permit discussion.

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