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Ekstrand and Sena Vie for Mayor Position

The Farmingdale Observer offered the following questions to each of the mayoral candidates who will run on the ballots in the Village of Farmingdale public elections on Tuesday, March 20. Both candidates were also offered a chance to make a general statement about their candidacy, or share something about themselves.

Ralph Ekstrand

Ekstrand submitted the following statement:

I have worked tirelessly for the past four years as a trustee and will work even more as your Mayor. I will leave you with one item on my agenda. Implement a turning lane on Main Street for all left-hand turns onto Conklin Street to greatly increase traffic flow.

Q: Why do you think you are qualified to serve in this position?

A. I have served four years as a trustee. The last three years I have worked on the Master Plan 2035, the Environmental Impact and SEQUA studies. To keep current I have attended NYCOM seminars and regularly attend the Nassau Village Officials Association (NVOA) meetings. I believe learning village government, as a trustee is invaluable to one becoming Mayor.

Q: What do you think is the biggest issue facing the Village of Farmingdale?

A. Water is the foremost issue facing the Village. The studies performed for our Master Plan 2035 show we need another well. To complicate this there are three toxic plumes flowing directly towards Well #1 where our water tower is. There is no area within the Village to drill another well. And not be affected by the plumes. Our water pumping stations need to be upgraded to the 21st century technology. The water tower is past due on its painting and rehabilitation. These and other projects are estimated at $4 million. The Village Board is reviewing proposals from Bethpage Water District and Suffolk County Water Authority to enter into a lease maintenance agreement to address the issues. The Village will still own all aspects of the water system.

Q: What changes do you think the residents of Farmingdale want to see made?

A. Increasing foot traffic and reducing the number of vacant store in the downtown area. The store rents in downtown Farmingdale are higher then those in Babylon and Huntington because of the higher taxes in Nassau County. By allowing the landowners to create luxury apartments above the stores they can receive greater rental income, thereby reducing the rent burden to the merchants. The Hilton hotel will provide economic benefits to the merchants as well. At 75 percent occupancy if a guest were to spend just $50 a day shopping, or wining and dining in the downtown area, there would be a yearly $1.1 million boost to the merchants.

Georgiana Sena

Sena submitted the following statement:

As a Farmingdale Village homeowner and resident I believe I can put the Village on the right track towards future growth. As a professional I have the tools to bring respect, integrity and effectiveness to Village government. I plan on streamlining government to provide more efficient Village services. I am fully committed to addressing the quality of life issues facing the residents of this special Village and I encourage all of you to come out and vote on March 20th and vote Row “A”.

Q. Why do you think you are qualified to serve in this position?

A. I am an accomplished civic and community leader with over 25 years of experience as a successful professional administrator. I know how to energize and inspire individuals to work towards achieving a common goal--and we have many goals for improving the quality of life in Farmingdale Village. I have also volunteered extensively for charitable and humanitarian causes, worked with numerous bureaucracies and know how to get things done.

Q. What do you think is the biggest issue facing the Village of Farmingdale?

A. Residents are worried about property values and quality of life issues. Many families moved to Farmingdale Village years ago because we had a lovely Main Street. You could take a leisurely stroll, talk to your neighbors and purchase wares from local merchants. Main Street today has become a ghost town and that scares a lot of people—and I agree. It is scary because it affects the economy of the overall Village and can also attract the wrong kind of commerce to Farmingdale. There are now 26 vacant stores on Main Street. 16 stores closed in the last 4 years. Someone has to stem the tide and put business back on the right track.

Q. What changes do you think the residents of Farmingdale want to see made?

A. I have knocked on many Village doors during this campaign and residents have told me they are tired of the way Main Street looks and they want someone who can fix the problem. They also want fiscal responsibility and accountability. They want to be kept informed about critical issues like the new hotel and proposed over-development. The residents would really appreciate an open and honest Village government, which I plan on initiating and fair code enforcement.