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Sea Cliff Village Board Election ‘Meet the Candidates’

Event draws crowd of residents with questions about community service and future plans for the village

As the contested election for the Village of Sea Cliff Board of Trustees draws near, residents have to weigh in on the three candidates vying for the two open positions. Tom Powell and Peter Hayes of the Civic Progress Party are seeking re-election, while Anthony Losquadro of the newly formed Property Owner’s Party is running for the first time. The village held a “Meet the Candidates” forum last week to give the candidates an opportunity to give their statements about their reasons for running for office as well as to give the public a chance to ask questions.

Candidate Tom Powell gave his opening statement first, highlighting the financial woes currently facing the village, and stating that the board has been “extremely cautious regarding fiscal matters” during his tenure and that, if he is re-elected, he feels they will continue to be responsible with the tax dollars of the village.

“Let me make it clear that we are making every effort and expect to stay below the 2 percent tax cap. However, I still must ask the question, should we be considered a responsible village government if we were to allow this law to tie our hands and possibly deny important services to the residents of Sea Cliff over an issue involving $40 per household? Our opponent’s supporters have stated that we should not go against the will of the governor of New York State. Let me point out that when one is sworn in to any office in the village one must promise to support the Constitutions of the United States and of New York State. This does not mean we must support the governor or the legislature in all of their policies.” He continued, “Personally, I find it difficult to admire a law as blatantly hypocritical as the Tax Cap Law. The state, in my opinion, has overstepped its authority in passing this law. Especially when, for decades, the Sea Cliff government has proven itself to be fiscally responsible beyond reproach. We have set an example that the state should attempt to follow.”

Powell noted that the issue of the tax levy cap has become a “red herring” that distracts the community from the main issue, which is “whether or not we and previous administrations have been responsible with your tax dollars. My answer to that is an emphatic yes and we will continue to do so with or without gimmicky legislation.”

Anthony Losquadro said that he has noticed a lot of changes in Sea Cliff in the 20 years he has been a resident; he said that in the past decade, taxes have gone up at a rate higher than anywhere else in Nassau County; the village has become more bureaucratic with the hiring of a building superintendent to enforce the village code, and attacked the Civic Progress Party by saying they make it more costly and time-consuming for residents to make changes to their own properties. Losquadro directed some of his opening statements at his opponent Peter Hayes.

Hayes began by saying, “I thought this was to meet the candidates…I didn’t realize I was such a bad guy…those of us who have been elected have been active in the community throughout our lives – you know us, we’ve been around and have earned your respect. The village runs on volunteers who have a desire to give back to the village. I will stand up for my record because I have nothing to hide.”

The public had an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates. While each of the candidates was given a chance to respond to every question posed, some of the questions were clearly directed at certain candidates. Some of the topics raised included the volunteerism of the candidates, the lawsuit that Losquadro brought against the village, which has not yet been resolved, and the number of meetings missed by Hayes.

Sea Cliff resident Joe Krupinski stated that the record shows Hayes missed 11 meetings during the previous year; Hayes explained that he had been out of work and took a new job that required him to travel a lot during 2011. He also noted that he had “probably missed 15 meetings in total” during the entire time he has served as a trustee. He said that he was actively involved via emails and phone calls.

Two people in the audience asked about the candidates’ volunteerism in the community. Powell noted that he was on the zoning board for a number of years, as well as having served on the beach committee, environmental committee and as a coach for his children’s sports teams. Hayes also said he had coached softball and basketball for his daughter, and worked on contracts with the DPW during the year he was not on the board. Losquadro noted he has not been a volunteer on any committee but that if he and his wife do have children he expects them to be involved in coaching them in any sports programs.

One person asked where the single biggest cut would need to be made. Losquadro replied he would seek to make cuts with code enforcement patrols and work to make the village codes less bureaucratic and less costly. Hayes noted that salaries and insurance were the biggest budget expenditures and was in agreement with Powell who said there is no single target but an across the board progress. “Everything has to be scrutinized,” he said.

Resident James Devries asked, “What are going to do to remedy the problem of how certain residents can skate, while others are persecuted, when it comes to code enforcement?”

Hayes said that he had never heard of an uneven application and enforcement problem but that if it were brought to his attention, he would enforce it. Powell noted that there are cases where people feel singled out and they write letters to the board, and some cases are discussed with a hearing. “We do respond to complaints.”

Mayor Bruce Kennedy asked the candidates how they anticipate working with him. The two current trustees stated that so far they have worked well together and do not anticipate any clashes. Losquadro responded, “I would look forward to working with you to make the village a better place.”

News

Local residents were out in full force at Thursday night’s zoning board meeting at Glen Cove City Hall in opposition of a new 7-11 convenience store that is set to be built at the corner of 4th Street and Cedar Swamp Road. According to Stuart Grossman, chairman of the Zoning Board, the meeting was officially supposed to be focused on sign variances for the new store, but residents wanted to make sure their voices were heard.

New York State Assemblyman and Frost Pond Road resident Michael Montesano said that he hopes the board will deny the application for the new 7-11 because of the traffic impact and light pollution the new store will create.

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, many in costume, a new addition to the popular event. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date, Daphne, a 3-month-old long-haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”


Sports

The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) is holding its 34th Annual R. Brinkley Smithers Golf Invitational, a charity tournament, on Monday, Sept. 22, at The Creek and Piping Rock Clubs in Locust Valley.

This year, LICADD will have Kristin Thorne, Emmy Award Winning WABC-TV news reporter and personality joining them as Emcee and Auctioneer. The live auction boasts playing opportunities at some of the country’s top golf courses, along with dozens of silent auction and raffle prizes to please the most discriminating of tastes.

All athletes interested in putting their bodies to the ultimate test can hop on over to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay, which will once again be the site of Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24. 

 

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Zumba-Thon Fundraiser

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Live Music

Wednesday, Aug. 27

School Supply Program

Saturday, Aug. 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com