Unless you are a political pundit or sell advertising space in the media, you will probably be relieved when Nov. 7 is history and that big kahuna of polls that really counts is taken. For many of us, we will clench our jaws and cast our votes with a grim feeling of duty done, rather than with fervent enthusiasm. Except for Proposition 3 and a few select local races. Voting ''Yes'' on the Town of North Hempstead's proposal to establish an Environmental Legacy Fund (ELF) for acquiring and preserving properties throughout the town is a sound, forward thinking choice for many reasons.
Who does not love an investment in the future that is also a bargain? If each of us contributes $9 a year for the next few years, we can collectively match ELF monies with state and federal funds for acquisition and restoration projects. Unfortunately, it is easy to blow $9 on a couple of cups of upscale coffee that only leaves one with the jitters.
Who does not enjoy putting one's ''two cents'' in? The opportunities for citizen say-so are an integral part of the fabric of the enabling legislation. There will be an advisory panel with several slots for community-at-large positions that will make recommendations to the town board on specific properties for acquisition. But the best part is that anyone can nominate a parcel for consideration. On the town website (http://www.northhempstead.com) under the ELF section, there is a sample form that would be used for citizen site nominations as well as a complete explanation of the law. In addition, when recommendations come before the town board for approval, public hearings will give interested parties another opportunity to be heard.
Who does not like to see everybody get a fair share of benefits? The dedicated fund of $15 million would break down into $8 million for ''open space restoration,'' $4 million for ''restoration and protection of environmentally sensitive areas'' and $3 million for ''improvement and enhancement of coastal areas and waterways.'' So, communities that are interior would be eligible for parcel protection as well as coastal communities. And purchases that protect the aquifer or estuaries do enhance the quality of life for all of us.
Who is not sick of watching bulldozers plow up more and more undeveloped space? Probably all of us have a pet parcel that we would like to see protected. Mitchell Creek comes to mind. For years, people who had never thought of themselves as environmentalists fought the good fight, but were finally thwarted at the final showdown because there were no local matching funds to purchase the marshland. Maybe ELF would have made all the difference.
Who does not want to cast an unambivalent vote ''for'' something? Yes, with the sorry state of Nassau County finances, it would be tempting to lash out against any tax increase, no matter how small, but it would be a shortsighted, spiteful vote and misdirected too. The town has spent much time crafting the legislation, reaching out to inform the voters of its elements, listening to the public at the meetings and hearings and fine honing the language. It will be a pleasure to vote ''Yes.'' We urge you to feel a glow of good feeling as you exit the voting booth next Tuesday by saying ''Yes'' to ELF.
- Carol Frank