Written by Wendy Karpel Kreitzman Friday, 30 October 2009 00:00
Incumbent Judi Bosworth, a Democrat, and Republican candidate Garry Stark are running for election as legislator for the 10th District in the Nassau County Legislature. Anton Newspapers made several attempts to contact Dr. Stark. With the assistance of the Nassau County Republican Committee, a phone number and an email address were obtained, but, as of press time, Dr. Stark had not responded.
Judi Bosworth, completing her first term as Nassau County 10th District legislator, is running for re-election. Ms. Bosworth, the Democrat’s choice, currently serves in the legislature as chair of the Education Committee and the Towns, Villages and Cities Committee, vice chair of the Minority Affairs Committee, and a member of the Veterans, Government Services, Economic & Community Development and Finance committees.
Ms. Bosworth was a trustee of the Great Neck Public Schools Board of Education from 1991 to 2007, elected five times. During her tenure she served as president and vice president of the school board.
Professionally, prior to election to the county legislature, Ms. Bosworth worked as special projects coordinator at the district office for the former New York State Assemblyman Thomas P. DiNapoli.
Asked what she would consider the most pressing issue before the Nassau County Legislature, Ms. Bosworth told the Great Neck Record: “There is no question that property taxes remain our number one challenge. County Executive Suozzi and the Democratic majority in the County Legislature continue to work on this problem and have taken significant steps to address it.”
Ms. Bosworth went on to say that “County taxes have been frozen in six out of the last seven county budgets … in January 2002, the county portion of the typical property tax bill was 22.7 percent … today it is down to 16.4 percent.”
Continuing, Ms. Bosworth noted that the county workforce “has been reduced to its smallest size in 30 years.” She added, though, that “we still need to find ways to provide tax relief … we need to find ways to expand our tax base, through developments such as the Lighthouse Project … we need to continue to demand relief from Albany for unfunded mandates, positively impacting on government costs as well as our school portion of the property tax.”
Turning to the county budget, Ms. Bosworth explained that, at the time of the interview, the legislature was beginning hearings on the county executive’s proposed $2.6 billion budget, which, she said “is half a percent greater than last year’s budget.” She said the additional costs are either mandated by the state or are labor obligations and that there is no proposed increase in the tax levy.
Ms. Bosworth further explained that in order not to have a tax levy increase, “the county workforce has been reduced to the lowest level in 30 years, through early retirement and other incentives.” She said that they are “counting on certain state initiatives, such as red light cameras which are currently being installed in the county, a cigarette tax, as well as a surcharge on traffic tickets.” Ms. Bosworth said “The challenge is to continue to provide the services to our residents, our youth and to our seniors, while seeking further solutions to the property tax burden.”
Turning to the consolidation/dissolution issue, Ms. Bosworth stated that she “strongly believes in encouraging local government efficiencies and economies of scale without eroding local control.” Her plan would be to bring “stakeholders” together “to come up with more efficient, cheaper, cost efficient ways of providing services.” She emphasized that, through a consensus, “We need to keep the debate focused on shared services, cooperative services and the savings we can achieve by doing that.”
Judi Bosworth believes that “Before considering consolidation of any kind, it must be shown that services would not be compromised and that there would actually be significant cost savings.”
Judi Bosworth and her husband Jay are 30-year Great Neck residents. She is on the boards of many local organizations, including Great Neck-Manhasset Community Child Care Partnership, Great Neck Arts Center, Great Neck Community Fund, Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition, Great Neck Senior Center, Open Door Parent-Child Caring Center, and FOCUS.