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HCC Holds Meet The Candidates Night

Assembly, senate and judicial incumbents, hopefuls address questions at forum

(Editor’s note – More information regarding the candidates mentioned in this article will appear in the upcoming Anton Community Newspapers’ Voter’s Guide, which will be published Oct. 25.) 

The Hicksville Community Council held a meet the candidates forum on Thursday evening, Oct. 4 at the Hicksville Community Center on West Carl Street that provided residents an opportunity to see who could be representing them in several different political positions come November. 

Community Council member Joel Berse – who asked the audience to observe a moment of silence for Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, who died of a heart attack on Wednesday, Oct. 3 – led the event as judicial candidates Colin O’Donnell, Joy Watson, William O’Brien, Doug LaRose and Anthony Paradiso, U.S. Congressional hopeful in the 2nd District Steve Labate (R) and New York State Assembly incumbent in the 15th District Michael Montesano (R) spoke on their backgrounds and plans if elected (or re-elected) to their respective positions. 

New York State 7th District Senator Jack Martins (R) and challenger Dan Ross (D) concluded the evening with a debate, answering residents’ questions in the form of three-minute answers. 

A father of two, Montesano, a Glen Head resident since 1979, was a police officer and detective for the NYPD for a decade and also served as an EMT supervisor and investigator for the NYC Emergency Medical Service, said his priorities while working as an assemblyman have been job creation and cutting wasteful spending and taxes. Montesano is running against Democratic challenger Mario Ferone, a student at Stony Brook University, who did not attend the forum. 

“I believe that during my [past] three years I consistently delivered to you those promises I made to you regarding the MTA tax, pension forfeiture legislation that became law to deal with public officials who commit wrongdoings, reduced income tax brackets, advanced school aid, Catholic school aid as well as library aid,” Montesano said, adding that he’s helped to eliminate dysfunction in Albany, including delivering on-time budgets, no tax increases and no borrowing, consolidated government departments, eliminating 30 defunct agencies and commissions and closing three prisons. 

“We closed a substantial deficit and we’re paying down debt. We did some initial mandate relief for schools and villages, but not enough. We intend to make that our priority this year going in for substantial mandate relief to help the schools and continue to bring down the school tax rate,” Montesano said, whose district office is on Levittown Parkway in Hicksville. 

Labate is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and a financial planner. He and his wife have one set of twins and live in Suffolk County. Labate will challenge incumbent Steve Israel (D). 

“I’m a dad and I’m a soldier. People are looking for leadership, not for people just to manage. We need more veterans in office; we understand that there’s something more important than the individual needs and the greater good is really what counts,” Labate said.  

Martins, the former mayor for the Village of Mineola and father of four, is running for his second term as New York State’s 7th Senate District representative, while challenger Dan Ross, a 10-year volunteer firefighter at Manhasset-Lakeview and owner of Grand Prix Subaru in Hicksville, seeks to obtain Martins’ seat. 

“We need to think of ways that we can, even in tough economic times, to prioritize our public safety, our environment and look at a way we can unite and bring back together our great community,” Ross explained, noting that he will provide a “voice for you up in Albany with no clouding from any kind of special interest and no favors to give out” if elected. 

Senator Martins thanked Ross for his 10 years of service in the Manhasset-Lakeview Fire Department and commented on what has driven him to serve as an elected official. 

“We talk about employing people and we talk about home ownership, those are the things frankly that motivate me. I know what it’s like to have to run a government. I know what it’s like to live here on Long Island. I know what it’s like to pay those high property taxes. I know what it’s like to find a job and employ people and have to make those things work,” Martins said. 

News

A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.

A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.

State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.

For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.  

“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.

However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”


Sports

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School

Hicksville native progressing through Mets system

The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



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