Written by Wendy Kreitzman Friday, 20 December 2013 00:00
Ellen Birnbaum plans to “hit the ground running” next month when she is sworn in as the Nassau County legislator for the 10th legislative district, which represents North New Hyde Park. With a long history of working for the Democratic party, local government and many years working for the Town of North Hempstead, she is now busy getting her office set up and already planning her agenda.
First off, Birnbaum is determined to take a “good look” at the Nassau County Police Department and try to discover if the consolidation of the Sixth Precinct into the Third Precinct has negatively impacted her local constituents. She is concerned about daily reports, believes there is “a lot” of overtime hours, has questions regarding increased salaries and is quite concerned about the lack of police reporting daily incidents to local officials.
Birnbaum said that it is most important that mayors and other such officials are kept up-to-date about what is happening in their own villages and towns so that they can inform their residents. “Government should be transparent … there should be accountability,” she said.
Birnbaum plans to not only research this issue, but meet with police. And then she will analyze police work and study statistics.
“I plan to be very diligent about this,” she stated.
When it comes to working in the Republican-majority legislature, Birnbaum plans to forge relationships “on both sides of the aisle. She emphasized the importance of working together with both sides to enact change.
Birnbaum noted that she will continue projects that outgoing district legislator and North Hempstead Town Supervisor-elect Judi Bosworth began. She also said that she would like to know why Nassau County seems unable to bring these long-needed safety projects to fruition in a more timely manner.
As far as the much-discussed county budget, Birnbaum is firm that she will certainly be examining that budget. “I’ll hold the reins on bonding,” she said, firmly.
With her 17 years in town government and the last two-and-a-half years as the town’s director of inter-municipal coordination, Birnbaum feels she is ready to step forward as county legislator.
“I’m up to the challenge,” said Birnbaum.