Friday, 30 October 2009 00:00
Incumbent Richard Nicolello, of New Hyde Park (R, I, C) and Dolores Sedacca, (D, WF) of East Williston are running for the 9th Nassau County Legislative District seat, which encompasses Bellerose, Bellerose Terrace, Carle Place, Floral Park, Floral Park Centre, Garden City Park, Mineola, New Hyde Park, Westbury and the Willistons. The candidates were asked to make statements on: what they feel is the major issue facing the district, the home energy tax, the Lighthouse project and consolidation.
Rich Nicolello has represented the 9th L.D. since the inception of the Nassau County Legislature. He is currently the Ranking Member of the Planning Committee and the Labor Committee. Legislator Nicolello is also a member of the following committees: Finance, Judiciary, Economic Development and Towns & Villages Committee, and has sponsored or co-sponsored numerous locals laws.
Rich Nicolello has been a practicing attorney since 1986. He is associated with the law firm of Congdon, Flaherty, O’Callaghan, Reid, Donlon, Travis & Fishlinger, where he heads up the firm’s insurance coverage group. He served as Counsel to the Board of Education of the New Hyde Park - Garden City Park U.F.S.D. from 1987 -2009.
Nicolello is a graduate of New Hyde Park Memorial High School, St. John’s University, and Fordham Law School.
Legislator Nicolello’s community involvement includes: New Hyde Park Kiwanis Club (past president), Mineola Lions Club, Cellini Lodge, Knights of Columbus, Elks Club, Chamber of Commerce, Irish-Americans in Government (associate director), Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, Notre Dame Parish, Wildcats Soccer Club (former coach), Parks Civic Association, Shelter Rock District, Theodore Roosevelt Council, Boy Scouts of America (member-at-large), Jewish Advisory Network for Security on Long Island (honorary policy committee member), CARE (Committee Against Rail Expansion).
Rich Nicolello is a lifelong resident of New Hyde Park. He and his wife Susan have two children, Kathleen and Patrick.
“By far, the biggest problem we face is the high property taxes we pay in Nassau County. The high property taxes combined with the regressive home energy and electricity tax, and broken assessment system are creating tremendous hardship for many on Long Island - most especially our seniors and working-class families. The Democrats have controlled the County Legislature for 10 years. They have raised real property taxes 43 percent. They have increased fees for every county service and created new ones. They have proposed taxes on cigarettes and on fast food. The Democrat four-year plan for the county includes 4percent tax increases for 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. We must change the cycle of tax increase after tax increase. In these difficult economic times, Nassau must cut costs and “tighten its belt” just as average families are doing. We must clean up the fiscal mess in Nassau government and fix the assessment system once and for all.”
“The Democrats passed the home energy and electricity tax in a 10-9 vote at the legislature. I voted against it and am working to repeal it. This is a 2.5 percent tax on every form of energy you use from electricity to fuel oil to natural gas to propane. They are even taxing firewood. The tax is particularly harmful in these difficult economic times. It must be paid by everyone, regardless of income. Unlike real property taxes, there are no exemptions for seniors or those with limited income. Also unlike real property taxes, the home energy and electricity tax may not be deducted from your income tax.”
I support renovation of the Nassau Coliseum and a mixed-use development on the property. However, I believe that the proposed development is overly intense and must be scaled back. The project as currently proposed includes 25 towers with 2,300 housing units, 1 million square feet of office space, 500,000 square feet of retail, a sports technology center and a luxury hotel. A development of this intensity will result in a tremendous increase in traffic, among other environmental consequences. This will negatively impact surrounding communities, including Carle Place, Westbury and Mineola. A scaled back project will minimize traffic problems while creating sorely needed jobs.
“There are many instances where taxpayers’ monies can be saved by sharing services, cooperative purchasing and consolidating county and town services. Unfortunately, rather than dealing with the real problem, Tom Suozzi and the County Democrats are attacking our most effective and efficient small governments – our villages, fire districts, water districts. Villages provide the best level of services such as dealing with issues like illegal housing. Our local volunteer fire districts provide among the best first responders anywhere. Special Districts, such as the Carle Place Water District, provide an incredible product at a reasonable price. A county that can’t manage its own budget and cannot solve the assessment mess is in no position to deliver these services.”
Dolores Sedacca was the first woman mayor of the Village of East Williston. After leaving office she then became the Commissioner of Assessment Review and Ombudsman for Nassau County Department of Assessment. She was then appointed as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Town of North Hempstead and executive director/treasurer of Nassau County Village Officials Association and as the board officer of North Hempstead Civic Coalition. Sedacca was also the president of East Williston Civic Association and president of the Nassau Women’s Democratic Caucus.
Sedacca said that as East Williston Village mayor, services were expanded, debt was retired and capital improvements and purchases were made without ever raising taxes. As Nassau County ombudsman Sedacca acted as a public advocate, problem solver and liaison between government and residents.
She has been a real estate broker and business owner for over 20 years. Additionally. She helped to start up and run her husband’s dental laboratory business which has been in existence since 1976. She has been a co-founder of a youth soccer club which is still thriving.
Sedacca states she has a degree in political science, magna cum laude from Nassau Community College; she was a student at SUNY Old Westbury and received certification from the Office of the State Comptroller in Effective Budgeting and Overview of Municipal Accounting.
She graduated from New Hyde Park Memorial High School and is currently living in East Williston. She has raised two sons (now in their 30s) and put both through college and graduate school.
Sedacca is a member of Who’s Who of American Women Business Owners; Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation, Outstanding Service Recognition; Town of North Hempstead Women’s Roll of Honor; Charter Member, World War II Memorial; President, Historical Society of Town of North Hempstead; Italian-Americans in Government Service; volunteer for Island Harvest and Charter Member of the National Women’s History Museum.
Sedacca said, “I have a proven record of positive public service and have been an effective advocate and reformer in every position that I have held. The issues most important to my campaign are property/school tax relief, sustainable affordable housing, and environmentally sound economic development that will promote businesses and create jobs in order to stop driving our workforce off Long Island.”
“The most important issue in this campaign is high property taxes; most specifically, the soaring school tax burden.
“We all know that Albany is responsible and controls the amount of state-aid funding that is sent down to our individual school districts. We must do all that we can at the county level by sending a home-rule message to our state legislators demanding that they do more for us locally.
“Our young adults cannot afford to live and prosper here, and our senior citizens have worked too hard for too long to have to choose between paying taxes or paying for medicine. We need tax relief and we need it now.
“We can achieve real tax relief with our county and town tax bills by exploring fully and completely the consolidation of certain special taxing districts, such as sewer and sanitation. I am strongly in favor of the elimination or consolidation of any special district as long as it can be proven to truly be a savings for property owners and as long as the quality of these services are not reduced or weakened in any way.”
“My stand on the Energy Tax is that if elected, I would vote to repeal it. And if I were a sitting legislator, I would not have voted for it in the first place. I would have looked harder and closer line-by-line on the budget to find some other way(s) to close the budget gap.”
“I strongly oppose the consolidation of fire districts and villages. The men and women who serve us in the firehouses throughout this county are to be commended and thanked every day. They have earned the right to control their ranks and to determine the best and safest way to operate their houses. No one should interfere with them and with their selfless dedication to the protection of all of us.
“After having served as a village mayor, I know first hand just how efficient and effective village government can be. It is truly the government that is closest to the people and the understanding of day-to-day, quality-of-life issues can be addressed best by village boards.”
“The Lighthouse Project is long overdue. We need the jobs, the housing and the tax revenue that this will produce. Perhaps, more importantly, we need the vibrancy and rejuvenation that this project will bring to the entire county. The Lighthouse can be the crown jewel of County Executive Tom Suozzi’s vision of New Suburbia and Cool Downtowns. But before a shovel hits the ground, the traffic issues have to be worked out sensibly with an environmentally sound and practical plan. “