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Inviting Residents To Have A ‘Seat At the Table’

Greetings to the residents of the Town of North Hempstead. I am so pleased to be able to write to you for the first time as your Town Supervisor. On Jan. 1, I was proud to be sworn in as the 37th Supervisor in the history of our great Town. What a significant moment it was to be given my official oath of office that day by former Supervisor Jon Kaiman right in front of May Newburger Cove in Port Washington. Just four days later, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli administered my public oath of office in front of so many close friends and family at Clinton G. Martin Park. For me, that was such a poignant moment which those of you who are familiar with the history of the town could certainly understand.

 

My administration takes office ready and eager to build on the strong foundation laid by my predecessors. But make no mistake, there is more that we can and will do. I don’t know if I would say that we are “taking the town by storm,” but it certainly seems that way as we have been hit by several substantial snow and ice storms within the first few weeks. I have been struck by the remarkable collaborative effort of our town personnel to address these storms from all angles and ensure the safety of our residents.

 

I believe it will take team efforts such as this in order to accomplish the goals I have set forth for this town, many of which I outlined in my first State of the Town address on Jan. 31. 

 

One of my main priorities is a renewed emphasis on customer service throughout town government, with an initial emphasis on the Building Department. Our residents’ experience at the building department should not be a tiresome or frustrating one. In order to address that, I have already filled the position of applicant advocate to assist in navigating the permit process and cutting through red tape. I am also proud to announce the creation of community-based evening office hours, which will begin later this month.

 

Our financial standing is as strong as ever with an Aa1 bond rating status with Moody’s Investor Services, which is the highest in Town history. I will be working with the town board and our highly professional finance team to introduce multi-year capital and debt management plans to help ensure the stability of town finances moving forward.

 

Environmental preservation is always a central focus of mine. The town is renowned for its innovative environmental programs such as the 40,000-student School Recycling Partnership Program. In addition to building on the town’s great “green” programming, I am encouraging an expansion of our focus to also include aquifer protection and water conservation, including educating our children on the importance of this initiative. This is an issue I took the lead on as County Legislator when I held bi-county hearings on aquifer protection and the quality of our drinking water.

 

To facilitate community dialogue, I have moved public comment on town board meetings to the first 30 minutes of the meeting. Beginning Feb. 25, we are instituting Town Board Live, a new initiative in which town board meetings will be streamed live on the town’s website, allowing residents to view meetings from the comfort of their home or even on their mobile devices. Coupled with our brand-new free “My North Hempstead” app, now available in the iTunes store, this town is embracing 21st century technology.

 

I am thrilled to be a part of this vibrant community, and I am honored to serve as your Town Supervisor.  Please look for periodic updates in this space.