Written by Ron Scaglia Friday, 04 January 2013 00:00
After serving in the New York State Assembly for six years, the 17th Assembly District will shift drastically beginning next year. Whereas the district previously went from the western Nassau border to East Meadow, it now extends from East Meadow to the eastern border of Nassau, including a huge portion of Levittown. Tom McKevitt has represented the district since early in 2006 and will continue to do so with the new boundaries.
So what about his relationship with his new constituents?
“I am looking forward to a great relationship with them, trying to help our people,” McKevitt said. Some in Levittown may already know McKevitt, as serving the neighboring district, and others may have already met him while he has been out in the community. For those who haven’t, he hopes to meet everyone in his newly redefined district soon.
He says that he plans on visiting every elementary school within the district and that he wants the people he now represents to know that he has “an open door policy” and that those in his district should bring their issues and concerns to him.
“I really do look out for the interests of the constituents and I don’t bow to the interest groups,” McKevitt says. “I’m really looking out for the people I represent.”
The assemblyman comments that the communities that he will soon be representing are very similar to the communities he has represented for almost seven years, consisting of people who want a good education for their children who are trying to make life as affordable as possible. He says this has been getting more difficult during the past several years.
“The economy has been poor, so people just don’t have as much money,” he remarked. “Health care costs and pension costs have been a great stress on local governments so that creates the issue of taxes. That’s why the tax cap was enacted two years ago but that creates even greater stress on school districts and local governments to provide the basic services.”
Because of this, McKevitt says that one of his most important tasks is to fight in Albany to get as much state aid as possible for his district. He says that is going to become extremely important in the coming years, as the state doesn’t have enough revenue, so communities will be fighting over a decreasing amount of state aid. In addition, because of the costs in helping the state recover from Sandy, the amount of funds available figures to decrease as more state aid will be going to storm recovery as the Federal Government will not be providing enough money to cover all of the expenses. McKevitt was also hoping that state funds could go to job creation, but once again, the money needed for storm recovery may prohibit that.
“I’m going to fight hard as we always do to provide some needs for rebuilding but we can’t expect people to pay any more taxes,” McKevitt says.
The assemblyman has also been an outspoken critic of the Long Island Power Authority. He said that there is a lot of agreement among colleagues in state government that LIPA, as it exists today, is not a good situation, and that there is a strong possibility that a private utility will be running all of the electrical operations on Long Island. He adds that this needs to be done as soon as possible.
On a personal level, McKevitt and his wife, Samantha, who is a social studies teacher, have two young children. A devoted family man, McKevitt routinely makes a long daily commute back and forth to Albany so he doesn’t spend too much time from his family. McKevitt says that residents will soon learn that he is someone they can turn to for help.
“Whenever people call for help we never ask for their registration,” he commented. “We’re just there to help. That’s my job.”
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 00:00
It’s been a long time since Nicole Shaw and Chris McCabe first met—years, in fact—but after taking a chance on each other, the couple realized that they were meant to be with
McCabe recently proposing to Shaw at Old Westbury Gardens’ annual Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns after six years of dating.
McCabe, now an NYPD officer, and Shaw, who works for Mill Neck Services for Deaf Adults, met in middle school and developed their friendship through high school, said Shaw.
Friday, 21 November 2014 00:00
The smell of pine, wood and scented candles greet customers with a sense of home as they cross the wooden threshold to the Amish Craft Barn in Seaford. There they will find dolls, birdhouses, quilts, ceramic turkeys, hand-painted Christmas trees, oak furniture and other seasonal and holiday tchotchkes.
Massapequa natives Frank and Pam Hoerauf started The Amish Craft Barn & Gift Shoppe 20 years ago after an inspiring visit to Pennsylvania.
Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00
The Island Trees Cross Country teams continue their improvement in 2014. This year the girls’ team has a record of 8-2 and with their victories over Clarke and Wheatley High Schools, they clinched the Division Championship for the first time in Island Trees High School history.
The girls are led by senior Captain Angela Brocco who has been rewriting the girl’s record boards. Brocco set the school record for the Warwick Valley 5000 meter course on Sept. 20.
Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00
This season the Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team at Division Avenue has the rare ability to fill every position on the field with a member of the senior class. All 11 seniors have made contributions to the success of this year’s squad.