Written by Jaime L. Tomeo Friday, 23 October 2009 00:00
Current Hempstead Town Councilmember Gary Hudes is being challenged for his 6th Councilmatic District seat by Matt Hynes. The 6th Councilmatic District of the Town of Hempstead includes East Meadow, Levittown, Plainedge, Salisbury and portions of Bethpage, North Bellmore, North Merrick, Seaford and Wantagh. Their stories appear below in alphabetical order. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Levittown resident Gary Hudes has served on the Hempstead Town Board as a councilmember since 1999, and is seeking re-election to a third term. He is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence Party lines.
Long committed to community improvement, Hudes served as the Revitalization Coordinator for the Levittown-Island Trees Turnpike Revitalization Project, a $12 million construction and beautification program of Hempstead Turnpike, involving the joint efforts of NY State, Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead before his service as town councilman.
“I expect to continue to deliver the best in town services at the smallest possible impact on our residents,” he said. “Again this year, there is no tax increase in town taxes; and at a time when many residents are tightening their belts, we have also done the same by reducing our budget by 3 percent. Town taxes only amount to less than 10 percent of the property taxes but we provide 90 percent of the day- to -day services including sanitation, parks, recycling, street lighting, snow plowing, senior programs etc.”
As councilman, Hudes initiated the S.L.O.W (Speed Limit Odometer Warning) Program which helps to reduce the amount of cars speeding down our local streets. He also initiated Operation Wheelchair which is a program that collects and distributes gently used wheelchairs to needy seniors and disabled individuals. Also, he introduced the Town of Hempstead Community Presentation Program entitled The Town of Hempstead and You, which informs community groups about the many services available to the residents of the community from the Town of Hempstead. He has also authored legislation that makes housing affordable for siblings who choose to purchase a home together thus giving family members the ability to stay here on Long Island. In addition, he has authored anti- graffiti legislation that severely penalizes those vandals responsible for this anti-social behavior.
Owner and president of Gennaro Jewelers, Inc. in Bellmore, Hudes said he has devoted a great deal of his time to “help small businesses grow and prosper.” He was past president of the Nassau Council of Chamber of Commerce and was selected as the New York State Small Business Advocate of the Year by then-Governor George Pataki.
Hudes has also received countless awards from various organizations, including most recently being selected as an honoree by the New York State Trooper PBA Signal 30 Benefit Fund.
As for issues involving the Town of Hempstead, Hudes discussed the Lighthouse Project.
“I want to see substantial improvements made at the Nassau Veterans Coliseum property,” he said. “The Lighthouse Project means construction jobs, retention of the Islanders hockey team, permanent jobs, the generation of tax dollars and tourism dollars. But I am concerned as to the density and large scope of this project as it is proposed today. I am concerned about the impact on the surrounding communities like Levittown, East Meadow and Salisbury which I proudly represent. There were many important unanswered questions at our public hearing. I would like to get those answers and then see this project built to an acceptable size that will not be a burden to our residents today or our children for generations to come.”
Born in the Bronx, Councilman Hudes is a cum laude graduate of Montclair State University in New Jersey. He and his wife, Sheree, have three children, all graduates of Division Avenue High School.
Levittowner Matt Hynes said he is seeking election to the Hempstead Town Board to campaign for sustainable growth, affordability, and a higher quality of life. He is running on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines.
According to Hynes, the issues most important to him are the environment, community and quality of life and good government.
As for the environment, his ideas include, “working with existing environmental organizations to create environmental education programs, building and fostering relationships with other municipalities (locally and nationally), school districts and community groups to improve recycling programs, banning the use of lawn pesticide and fertilizers on town owned and operated properties, and switching to safe, nontoxic alternatives, improving the Stop Throwing Out Pollutants (STOP) program to include additional pickup days and more site locations, developing an education and outreach program to help town residents properly dispose of pharmaceutical prescription drugs, working with energy groups to promote wind power and other alternative power sources to the Town of Hempstead.”
To improve the community and quality of life, Hynes proposes “working with community groups to facilitate outreach programs to get more people involved in community organizations and finding ways to rezone abandoned or empty retail properties, such as the K-Mart building on the corner of Gardeners Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown.”
As for practicing good government, Hynes suggests “creating programs and strategy systems that will allow the town to be a proactive leader, utilizing technology that is currently available to town officials in order to better communicate with the community, banning glossy and individual mailings, and utilize local newspapers to spread information about town events and banning individual elected officials’ names from being put on town signs, work vehicles and mailers.”
Regarding the Lighthouse Project, Hynes says he supports the initiative because “it will be an economic engine that will provide and protect Long Island culture, be a positive reflection to business people traveling to the area, keep the Islanders on Long Island and provide homes for people.”
Hynes said his past work and life experience has given him “extensive insight” into how government works.
He interned a legislative session in Albany at the New York State Senate and worked as a legislative aide and at a legislative monitoring firm where he focused on consumer and tax issues such as “higher education, consumer protections, mass transit, environmental, and government reform.”
“It is my belief that we, as Long Islanders, need leaders throughout government that will stand up for our communities, and fight with the people, not against them,”Hynes said.
Currently, Hynes works at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
“One of the reasons I joined CSHL was to work for an organization that’s sole purpose is to research and discover cures for human illnesses, such as cancer, neurological diseases and other major causes of human suffering, CSHL is committed to being a leader in the field of science, and as a representative in the TOH, I want to bring the same commitment of serving our fellow citizen to the leadership of our town,”he said.
Hynes volunteered with the Wantagh Levittown Volunteer Ambulance Corps and Levittown Fire Department. He attended Island Trees Schools and participated in local sports programs. He graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a bachelors of science degree in political science.