Written by Margaret Whitely Friday, 23 October 2009 00:00
Republican Angelo Ferrara is seeking re-election to the Town of North Hempstead 3rd Councilmatic District. Democrat Matthew George is challenging him. The 3rd District encompasses Garden City Park, Mineola, Williston Park, Garden City, and parts of New Hyde Park. Both candidates were asked to submit biographical information and to submit responses to questions.
Angelo Ferrara is currently serving his third term as councilman on the North Hempstead Town Board. He has been a resident of the Town of North Hempstead for nearly 40 years.
Councilman Ferrara said he is committed to improving the quality of life for the residents of the Town of North Hempstead through ensuring fiscal responsibility, enforcement of the town code, and protecting and preserving the environment.
Ferrara was born in Brooklyn on July 20, 1944. His family moved to Queens where he was raised and educated. After high school, he continued his education in electronics and graduated from RCA Institute of Technology.
His professional career began with the telephone company. After two years, he pursued a better opportunity with the Xerox Corporation, where he remained for the next 20 years beginning as a technician and quickly moved into the management ranks as district manager of technical service. After leaving Xerox, he joined OCE as a region service manager. One year later he was promoted to district sales manager, and two years later he was elevated to the position of director of sales for the New York/Long Island Region. Ferrara left OCE after 10 years to become Vice President/General Manager of the Northeast Region for Monroe Systems for Business. He is currently the owner of Graphic Impressions Printing Services.
Together with his wife Pat, New Hyde Park became home where they raised their five children and now have five grandchildren. Ferrara became very active in the community. He managed Little League baseball in the Merillon Athletic Association for more than 17 years and is a founding past-president of the Greater Herricks Civic Association.
When asked what he considers the three most important problems facing the town Ferrara answered, “Taxes, quality of life and services.”
To solve these problems he said, “The taxes that we pay are outrageous. Working families are being taxed out of their homes. In this economy, with a significantly higher rate of unemployment and foreclosures, we need to look at how to better help our residents. We need to freeze taxes and fees, which are hidden taxes, and we need to look at patronage jobs and eliminate unnecessary staff. Further, I would like us to work with the other towns to put the pressure on the county to do the same. I would also like to see contracts with the county so that we could coordinate services, such as road work, sidewalk and snow removal at a lower cost.”
He said he feels the need to continue the work on the infrastructure of the town’s parks, roads and sidewalks and to strictly enforce new laws enabling the town to take action against property owners who do not maintain their property.
He commented he wanted to work with the rest of the board to eliminate non-essential positions and to increase code enforcement personnel to investigate and correct the housing and noise laws.
Ferrara continued, “I want to work closely with the town board and the villages to ensure we have an equitable flow control plan that protects the villages financially and that fairly shares the previous Solid Waste Management Association debt and protects our environment. Plus, I want to work with developers looking for ways to create affordable senior housing for our residents.”
He said, “I am proud of the fact that I have always been responsive to the wishes of the community including the parking issues around Merillon Avenue. I listened to the concerns of residents regarding signage and then went block by block asking them what kind of signage they wanted for their blocks. The project took two years but allowed them to have the final voice about their community. Further, I stopped a pumping station from being built in Park Circle, which is property deeded to the town for park space only.”
Ferrara added, “I am a voice of reason, always looking for solutions to problems that affect the residents and their everyday lives. As the only Republican on the town board I think it is necessary to re-elect me to the office of town council for the Town of North Hempstead.”
Angelo serves on the board of the Sass Foundation for Cancer Research, the Dante Foundation of Nassau County, Inc., and is a former board member of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of Long Island. He is a member of the Order of the Sons of Italy in America—Cellini Lodge, the Mineola Lions Club, the County Seat Kiwanis Club and was the executive director for the Heart Council of Long Island.
Mathew George (Palakunnathu), a resident of Mineola, holds a graduate degree in chemistry, a Master of science education degree from New York University and a Master of education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. George stated that he began his career as a teacher and is currently working as an assistant principal in a high school.
George has had varied experiences as a research scholar at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and as a teacher research associate at Brookhaven National Laboratory. As an educator, George states he has made substantial contributions to science education through professional development for teachers and equipping teachers with varied instructional strategies.
He states that as a community leader, he has been working with youth and young adults for more than 30 years and has helped hundreds of troubled youths to graduate from high school. He says, “Most of the time, troubled kids come from troubled families. They were provided with additional support to help them continue at school, graduate and stay out of trouble to become good citizens.”
George started the “College Now” program of CUNY in two high schools so that students can earn college credits at high school. The program has helped high school students make a smooth transition from high school to college.
He also promoted a program called “Trout in the Classroom,” where students raised trout from eggs to fingerlings and released them in streams in the Catskill area. George said the program educates school kids about the New York City water supply systems and the importance of conservation. George has been involved with environmental groups such as Eco-Justice to educate the public about the importance of saving the environment.
George and his wife are actively involved with their church activities and Sunday School. He was the coordinator of the North East Regional Sunday Schools for nine years and was the Diocesan Assembly member of his church. He states that during his tenure he helped to introduce many changes in the Sunday School organization which are being followed today in the Diocese of North America and Europe.
George and his wife Rachel have been married for 33 years and have raised three daughters and one grandson.
As a councilman, George wants to focus on the following: Maintain strong finances for the town; pursue a cleaner environment; initiate and develop new training programs to prepare the young adults for next generation jobs; enhance accountability and transparency in government.
As a school leader and community leader, George hopes to bring innovative ideas to accomplish the above goals. He states that with his leadership qualities and good rapport with people, he will make a difference in the community.
(Editor’s Note: George did not respond to questions that were sent.)