Councilman Wayne H. Wink, Jr., North Hempstead's liaison to the Port Washington community recently spoke with Port News concerning a number of current issues. Wink's discussion covered the restructuring of councilmanic districts, building projects affecting Port and term limits.
The issue of how localities in North Hempstead will be represented in the town has been the source of much discussion and debate. A series of neighborhood meetings held in North Hempstead was recently concluded in Port Washington. The findings and comments were summarized and reported to the town for evaluation. The town has retained outside counsel to assist in formulating a future presentation to the voters of North Hempstead. Wink and other council members will study their recommendations and review the public commentary. He strongly voiced his position that, whatever the counsel's recommendations, the final decision on how the voters of North Hempstead will be represented will be made by the voters of North Hempstead.
The multiplicity of building projects in the Port peninsula has caused concern that individual villages will approve or disapprove projects based solely on a local concern without due consideration for communities sharing similar resources. Often, this lack of focus on the big picture in Port has been labeled as a fault of the "Balkanization" of the Port peninsula, i.e., a geographical area divided into a number of localized jurisdictions with diverse and often divisive concerns. Wink strongly favors a regional approach such as the technique used by the Long Island Power Authority in its policy on power distribution. Wink applauds the informal civic bodies which discuss regional concerns and review the impact localized building projects may have on all Port residents.
Wink opposes term limits for a number of compelling reasons. He advanced a reasoned approach that term limits restricts the candidates available to the voters. Whether an incumbent does a good or bad job, the choice of retention/removal is taken from the voter and talented representatives can be removed with the untalented. Wink points to the problems of New York City where term limits for the city council are in effect. The removal of experienced representatives coupled with mandated seniority requirements left the council with the vast majority of members ineligible for certain key leadership positions.
Councilman Wink is a lifelong Long Islander who grew up in Nassau County and was educated in its schools. He received a bachelor of arts in political science from Hofstra University and a Doctor of Laws from St. John's University. He has worked and resided in Port Washington North for the past 12 years. Prior to his election, Wink spent 10 years as an aide to town and county governments. He was elected to a four year term in November 2001 and appointed by the town supervisor to serve as the liaison to communities extending from Carle Place to Sands Point, including all of the Port peninsular. In November, Wink will take a short leave from his work on the council and marry Ms. Stacey Vegoda, a computer analyst with The North Shore University Health Systems. The newlyweds will honeymoon in Aruba.