Two special district elections are contested this year: the Police District and the Garbage District. Running for the post of police commissioner is incumbent James Duncan and challenger Frank T. Scobbo, Jr. These candidates bios and platforms ran in last week's issue of the Port News. At that time, we assumed both candidates would debate at the League of Women Voter's Candidates' Night held on Nov. 18. However, Mr. Scobbo was unable to attend the debate. Reportedly, he had late notification of the debate (the Friday immediately preceding Nov. 18) and had two commitments, one related to the fire department and the other of a political nature, which he could not reschedule. Therefore, Mr. Duncan spoke of his accomplishments over the past six years. His comments are on page three in the article titled "Debate Coverage."
For the Garbage District, which is seeing its first contested election in 14 years, the two candidates are incumbent Garbage Commissioner Anthony Conetta and challenger Jeremy Devine, who unsuccessfully challenged Nassau County Legislator Craig Johnson in the November 2001 election.
Both candidates attended the LWV debate. The article on debate coverage reports their comments. We asked both candidates to submit bios and platform statements. Following is what they submitted.
The special district elections will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from noon to 9 p.m. at the Polish American Hall, 5 Pulaski Place, Port Washington.
Anthony Conetta who is currently a commissioner and treasurer of the Port Washington Garbage District is running for re-election in the Dec. 10 local elections in Port Washington. He is running on a four-part platform of:
1. Thirty years of professional experience as an engineer in the environmental and solid waste/recycling field;
2. a team player with an excellent working relationship with the other two commissioners of the district and the Town of North Hempstead which oversees the district;
3. an active member for a number of the Port Washington community, schools and youth groups; and
4. improving the quality of life in Port Washington by providing its residents with high quality and cost-effective garbage collection.
Mr. Conetta is a licensed professional engineer in New York, New Jersey and Wisconsin and a licensed wastewater treatment plant operator in New York with over 30 years experience in civil and environmental engineering. He received his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree and Master of Science (Environmental) Degree from the City College of New York.
Mr. Conetta works as a senior associate for Dvirka and Bartilucci Consulting Engineers of Woodbury where he directs the firm's environmental studies, planning and regulatory group. His experience includes preparation of solid waste management plans, developing recycling and yard waste composting programs, preparing storm water and water quality management plans, providing regulatory/permitting services to municipalities in the tri-state region and serving as an expert witness to a number of clients, including the New York State Office of the Attorney General. He was the chief investigator and author of the Manhasset Bay Water Quality Improvement Plan and recently completed the City of Long Beach's Waterfront Rediscovery Plan that includes a marina, urban environmental center and other waterfront/recreational facilities. He is currently preparing a number of storm water pollution prevention plans for municipalities on Long Island and Westchester and regularly reviews solid waste activities for a number of other municipalities.
Mr. Conetta is active in a number of professional organizations and currently serves as the chairperson of the Lower Hudson Water Environment Association, an active member of the Westchester County Municipal Public Works Administration, and is an instructor to the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials' Public Works Institute. He is also active with solid waste/recycling organizations in the New York metropolitan area. Mr. Conetta's prior work experience includes the United States Environmental Protection Agency where he was in charge of water programs in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Island and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection where he was in charge of field investigations and industrial waste control.
Mr. Conetta has been active in the Port Washington community serving as trustee, treasurer and financial secretary for the John Michael Marino Lodge of the Sons of Italy; vice president and president of the Beachway Association; and first vice president of the North Hempstead American Ethnic Coalition. He is currently active in the Port Youth Activities, Inc. where he has served as a commissioner and manager/coach of the 8 and 9-year-old summer travel baseball teams, and the spring and fall intramural baseball leagues. He and his wife Nancy, who is currently a member of the Sousa Compact Committee, has served as co-president of the Port Washington Parent Resource Center and president of Beachway Association, have been residents of Port Washington for 12 years. They have two boys, John and Chris, who attend the Sousa Elementary School.
Spreading a message of fiscal discipline coupled with the need for environmental protection, Jeremy Devine is accelerating his campaign for commissioner of the Port Washington Garbage District. Election Day is Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Polish American Hall.
His platform focuses on improving the district's finances, protecting our quality of life and improving the district's policies and procedures.
Devine is an insurance broker/agent. He earned a BS in accounting from SUNY-Oswego and holds a master's degree in taxation from American University in Washington, DC. He has audited municipal governments in Puerto Rico and has extensive accounting and management experience in the aviation and manufacturing industries.
"According to the town budget that was released on Oct. 22 the district's actual total expenses went from $1,397,711 in 2000 to $1,491,764 in 2001, an increase of 6.73 percent," Devine said to a small group of voters. "For this year the budgeted amount is $1,691,216, an increase of 13.37 percent. When the tax base does not increase as fast then we will have to raise the tax levy or drastically cut services." Devine also remarked that there has not been a contested election in 14 years, there is no absentee/disabled voter provisions, meetings are held at 8 a.m. and there is lax quality control. If elected, Devine promised that he will "move to improve availability, accessibility and most importantly accountability with a line item audit of the budget and review of our failed bidding process."
A graduate of the Port Washington Public Schools, he has remained active in community affairs as treasurer and president elect of Port's Kiwanis Club and a member of the American Legion Post #509. He is married to the former Monica Parrado.