News Sports Opinion Contents

The Port Washington-Sands Point Issues and Decisions Election of 2006 held Jan. 28-29 at the United Methodist Church was conducted by the all-volunteer Democracy Lab. Its president, Robert Berens, said that its purpose was to give the residents of ZIP code 11050 the chance to express themselves on important issues in the hopes that the results would get the attention of our elected officials. "While this election was advisory only, government officials can function more effectively if they are at least aware of the views of their constituents before these officials make decisions on public policy," said Mr. Berens.

Mr. Berens stresses that the Democracy Lab is non-partisan and non-profit. "Democracy Lab includes supporters of both major political parties and several minor parties, as well as Independents," said Mr. Berens. "Most people who have commented have been very supportive. We welcome the constructive criticisms and suggestions we have received from adherents of both major parties, with several of each party's adherents saying the questions were unfairly slanted in favor of the other party."

He notes, "The entire election was supervised by George Wolf, the former long-time Republican Suffolk County Commissioner of Elections."

Port News asked Mr. Berens about the confusion on the part of some residents over the role the student participants played in the election. He replied, "We have been very careful about making it clear that participation of students and teachers from Schreiber High School was on their own private time and limited to their having helped select the attached questions and develop the procedures for this election." Schreiber student participation was mentioned in small print in the sixth paragraph of the election folder mailed to all Port Washington homes and distributed as a freestanding insert into the Port Washington News. Continuing, he said, "We have never said or implied that this election was sponsored or paid for in any way by Schreiber High School or the Port Washington School District or that it was part of any school curriculum or function. In reality, several Schreiber students did substantially more than we publicized and devoted much of their weekend of Jan. 28-29 to helping with the signing-in of voters and the activation of the voting machines. If the election helps make young voters more familiar with the voting process and important public issues, and more likely to vote, that alone will have made it worthwhile."

Mr. Berens feels that it would be even more beneficial if such elections become a regular part of our political process and more area organizations and individuals play a role in developing and selecting the questions that are asked. "Greater participation will probably make the questions, which are difficult to phrase so as to please everyone, even better," he said.

To date, 777 adult residents of ZIP code 11050 have voted, plus an additional 81 students (858 total votes). The number of votes for each choice is listed below in parentheses ( ) after each choice. To obtain complete texts of the questions (condensed below), to receive the results of the students' votes on their own ballots, for information, or to volunteer with the nonprofit, nonpartisan, all-volunteer Democracy Lab, call Robert Berens, president of Democracy Lab, at 944-2000.

Do Bush administration policies make you a) Prouder to be an American (193) b) Less proud (478)

In Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2006, would you vote for a) Suozzi (267) b) Spitzer (487)

Which party best represents moral and religious values? a) Republicans (188) b) Democrats (531)

Do you believe political parties are: a) Still necessary (338) b) No longer necessary or desirable (395)

Should the Pt.Wash. School District: a) Obey unfunded mandates (397) b) Refuse unfunded mandates (278)

Is it more important for children at school to: a) Learn facts (339) b) Learn to be good people (364)

Do you support selling off eight-12 acres at the Sands Pt. Preserve to restore buildings and grounds a) Yes (174) b) No (491)

Do you believe Pt. Wash. can work together to create a model community for energy use? a) Yes (472) b) No (218)

Can the Pt. Wash. community work together to solve tough challenges such as school budgets? a) Yes (349) b) No (265)

Should Pt. Wash Community Chest contribute to Boy Scouts? a) Yes (287) b) No (361)

Should North Shore Animal League import puppies from out of state? a) Yes (168) b) No (491)

What's the best way to reduce abortions? a) Make them illegal (72) b) More and better education, jobs, adoptions (563)

Would you prefer political candidates to create demonstration projects instead of advertising? a) Yes (551) b) No (88)

Has the U.S. Supreme Court become more political and less independent? a) Yes (378) b) No (271)

Should the federal government concentrate action and funds on a) Social Issues (151) b) Security issues (497)

Should executives of public firms improve their company's performance before getting big increases? a) Yes (476) b) No (172)

Is television: a) A great discovery and benefit to mankind (423) b) Doing more harm than good (211)

Which are you? A) Mets (356) b) Yankees (185)

Should teacher pay be based at least partially on student performance? a) Yes (395) b) No (254)

Should we replace "professional politicians" with "citizen legislators and officials?" a) Yes (371) b) No (243)

President Bush: a) Thwarted terrorism (146) b) Should be impeached (402) c) Tries his best (157) d) Is a puppet (136) e) None (75)

President Bush: a) Can cut freedoms (129) b) Threatens freedoms ( 421) c) Is incompetent (288) d) Saved us (91) e) None (86)

Who do you favor as future President? a) Giuliani (163) b) H. Clinton (254) c) McCain (217) d) C. Rice (49) Warner (61)

If Suozzi runs for governor as the Republican candidate against Democratic candidate Spitzer, would you vote for a) Suozzi (216) b) Spitzer (446)

Whom do you favor for higher office a) Balboni (110) b) Kaiman (138) c) K. Murray (19) d) DiNapoli (211) e) C. Johnson (236)

Do you support: a) U.S. troops out of Iraq by year's end (435) b) Overturning Roe v Wade (54) c) No inheritance tax (264) d) 10 percent more tax for annual incomes over $300,000 and 10 percent less tax for incomes under $300,000 (362) e) None (102)

Should the federal government peruse your a) Phone calls (142) b) Library records (68) c) Mail (35) d) Medical records (39) e) None (501)

OK? a) School district consolidations (199) b) More government education dollars. (487) c) Fixed school budgets (136) d) Austerity budgets lead to lower housing prices. (210) e) None (16)

OK? a) No public education till age 7 (102) b) Helping home schoolers (131) c) Prayer in schools (121) d) Legalization of pot (202) e) None (273)

OK? a) Port tiered parking garage (251) b) After-school kids free time (273) c) Windmills off Jones Beach (388) d) Corbin for Presiding Officer of NC Legislature (37) e) None (87)

OK? a) Eliminate Nassau County government (80) b) Eliminate Town of N. Hempstead government (164) c) Keep as is (383)

Gays should be excluded from: a) Military (59) b) Priesthood (98) c) Boy Scouts (114) d) Marriage (152) e) None (463)

More taxes for: a) Universal health coverage (371) b) Good jobs for all (287) c) Cancer cure (294) d) No war (299) e) None (412)

Whom would you bring back? a) Family member (368) b) Friend (55) c) Pet (58) d) None (412)

OK? a) Planner for Port (287) b) Two year marriage licenses (49) c) Have public vote on all (337) d) Teaching Intelligent Design in schools (84) e) None (160)

Agree? a) Opposing Iraq war unpatriotic (81) b) Military Draft (79) c) Ban handguns (336) d) Replace pensions (191) e) None (125)

OK? a) Candidate Aptitude Tests (356) b) Incorprate all Port (138) c) No puppy mills (332) d) Gene catalogs (8) e) None (191)

OK? a) Elected officials must serve at least half term (327) b) Supreme Court eight-year terms (296) c) Port trail (314) d) Restrict lawn chemicals (464) e) None (70)

OK? a) Kinder people possible (284) b) People too imperfect (160) c) Developing caring genes (30) d) Live forever (56) e) None (232)

You could do better than current a) U.S. President (218) b) Governor (32) c) County Executive (40) d) None (377)

Which government is doing best? a) Federal (58) b) State (47) c) County (118) d) Town (176) e) Village (217)

Newsday: a) is good (135) b) needs editorial hiatus (72) c) needs clear policies (270) d) should act (301) e) None (198)

Long Island: a) Is deteriorating, needs commerce, population, towers (88) b) Can stay non-urban and attract best (466)

Agree? a) Religious followers must obey their religion (68) b) Reduce, don't outlaw abortion (260) c) Ban abortions but contraception is OK (39) d) Discourage, don't ban abortions, permit contraception (331) e) None of these and mind your own business (100)

Whom do you believe? a) G. Bush (110) b) D. Cheney (86) c) H. Clinton (238) d) T. Suozzi (259) e) E. Spitzer (342)

Agree? a) Public officials care most about selves (341) b) Democrats no better than Republicans (217) c) No senior discounts. (60) d) Better if human population decreases (181) e) L.I. will have fewer problems and more answers if it has more seniors (203)

For Sands Point Residents: Do you favor: a) Much quieter skeet shooting at SP Golf Club or none at all (127) b) Establishing annual $600 surcharge for more rapid emergency medical response (40) c) Conditional village operation of SP Preserve (66) d) Sell unused VCSP "picnic area" land for resident houses, to fund needed improvements and keep dues down (12) e) None (24) Logo
An Official Newspaper of the
LongIsland.Com Internet Community

| home | Email the Port Washington News|
Copyright ©2006 Anton Community Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

LinkExchange Member

Farmingdale Observer Floral Park Dispatch Garden City Life Glen Cove Record Pilot Great Neck Record Hicksville Illustrated News Levittown Tribune Manhasset Press Massapequan Observer Mineola American New Hyde Park Illustrated News Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot Plainview Herald Port Washington News Roslyn News Syosset Jericho Tribune Three Village Times Westbury Times The Boulevard Features Calendar Search Add An Event Classified Contacting Anton News