Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 23 October 2009 00:00
On Nov. 3, voters in the 11th district will select their representative to the Nassau County legislature. Jeffrey M. Losquadro will challenge incumbent Wayne Wink. The district includes the villages of Albertson, Baxter Estates, East Hills, Flower Hill, Garden City Park, Glenwood Landing, Herricks, Manorhaven, Plandome Manor, Port Washington, Port Washington North, Roslyn, and Searingtown. The candidate’s profiles are listed below.
Jeffrey M. Losquadro, a Republican, is a third generation resident of Albertson running for the Nassau County legislature’s 11th district.
Losquardo and his wife live in Albertson with their three children. Losquadro is co-owner and operator of Hy-Grade Fuel. Losquadro has been an elected Water Commissioner of Albertson, where he said he reduced spending at the water district by more than 50 percent. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club of New Hyde Park, the Mineola Lions Club, and the Order of Sons of Italy Cellini Lodge.
“I’ve been a lifelong resident of my town and of Nassau County and I’ve seen a slow deterioration of the financial conditions of the county,” Losquadro said.
Looking at county finances, he claimed that the $105 million that NIFA gave the county to bail out its finances and bring the county back to fiscal sanity has been squandered.
“Since 2002 real property taxes in Nassau County have risen almost 43 percent, leading to a $130 million deficit,” he added.
Losquadro listed his priorities for the legislative district. They include repealing the home energy tax, fixing the “broken” assessment system and having houses assessed every five years instead of every year so that people can “budget their situation and plan their expenditures better.”
Losquardo also said he would cut patronage jobs, something that would “put money back into county coffers,” plus he would “bring back the people that perform day-to-day vital services,” including police and maintenance personnel.
Losquadro also said that the next big issue on Long Island is development.
“People are being taxed to the gills,” he said. “We need to develop or change some of the zoning laws so that we can build some affordable housing and apartment units that will keep young people and the elderly on Long Island.”
He noted that there are any number of commercial plots in places such as Hempstead Turnpike and Old Country Road that could be turned into residential units.
“We could redevelop [those places] and build four-, and five-story apartment buildings, and give people a chance to remain on Long Island,” he said.
“As far as the lighthouse projects goes, I’m in favor of the project to a certain extent,” Losquadro said. “But we don’t need 35-story office towers yet. The only way to get revenue is through taxation, fees, surcharges or development. With the first two, we are at the breaking point. We can’t raise taxes. We need to find ways to redevelop property. Do we need all these shopping malls? I know plots of land that are available. If Charles Wang wants to do something, then we need affordable housing and affordable senior housing. We don’t need luxury housing. I care a lot about the county and I don’t only care about constituents in my district. My vote means a vote for the entire county. I’ve been in a lot of houses where people are suffering. When you cast your vote, don’t think of your own district, but everybody.”
Losquadro added that he is opposed to raising taxes on fast food and cigarettes.
“The more you raise taxes on cigarettes, then people will be going to Indian reservations [to buy cigarettes],” he said. “That also boosts bootleg cigarette industries online sales. New York State is losing $800 million in revenue. Nassau County could use that money.”
Legislator Wayne Wink, a Democrat, is running for his second full term as County Legislator after winning his seat in a special election in March 2007.
Wink previously served as a North Hempstead Councilman for over five years. Additionally, he served as Deputy Counsel to the Nassau County Legislature, and Aide to both the North Hempstead Town Board and the Nassau County Legislature. He received his B.A. degree in Political Science from Hofstra University and his J.D. from St. John’s Law School. Wayne lives in Roslyn with his wife, Stacey, and his daughter, Jennifer.
Wink serves as the Chair of the Government Services and Operations Committee, Acting Chair of the Finance Committee, and Chair of the Committee on Aging. He serves as Vice Chair of the Education Committee and the Economic and Community Development Committee.
“During my tenure, I have focused on making Nassau County a better place to live,” Wink said. “I have also worked hard to ensure that our government is working as efficiently as possible for the residents of Nassau County.
“As chair of the Committee on Aging, I sponsored the ‘Silver Alert’ Legislation which was passed on Aug. 10, 2009,” he noted. “The program is designed much like the Amber Alert but is used to locate missing seniors and others suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. This legislation will allow for the quick, multi-jurisdictional dissemination of information, increasing the chances of a safe return.
“I understand fully that the residents of Nassau County, and particularly in my district, have suffered with high property taxes,” Wink continued. “High taxes drive up the cost of living in Nassau County and make it difficult for our young people to stay on Long Island. I have worked to ensure that our county is as efficient as possible in several ways, by improving our assessment system to ensure that taxpayers are paying only their fair share of the tax burden and by rightsizing government, determining which level of government provides certain services more efficiently, and working to eliminate duplicative services at other levels of government. An example of this would be Bar Beach and Hempstead Harbor Park. For decades we watched as the county maintained one park and the town the other. I was happy to support the parks transfer in 2007, which allowed the Town of North Hempstead to take over the maintenance of Hempstead Harbor Park. The park has since been renamed North Hempstead Beach Park and the fence has been removed. Finding ways to eliminate such duplicative services is critical to reducing the tax burden for our residents,” Wink stated.
“If we are to attract and keep our young people here in Nassau, we need to consider ways to expand our tax base and provide housing opportunities in a manner that maintains the suburban character of our communities, while allowing for the redevelopment of existing downtowns and former industrial sites,” Wink said, adding that he supports the “90/10 Solution” for future growth in Nassau County.
“The plan would maintain the existing suburban character of 90 percent of the county including our communities, while the 10 percent of the county where redevelopment is warranted would employ Smart Growth principles for sustainable redevelopment to provide high paying, high skilled jobs and affordable housing opportunities. It is a proposal that merits serious consideration to provide for the current and future needs of our residents.”