West Hempstead resident and environmental activist Michael Uhl believes that water is the most precious natural resource that is distributed. He, therefore, is concerned that it is not contaminated or polluted in any way. So what did he do to help ensure that the drinking water in West Hempstead stays safe? He ran for water commissioner of the West Hemsptead-Hempstead Gardens Water District.
Uhl knew getting elected to the district would not be easy. After all, he was facing an opponent who held the position for 33 years and had run virtually unopposed during that time. During Uhl's campaign, he found that most residents didn't even know there was an election for water commissioner. His objectives were not only to get the word out about himself but also educate people about the race.
When the election results came in, Uhl found himself trailing by four votes. However, 29 affidavits were yet to be counted. Out of those 29, nine proved to be valid, with eight votes for Uhl. This put the challenger up by three votes - 393 to 390. However, the incumbent was not ready to concede. A recount was conducted at the Board of Elections and also machines were checked to make sure they were functioning properly. A notion to contest the election was even thought of. However, Tony DiGnoti decided to concede and thus Uhl became a water commissioner.
The election of the West Hemsptead Water District showed that each vote was important. "I think everything we did and everyone who helped was important," Ulh said.
Uhl will now serve a three-year term on the water commission during which he hopes to protect potential dangers to the drinking water by discouraging the use of chemical pesticides and encouraging the use of organic. Uhl also will strive to be responsive to the community. He vows to do his job on the water commission like his idol Pete Role played on the baseball field. It's safe to say then that Uhl will take an active role in his new position.