Happy New Year with a Long Goodbye
I hope you had a wonderful New Year celebration and wish all good things for you and family in 2023.
As for me, while it has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to serve as a Councilwoman these last five years on behalf of the people of my hometown Huntington, I have made the decision not to seek reelection in November 2023.
My twenty-one years’ work in Huntington has challenged me to solve resident, business and government problems ranging from run of the mill to monumental. I am enormously proud of being a figure in government for all of those years that so many have felt comfortable reaching out to following word of mouth that I was accessible and effective. This feedback has deeply humbled me.
Since 2018 I was one of a two-member Democratic minority on the Huntington Town Board, and as of 2022, the lone Democrat, and only woman. Operating within this political reality, I nonetheless worked time and again to reach across the aisle to offer experienced counsel and a strong hand in shaping better public policy and clean government. I have only been able to accomplish this by working behind the scenes to discuss and iron out differences for the best possible result, and, to avoid unnecessary public contention at the dais that has never been my style.
It was truly humbling to be able to serve in a place and time in Huntington during significant tumult, most notably- during the landing of the historic and global COVID pandemic and lockdown here in our own backyards that forced me and fellow elected officials to pivot on a dime to find new ways to work, serve, protect and console.
Looking back, there are countless proud moments, among them: being on deck to close the long-hovering and daunting chapter of the LIPA lawsuit, which during the eleventh hour of settlement negotiations, I asked for, and ultimately helped Huntington receive from LIPA, direct payments of $3 million over three years to help offset the tax impact… taking a stand to push for the new and economically-viable version of Housing Help’s Matinecock Court affordable housing development…leading the charge to strike a controversial and unconstitutional chapter of the Town Code restricting where a woman could terminate her pregnancy…expanding our Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) legislation in 2019 to be more responsive to both homeowners and lower cost housing seekers, and proposing continuing ADU expansions to this date…enhancing and reforming affordable housing policy… sponsoring live-streaming of town meetings and closed-captioning for the hearing-impaired…bolstering and sponsoring the creation of a new historic district to protect our early settlement South Huntington Village neighborhoods, and on a lighter note, opening the gates of Heckscher Park to our canine family members.
As I worked to upgrade our parks, protect our drinking water and clean our world-class beaches, I wrote and passed numerous code amendments aimed at fostering accountability, transparency and ethics in government, and other measures to ensure quality of life in our residential One year remains of my term before I officially part ways, and before Huntington government becomes another chapter in my story, and I, become one of many characters to have passed through it. I pledge to all of my constituents and co-workers in government that I will continue to put in the hard work for which I am known until the last day of 2023.
I believe my body of work and conduct speak to my love of Huntington and respect for all people, including every elected colleague with whom I have had the privilege to work.
I have now reached a place in my 38-year long career- with roughly half of it spent in the private sector as a writer and public relations professional, and the other in Huntington Town government in various leadership roles, where come 2024 I will be eager to apply my combined private/public sector knowledge base in one or more new arenas. My door continues to be open to anyone who knocks or calls. If I can help you or another, please know, I am there.
If the spirit moves, I hope you will enjoy one or more entries at my blog by clicking here.
With sincere gratitude,