Open, Transparent & Inclusive Government
Residents have a right to know how their government goes about its business and that all decisions and actions are taken honestly, openly, taking into consideration the needs of those whose voices are not always heard in an open public forum. I sponsored the resolution that began live streaming and real-time broadcasting of Town meetings so residents who cannot make it to Town Hall can follow public hearings and votes, and more recently, sponsored a resolution to bring closed captioning to our town meeting video streams. I will continue to push to make government more accessible and user-friendly, working to eliminate the frustration residents sometime experience in dealing with Town Hall.
In order to ensure good government, it is essential that Town department heads and other appointed personnel possess the requisite education, experience and skill sets to perform their jobs. To that end, I will continue to advocate for the Town to cast a wider net to tap such talent and to ensure inclusivity in its hiring decisions, and will continue to reject personnel decisions that are driven by politics over experience and education.
Public Safety/Gangs & Drugs
The scourge of drugs, most recently the opiate epidemic, and gang activity, have threatened our safety and quality of life. These problems cross governmental jurisdictions and we can make substantial headway in attacking them at their core by harnessing the collective expertise of a broad-based coalition of partners in our community and using government as a communications platform. I collaborate with my colleague, Councilman Mark A. Cuthbertson, who created the Town of Huntington Opioid & Addiction Task Force comprised of experts and those impacted by drug use to advise government leaders of resources, trends and needs that inform our policy decisions.
Cost Effective Government
Government must operate efficiently to ensure that residents’ precious tax dollars are spent wisely. I cannot support endless fees that "nickel and dime" our hardworking taxpayers. We must preserve Huntington’s longtime sound financial footing and the AAA bond rating that has held down borrowing costs by constantly seeking to improve the way the Town delivers services and maintains programs.
People in government need to remember that they work for the residents and that it is imperative that they communicate clearly and promptly with residents and respond fully to residents’ requests. Misunderstandings in our Town are the result of a breakdown or lack of communication. I will work to develop meaningful multi-way communication and ongoing programming to improve the resident-government relationship as well as a better understanding of government operations and services.
Responsible “Smart” Development
I am an advocate of smart development that means balancing the needs of residents, our environment and business. We need to preserve the way of life we love in a way that keeps Huntington moving forward.
Safeguard Environment/Open Space Preservation/Park Improvements
The protection of our drinking water and environment and preservation of open space are critical to our quality of life. The Town’s Open Space bond acts, overwhelmingly supported by the voters over the last 20+ years, have led to the acquisition of 300+ acres, development of parks and neighborhood and “green” enhancements. I will continue to push to maintain our parks and ensure preservation of remaining open spaces.
I believe one of the most important functions of a Town Board member is solving problems: large ones involving issues that affect many people and individual ones raised by residents. Solving problems often requires an interdisciplinary approach. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing resident and business issues and I am always ready to listen and explore all options.
While our Town’s character is in many ways defined by its beautiful single-family residential neighborhoods, Huntington is also proud of its diversity. To preserve that diversity, we need to take note of the changing housing tastes and needs of different segments of our population – singles just entering the workforce, single-parent households, non-custodial parents, couples without children, empty nesters and retirees. We need to explore how to add to our housing mix to satisfy those evolving needs while not impacting our traditional neighborhoods.
Government needs to foster an atmosphere that supports existing businesses, identifies growth industries and promulgates policies and programs that attract new businesses to the Town. From my years of working with the Town’s business community and as a former private sector professional, I am aware of the challenges small businesses face and am committed to addressing their needs.