Baldwin Chamber of Commerce board member Debbie Pugliese and Board of Education Trustee Laura Curran — two people known for their involvement in the community — are vying for Nassau County’s 5th Legislative District seat, which Joe Scannell will not seek to reclaim after 14 years.
The 5th L.D. encompasses Baldwin, Freeport, Lakeview, Rockville Centre and South Hempstead. A legislator’s duties include drafting and approving local laws, whose focus can range from street repairs and traffic flow to reacting to crises and amending tax statutes. County legislators also serve on committees including Finance, Public Safety, Economic and Community Development and Budget Review.
Why are you running for this office?
Curran: I enjoy public service. I enjoy serving on the school board. As difficult as it has been financially, with taxes and the other issues we’ve had, I like getting out in the community and trying to explain the issues. With the 5th L.D. job opening up, I saw an opportunity to serve my community and the surrounding communities in a larger way, with more impact.
Pugliese: This is what I do. This is what I’ve been doing for a long time. Everything I’ve done for all these years has been about the community. I’m on the St. Christopher’s school board, I started the Cub Scout pack, I’m on the civic association, I’m a board member with the Chamber of Commerce. This is what I enjoy most: seeing what the problems are, how they can be fixed and getting the job done. It’s a natural fit, and I know I can make a difference.
How would your life and career experience help you if you are elected?
Curran: Serving on the school board, I’ve learned how important it is to stay calm and to make the right decision even if people are going to be mad at you. One thing I’ve tried to do is to be very accessible and available. When people have wanted to talk to me about the budget at the grocery store, I’ll stop and talk to them. I’m happy to answer their questions. I welcome the difficult questions because it gives me a chance to explain the thinking that underlies the issues.