Maureen O’Connell, a registered nurse, has been the Nassau County clerk since 2005. She was re-elected in 2009 and 2013, and has amassed a long list of accomplishments in the clerk’s office.
The Herald endorses O’Connell, a Republican, for another term because we believe she has the experience to continue to ensure that the office operates effectively. In the past 12 years, she and her staff have processed more than a million backlogged records, while implementing an electronic filing process that converts paper land records to a digital format. This is an important step in ensuring that constituents’ records remain safe for years to come.
As data breaches continue to occur, records need to be protected now more than ever, and O’Connell and her staff frequently implement security measures to protect residents from deed scams and identify theft.
We believe that O’Connell is well equipped to continue to provide constituents with first-rate service, including a mobile office that travels around the county to meet with folks — like seniors and veterans — who may not be able to leave their homes. She has extended office hours and coordinated outreach programs to fill constituents in on the myriad services the clerk’s office provides.
We do like her opponent, Democrat Dean Bennett. A longtime Baldwin resident, Bennett is the president and CEO of a management consulting firm. His public service experience is impressive: He has been the director of Equal Employment Opportunity and deputy director of the county’s Office of Minority Affairs. We like his stance on diversity, and we admire his mission to diversify county political offices. He has a strong understanding of issues that worry constituents, including corruption and lack of transparency. We encourage Bennett to run for a seat in the County Legislature in the next election cycle.
But we see no reason to unseat an veffective incumbent. Re-elect O’Connell county clerk on Tuesday.