All six seats on Glen Cove’s City Council are up for grabs on Election Day. Although six people are running on the Republican ticket, only three are incumbents — Joseph Capobianco, Nicholas DiLeo Jr. and Pamela Panzenbeck. The challengers are Matthew Connolly, Kevin Maccarone and Michael Zangari.
The Glen Cove Herald Gazette asked these six candidates one question, which we believe is of the utmost importance. We hope their answers will help voters make an informed decision on Nov. 7.
HERALD GAZETTE: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Glen Cove and how would you handle it as a city council member?
Joseph Capobianco, Incumbent:
Party affiliations: Republican, Conservative, and Independence
Professional experience: Practicing attorney since 1985; partner in a Garden City law firm; and City Councilman since January 1, 2015.
Years in Glen Cove: 57
Family: Wife and three children
My focus is on making the City of Glen Cove an attractive living destination for the young, old and those in-between and in the process attracting businesses to our community to expand the tax base. The city has many attractions including beaches, a wonderful and affordable golf course, a community, which is diverse and vibrant, and its own police force. The downtown is being revitalized with an Italian-style piazza, which can be used as a community and social gathering place. The Garvies Point development will have parkland and open space for all to enjoy. I will focus on attracting new businesses to our community to expand the tax base so we can afford to continue to render and expand vital and recreational services to our citizens.
Nicholas A. DiLeo, Jr., Incumbent:
Party affiliations: Republican, Conservative and Independent
Professional experience: Proprietor of local business
Years in Glen Cove: 29 years
I believe one of the most important issues currently facing Glen Cove is the continued revitalization of the downtown area. For many years we saw a lack of new businesses entering into the heart of Glen Cove. Most recently we have seen baby steps turn into giant steps as not only corporations such as AMC, but also PetSmart and Panera Bread that have chosen Glen Cove as a new home for their brands. But, we’re also seeing the redevelopment of the Village Square project moving forward. The biggest draw to new businesses into Glen Cove is the future prospects of success based on our current projects. We are on the brink of great things in Glen Cove and it is important to keep the momentum going.
Pamela Panzenbeck, Incumbent:
Party affiliations: Republican, Conservative, Independence
Professional experience: Retired teacher of business and computer education, Levittown Public Schools, 34 Years
Years in Glen Cove: 64 years
Family: Husband and three children
The most difficult task I believe that will be faced by me or anyone else as a Glen Cove City Council member will be to maintain the very high level of progress that has been achieved by the administration in which I have served for nearly four years. Taxes have been stabilized. Our last two budgets have had total surpluses of $3 million and our debt has decreased significantly with no cuts or loss of service to our residents. Fiscal responsibility is one of the great accomplishments of our administration, demonstrated by our Moody’s bond rating upgrades. All of this is in addition to our commitment to residents of our city by making improvements to our parks, playgrounds, tennis, and basketball courts. A brand new beautiful dog park has been built and is being enjoyed by many. The continuation and improvement of services for our youth and senior citizens are also a major priority.
Matthew Connolly, Challenger:
Party affiliations: Republican
Professional experience: Attorney, former Nassau County prosecutor, currently employed as a principal law clerk
Years in Glen Cove: six years
Family: Wife and two sons
Glen Cove has experienced financial and commercial success during Mayor Spinello’s administration. Our city’s future is bright, as evidenced by new businesses, development, and continued financial achievement. While recognizing these accomplishments, the issue I look forward to working on as a city council member is maintaining the safety and well being of our residents. The terrible reality of the heroin epidemic has plagued Nassau County and we have seen its tragic effects in our city. Our police department has done an outstanding job protecting and educating our residents, and the mayor has reinstituted the crime prevention unit to support them. As a council member, I would contribute in every way possible to remain ever vigilant to public safety issues, and to ensure the quality of residential services continue to improve as they have over the past several years. I am honored to be a part of Team Spinello, and would be honored for the opportunity to serve as a member of the city council.
Kevin Maccarone, Challenger:
Party affiliations: Registered Independence, nominated by the Republican, Independence, and Conservative Party.
Professional experience: Attorney at Law
Years in Glen Cove: 27 years
I think that the biggest issue in our city is the lack of progress it has made as a whole over the last 25 or so years. The City of Glen Cove is in a unique situation as many areas of it are primed for redevelopment. During my parents’ youth, these areas were home to numerous industries and businesses that provided stability to our tax base and provided well paying jobs to our citizens. These businesses are long gone. We need to ensure that such areas are developed in a way that will return stability to our city. The waterfront has been a dream and goal of many past administrations over the last 25 years and at long last it is becoming a reality, as is the redevelopment of the downtown area. These residential projects, including the Livingston project on Glen Cove Avenue as well as the development at Glen Cove Mansion, have been in the planning stages for many years long before our current administration took office. The ball has at long last started rolling. Redevelopment is crucial to our tax base, and will provide employment, while also attracting others to our city.
Michael Zangari, Challenger:
Republican, Independent, Conservative
Professional experience: Purchasing agent.
Years in Glen Cove: 52 years
I believe that re-vitalization of Glen Cove is an important issue facing Glen Cove. We cannot move backwards and progression forward is the only option. I would encourage new growth in Glen Cove, not only with low-income housing, but new businesses and new entertainment venues, which would attract citizens from other communities. Our new movie theater is a step in that direction. I would like to investigate additional recreational venues in the future, which will also encourage visitors to come to Glen Cove. The South Creek Project at the John Maccarone Memorial Stadium will increase attendance at sporting venues, and thereby increase visitors to partake in many of our local businesses. One of my personal goals is to increase access-for-all, regarding anyone with even a mild mobility impairment. With the influx of citizens in the future with the new building complexes being established, we must be sure that businesses, recreational and entertainment venues provide safe and secure access for everyone to enjoy.