Looking to strengthen the effectiveness of Nassau County’s civic associations, four community leaders from Merrick, Manhasset, Seaford and Point Lookout have started a new “Coalition of Nassau Civic Associations” to replace the defunct “Nassau County Coalition of Civic Associations.
The coalition’s founders each said they envision CONCA as a “resource hub” for member civic groups that could also address countywide civic issues. They stressed that CONCA will be a nonpartisan organization, though some differed when speaking about how much advocacy CONCA might engage in.
Richard Bentley, the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations president and a CONCA founder, said the former NCCCA “seemed to be a lot of South Shore groups embroiled in Nassau County partisan politics.”
“I was a proponent that [CONCA] shouldn’t be involved for or against certain things,” Bentley said. “Nassau County is already embroiled in politics enough. It should serve as a resource for civics, helping civics with best practices for getting your agenda across and through municipalities.”
But Claudia Borecky, the North and Central Merrick Civic Association president and another CONCA founder, said she believed CONCA could advocate for issues on which members agreed.
“We can unite,” Borecky said. “Take our success in banning hyrdrofracking [wastewater treatment] — we had civic leaders from all over Nassau going and visiting their legislators to say we can’t have this in Nassau. It was one time that Nassau Democrats and Republicans agreed on something. Something is so much stronger when it comes from the whole county than just from one area.
“You lobby whoever has the authority and ability to make the change, whichever party the official is,” Borecky continued. “As a coalition, we would have more success with the lobbying process than an individual person.”