The clerk has been described as a conduit or bridge between the town and the people. Would you agree with that, and how do you hope to strengthen that relationship?
Nasrin Ahmad: The clerk is also the custodian of all of the documents, and I think that is very important. All of the legal documents are and should be safe guarded. I should also be out there and accessible so people can come and talk to me and tell me what they require. I am here to fulfill their needs. If I can make things just a little bit easier for people, I am doing the right thing.
Jasmine Garcia-Vieux: The best way to do that is to build and nurture relationships in the community through constant communication. If the town can spend thousands of dollars on mailers in relation to the next car show, why can’t we spend that money on mailers for meetings that relate to issues that affect residents’ everyday lives? There are issues presented to the town board that affect various communities, and a lot of residents don’t know that they can come to meetings and speak about them. We need to reach out to the public and let them know what’s happening, and one way of doing that is via email instead of spending thousands of dollars on paper.
How would your career experience help you in the clerk’s role?
Nasrin Ahmad: When you’re driving a car, you’re just a driver. But when you are a mechanic and you know how it runs, do you know how much more you will enjoy driving it? That’s the way I look at it. I know all of the nuts and bolts. I started as a filing clerk and worked my way up, so I know all parts of the office. The town clerk’s office has been my second home for 15 years.
Jasmine Garcia-Vieux: As both practicing attorney and managing associate, and a mother of three young children, I have been successful with managing competing priorities. I think that definitely qualifies me for this role. I am also not a career politician, and therefore I have no agenda, aside from serving the public.
What do you think will be the biggest challenge facing the next town clerk?
Nasrin Ahmad: I never saw this as a challenge. I have always enjoyed working in the Town Clerk’s office. I was very confident because I know this office. I was very excited to be a part of the team. Kate Murray was also the town clerk, and I can go to her for advice. I’m just very excited to work and meet people. Before, I did not meet the residents of the Town of Hempstead. Before, I was behind the desk, and now I can go in front of the desk.
Jasmine Garcia-Vieux: I think biggest challenge will be actually getting out and accomplishing one of the goals I’ve set for myself, which is nurturing relationships. I don’t necessarily think that has happened to date. I think it would be interesting to see how the public receives an official who is one of them. Elected officials need to be innovative in the ways they conduct themselves. We need to be more involved in the communities we serve, and that involves getting out there and speaking with your constituents to find ways that we can better serve them.