There are six candidates running on the Democratic ticket, and five of them are challengers. Marsha Silverman is the sole incumbent.
Like with the Republican candidates, The Glen Cove Herald Gazette asked these slate of candidates a question, which we believe is of the utmost importance. We hope their answers will help voters make an informed decision by Election Day on Nov. 5.
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?
Marsha Silverman: The most critical issue in Glen Cove is overall good government. My platform for the 2017 election, which continues today, is increased transparency, accountability and fiscal discipline, which are the components of good government. My commitment is to be an independent voice for the public and to ensure all voices are heard. Despite being a minority member of an extremely partisan city council, I am proud to have successfully sponsored and enacted legislation to increase fiscal discipline, transparency and accountability in our government. However, while progress has been made, much more needs to be done to better protect taxpayers and the community, and I am committed to pursue additional legislation in my next term. One of the major issues I have faced during this term is partisan pushback on any transparency, accountability or fiscal discipline measures I have introduced on behalf of taxpayers and the public, which has continued through to the current budgeting process. I hope that voters understand this difficulty and educate themselves appropriately. In order to successfully legislate transparency measures, it is critical that the public stays involved and supports the measures they want to see enacted.
Danielle Fugazy Scagliola: The City of Glen Cove faces real challenges. Our infrastructure is old, our city codes and ordinances need updating, our downtown needs revitalization, our public school district needs better support and, with the influx of people we are expecting from the Garvies Point development and Piazza project, we desperately need better transportation options. Now is the time for change. However, before we can address any of those issues, we have to put a stop to the partisan politics. It is unfortunate, but it has become almost impossible for our city to move forward on important issues that regular citizens care about, like development, the downtown and our city school district because of constant partisan politics. I am not a professional politician, and I plan to work with everyone to move the city forward. Very few things in life are black and white. I am willing to hear others out and work to find the best solutions for the people of Glen Cove — not for any party line.
Eve Lupenko Ferrante: A huge constituent concern is the increase in traffic expected with the large development projects. If elected, I will work closely with city agencies to plan wisely for this population surge. Improving infrastructure is an investment in our future. Current roads/intersections need to be re-addressed to account for the fact that many of today’s drivers each have a car. Anyone living in Glen Cove long enough can tell you how much longer their commute has become, and this stress is a very real quality of life issue. We also need to address parking. In residential areas, there’s a burden of cars due to illegal housing. No more turning a blind eye – everyone should be held accountable for our laws, safety and quality of life. In commercial areas, we need improved visibility and lighting for safety, and repair our ignored parking lots. We need better alternatives to driving, such as carpool sites, better trains and buses, a reasonable ferry and dedicated biking lanes. Our local loop bus needs to be expanded. I’m the vice president of our Chamber of Commerce, and I want our local business to thrive, not close up because people can’t get to them or to their jobs.
Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews: In choosing the most important issue facing our city, it’s hard to know where to begin. Certainly there are significant concerns over water and the environment, the lack of opportunities for young people, the lack of affordable housing and, of course, ever increasing taxes. However, if I had to narrow the concern down to the “most” important issue, I would have to say it is coping with population growth. With significant population growth due to recent development, traffic management and parking are critically important. Although the ferry may help a bit with traffic, and parking facilities associated with current developments may reduce the demand for street-level parking somewhat, these efforts fall significantly short of fully addressing this critical issue. In addition to demanding a comprehensive plan as it relates to moving traffic in and out of the city, I support initiatives in working with the LIRR to encourage the addition of more train lines to our existing system and other improvements that can help those who depend on this form of transportation. While there are no easy solutions to these challenges, I look forward to putting my administrative and problem solving skills to work in addressing these challenges.
John Perrone: Deciphering the single most important issue facing our city is difficult because we are facing several major issues. I believe the paramount issue is the influx of high-density housing we are on track to have in our city.
As our primary course of action, we should be placing a temporary moratorium on any additional projects in the near future. In addition, a complete review and revisions of our zoning codes relative single-family conversions must take place.
It’s too early to tell how these new developments will impact all facets of Glen Cove life. Moving forward, we must ask ourselves; how will this affect our public services, fire and police departments and traffic? It’s also imperative that we see what effect this has on our schools and public transportation. At this juncture, it is of the utmost importance that we allow the city to catch its breath and evaluate how the projects already in progress shape our city. This will allow Glen Cove to be proactive rather than reactive in growing and changing as a result of this population boom.
Rocco Totino: I believe the most important issue facing Glen Cove is the growth of the city as we move into the future. I hope to stimulate the economy in the city by incentivizing new businesses to open its doors within the city. I would also like to assist, promote and facilitate the improvement of already existing businesses in Glen Cove. As a result, we will be able to create more local jobs for our residents and also give the community more choices when engaging in economic activity without having to always leave our great city.