Herald Roundtables

Stalzer wants to protect Hempstead Harbor


He might be seeking elected office for the first time, but John Stalzer says he’s ready to join the Nassau County Legislature and help his district tackle policies on the environment and housing.
The Sea Cliff native says he’s running because there’s a lot of “craziness going around in the world” of politics, and also throughout society. He hopes to bring some sort of common sense to a “nonsensical” dynamic.
That dynamic, Stalzer says, starts with his family. His son Jack is currently in the U.S. Navy officers training program in Rhode Island. His daughter is a freshman nursing student in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His wife, Jean Marie, is a real estate agent.
Stalzer says he pays attention to views that differ from his own — especially since his immediate family has varying political beliefs. And from what he’s experienced over the 30 years he spent working for various engineering and environmental consulting firms.
At the moment, Stalzer is an environmental regulatory procedures specialist at PSEG, writing environmental impact statements for everything from power plants to housing developments in Puerto Rico, Brooklyn and Port Jefferson. Although not a lawyer, Stalzer says he “plays one at work.”

He’s spent the past three years writing environmental impact statements to help cleaning up hazardous waste sites, most notably brownfields at Mitchell Park in Greenport. His decades of environmental activism and research enabled him to take his expertise back home to Sea Cliff, where he chaired the village’s environmental commission between 2010 and 2019.
As an environmental scientist who fishes, sails and swims locally, Stalzer hopes to represent the needs of Hempstead Harbor and protect its delicate ecosystem. He hopes to acquire both federal and state funds to expand sewer systems on the North Shore to combat destructive high nitrogen levels found in the harbor’s ecosystem.
By extension, Stalzer wants to focus on “neighborhood and community character.” He’s a big believer in local governance, and says Gov. Kathy Hochul’s announced housing plan she later backed off from would infringe on a municipality’s ability to address their own housing concerns. As part of her proposed 2024 executive budget, Hochul’s housing plan would have required municipalities like Glen Cove and Sea Cliff to allow for higher density development projects to ensure. Since Sea Cliff is a residential community that’s already packed with single-family homes and Section 8 housing, Stalzer prefers village trustees to decide what’s appropriate for their own community.
He says he’s taking the leap as legislator to keep his party’s platform on the forefront of the legislative body.
“When I was the chair of the environmental committee, we did things that I disagreed with,” Stalzer told reporters as part of a Herald Roundtable session. “But as chair, I do think it was my position to push forward my concepts.”
Stalzer also wants to acquire more sewage lines for his North Shore communities, to reduce dependence on cesspits located outside or underneath a number of Sea Cliff homes and businesses. He’d like to expand on existing efforts, including the $7,500 reimbursement being offered to residents and businesses who link up to the new sewage line in Sea Cliff.
“Since there’s a capacity for this in Glen Cove, we can get some sort of access to surrounding areas that are drilling into water bodies,” Stalzer said. “I think that would be important.”
While he doesn’t have a plan to address the costs of Liberty water, Stalzer believes the cost of service from the utility is too high right now.
“I would advocate for the municipalization of the water district,” he said. “The cost of Liberty water is insane when you compare that to surrounding districts. It doesn’t seem like a viable cost.”