It’s officially election season and Uniondale now has one of their own on this year’s ballot. Olena Nicks, a native to the community, is attempting to unseat Don Clavin for Town of Hempstead Supervisor, the largest town supervisor position in the nation.
Clavin, who has been in office since 2019, is running on the promises of putting taxpayers first, citing his previous passing of both a tax-freeze for 2021 and a tax-cut for 2022.
“We have a strong Town of Hempstead Republican ticket, with Don Clavin running for re-election as Supervisor,” said Joseph Cairo, chairman of the Nassau County Republican Committee in a statement, Don has invested in the future of the Town of Hempstead, by upgrading roadways, parks and facilities, while protecting the wallets of taxpayers. Thanks to Don Clavin, the Town of Hempstead is flourishing and the future is bright. But Don's hard work as Supervisor is far from over,” he continued.
But Nicks, who attended undergrad at CUNY Baruch, where she received her bachelor's degree in business operations and later received an MBA from American University, feels that in order to effectively address the unique shortcomings of a working-class neighborhood, the town of Hempstead needs to put one of their own in the chair.
Nicks’ path as a public servant began as a teenager when she got her first job as a Teen Advocate for Planned Parenthood and later landed a summer internship with the Nassau County Legislator. After high school, Nicks joined the Uniondale Community Council, where she currently sits on the board, as well as serving as President of the Uniondale Public Library. Nicks also joined the Uniondale Fire Department as a volunteer, eventually making her way to be the first woman Captain of Manor Company 3 for the Uniondale Fire Department.
“I believe that translating my experience as a firefighter to the role of supervisor, comes down to the same thing — moving quickly and with a sense of urgency, but also understanding what's best for the residents that live within this township,” Nicks said.
Nicks was born and Raised in Uniondale, hailing from what she calls humble beginnings in a “blue-collar” family, joining the workforce from an early age to help make ends meet. She now currently works two jobs and runs her own small business as well. These experiences, she says, allows her to better understand the community that she is hoping to represent in office. “There are a lot of challenges and issues that are unique to each and every neighborhood, and you really need someone who is going to think in that mindset and not only understand, but respect and uphold those communities as they would their own,” she says.
Outside of her public service experience, Nicks has worked as a financial analyst in both the public and private sectors, having been responsible for managing budgets over $70 million. She hopes to put that experience to good use and help boost the quality of life throughout Hempstead and Uniondale.
“We are living in very different times than five years ago and it is time to elect a leader who not only understands the civic side of serving as America's largest township supervisor, but also someone who is equipped with both the knowledge and experience, financially and fiscally, to be able to run the township as efficiently as possible.”