There are three seats open on the Republican led Town Board in Oyster Bay which the candidates running on the Democratic line hope to win.
We asked these candidates a couple of questions to assist voters when they go to the polls on Nov. 5. Next week we will share information on the Republican candidates.
Herald Guardian: What do you think are the most important issues that need addressed in the following areas: Hamlet of Oyster Bay, Glen Head/Glenwood Landing, Sea Cliff, Bayville?
Erin Guida: Many issues that affect the northern parts of the Town of Oyster Bay are similar to those that affect all communities, which includes a failing infrastructure and environmental issues.
Specific issues include the need for a publicly owned water authority for the residents in Sea Cliff, Glen Head and Glenwood Landing. Residents are frustrated not only by the high costs of their water but also the lack of confidence they have in New York American Water after the most recent water main break. Many residents in Glen Head, especially those directly affected, were upset with the lack of correspondence from the town when it came to tearing apart the roads and widening them. As liaisons to the community, the Town Board should be partnering with community, county and state officials to find a long-term goal in providing publicly owned water.
These communities also need a long-term plan for the re-paving of their roads which would include drainage improvements. We need an aggressive plan where we can set goals and post updates and progress online for residents to see.
We also need to reduce the environmental impacts on the Sound with a sewage system that would eliminate cesspools. We owe it to our residents to partner with county and state officials to seek funding to make this possible.
Melissa McCardle: Water remains one of the most significant issues in this region. Sea Cliff, Glen Head and Glenwood Landing are contracted to receive its water from New York American Water, which has the highest rates on Long Island. Residents of these hamlets pay up to four times more than residents who receive their water from public municipalities.
In addition, poor sewer system development has contributed to back-ups, flooding and potential for contamination in several communities. This has created an environmental hazard and a significant quality of life upheaval.
All of these communities have experienced crumbling roads. Residents may wait months or even years to receive a response to their requests to repair potholes and other road problems. Finally, lack of transparency in governing has led to a broken trust of elected officials and government. This has contributed to voter apathy and to residents feeling they no longer have a voice in the policy decisions that impact them.
Ned Newhouse: Residents of the hamlet of Oyster Bay, Glen Head, Sea Cliff and Bayville are underserved. Town government is not in touch with our communities. This is the by-product of six of the seven town leaders that reside in Massapequa, nearly 15 miles away. I live in Woodbury. Getting anything addressed, including roads, snow removal, the Long Island Sound waterways, fishing, garbage and recycling means figuring out who to call and staying on it until it gets addressed. Otherwise, it means taking a day off, going to town hall for a daytime town council meeting to address it in person. Government’s obligation is to serve the people, versus people chasing them down to address something.
Herald Guardian: Are you qualified to tackle those issues and if so, how?
Erin Guida: Yes because of my years of experience managing multidisciplinary teams in the corporate world as well as the nonprofit sector. I’m ready to oversee the town’s operations and bring people together to find comprehensive solutions while being fiscally responsible.
Melissa McCardle: I am fully qualified because I have spent my career working in partnership with communities to tackle a wide range of fiscal and social challenges. As a former healthcare administrator, I was responsible to make challenging business decisions that have required skills in balancing budgets while prioritizing families and communities. As a social work professor, I have spent years in the classroom training students to engage with their communities and develop relationships that assure that all people have a seat at the table when it comes to the policy issues. The issues described above require someone who can collaborate with multiple stakeholders to address serious community issues in a fiscally responsible way. Taxpayers deserve to have leaders who are willing to ask tough questions and to consider innovative solutions to fix the roads, address the sewer system problems and to work honestly and openly with them throughout the process. I will be a strong advocate for the communities impacted by New York American Water and will work closely with my colleagues across the aisle and in county and state governments to identify solutions that can alleviate this incredible burden.
Ned Newhouse: I’m a 60-year-old executive that fixes broken companies to make them functional. I also lived in Roslyn Harbor for 10 years, so I know this community well. I have met with a few of the mayors from these communities and will build strong relationships with them to address the needs of the community. I have the following four-point plan to address being an underserved community.
•A 311 system and a simple resident app to log an issue. It’s worked out very well for the neighboring Town of North Hempstead. Make one call or one post and any issue will be directed to the right party. We must also start a ticket system to provide people with a record. A ticket number would be sent by email to track their request. When a problem is solved a closing email would be sent, which will close the loop. This will make our workers accountable to the people.
•The majority of our town meetings should be at night when people can attend, not during the day. And we should take our town meetings on the road, so we can come to you.
•Road repair and repaving is a big unresolved issue especially north of Massapequa. We have not prioritized our repair efforts for the worst roads first and the current administration has no collective road plan. Every 707 miles of the Town of Oyster Bay should be in a database and posted online, the year it was paved and when it will be paved.
•Councilmanic districts. The six council members would be divided up into turfs and voted on by that local segment. Residents would have the attention of one person and would know exactly who to call. I like accountability. If I don’t do the job, you don’t vote me back in. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.