There are three seats up for grabs on Oyster Bay’s Town Board, which is solidly Republican. The three candidates on the Republican ticket include newcomers, Laura Maier and Vicki Walsh. Both hope to be given the opportunity to utilize their business experience and community engagement as councilwomen. Steve Labriola, an incumbent, was assigned to the board in February to replace Councilwoman Rebecca Alesia, who resigned. Labriola hopes to be elected so he can continue to share his plethora of experience in government to the town.
We asked the candidates a few questions to assist voters when they go to the polls on Nov. 5.
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?
Steve Labriola: When it comes to your quality of life holding the line on taxes and repaving roads are priorities. In the hamlet, I want to resolve the sanitation problem in the business district. I would also like to hire a traffic engineer to present new innovative ideas on how to maximize parking spaces and to create a more efficient traffic flow. I also voted for the sidewalk construction at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School to enhance the safety for children. In Bayville, the town board responded the residents request to build a North Shore dog park at Centre Island Beach. Glen Head/Glenwood Landing and Sea Cliff are suffering from the extremely high cost of water by New York American Water. Although this matter falls on our state representatives and not the town, I plan to continue to urge our state representatives to take full control over the company and transform it from a profit-driven operation to municipal water district(s).
On the environmental front, I’m also working on plans for dozens of new electric-vehicle charging stations. I’m also working on the installation of solar panels to reduce energy costs and our carbon footprint.
Laura Maier: High taxes and roadway maintenance are the biggest issues impacting residents. As your next town councilwoman, I will make for smart investments in repaving our streets and in cutting waste. As a small businesswoman, I know what it takes to cut wasteful spending and implement efficiencies that save money. I’ll also work with Supervisor Saladino and the town attorney to keep legal and political pressure on the State of New York to take over New York American Water so it returns to a municipal water district.
Vicki Walsh: The most important issue in every part of our town is taxes. We must continue to hold the line or reduce taxes to allow people to have the ability to continue to live here. Other issues specific to the North Shore include illegal housing, which has created serious problems in our schools and created unsafe living conditions for its residents. Water quality and the environment is also a priority. We must continue to evaluate ways to keep our waterways safe for all to enjoy. Lastly, I think it is imperative that we continue to invest in our infrastructure, mainly our roadways.
I believe we need for people to join together. Each community needs a monthly meeting with the leaders of each group, the representatives from chamber, civic and schools and a representative from government. Since each hamlet has their own unique issues, the group needs to sit in a room together, be open minded [while] identifying the issues, list the pros and cons and agree on an action plan to tackle them. This group would work together to identify what is needed and how to move forward to hit the ground running. I have experience and a proven record of doing this in my own community of Oyster Bay/East Norwich.
Herald Guardian: Are you qualified to tackle those issues and if so, how?
Steve Labriola: As a former member of the State Assembly, I have a proven track record of getting things done, including strong laws to protect children from sex offenders. My bi-partisan approach, combined with my years of experience as a taxpayer watchdog as the Chief Deputy Comptroller for Nassau County makes me qualified to best represent and achieve results for all residents in the Town of Oyster Bay.
Laura Maier: (No answer given.)
Vicki Walsh: As a resident of East Norwich and an active PTA mother, a local real estate agent and community leader, I have the experience and the knowledge of our North Shore. I am qualified and ready to dive in and help to solve these problems.
Creating focus groups and just sitting, talking to the community and being their liaison, voice and advocate, I have had the pleasure of doing for the past 15 years in my community. Hopefully, I will have the privilege to be that person in our town.