Glen Cove Council - Democrat

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Glen Cove Council - Democrat

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Andrew Bennett:

Background:
Bennett, 42, is running in a Democratic primary. He has the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines in the general election. Bennett is a middle-school principal. He has a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in education from St. John’s University. He spent part of his childhood in Glen Cove and has lived the past seven years in the city with his wife and three children.

Issues:
Bennett said city officials should do more outreach to residents, through more town halls and by seeking consensus on key issues such as the Garvies Point waterfront project. “I feel some of the current leadership in the city is doing a poor job of really representing the people of Glen Cove,” he said. The huge tax breaks for Garvies Point “really didn’t take into account what the citizens need and want,” said Bennett, who predicted that, despite city officials’ assertions, revenue from the project will not pay for increased services needed by new residents. The city also should require developers of market-rate projects to provide more units for middle- and lower-income residents, he said. Bennett called for a City Council liaison to city schools, to better understand the needs of young people.

Marcela L. De La Fuente:

Background:
De La Fuente, 58, is running in a Democratic primary. She has the Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines in the general election. De La Fuente had for years owned a cleaning business in Glen Cove, which she closed last year. She graduated from Nuestra Virgen de Guadalupe CQhigh school in her native Chile and has lived in Glen Cove for about 40 years. She is married with five children.

Issues:
De La Fuente said the city’s Latino community needs “a voice” on the City Council. “We have 30 percent of the population here cq. I’m finding latest census figures saying 27.9% so she’s right/mg and have no one to represent us in the city government,” she said. “People don’t get the services they deserve.” For example, she said, there should be more Spanish-speaking police officers. De La Fuente said she would help Spanish-speaking and other residents get better access to city services. She opposes the Garvies Point waterfront development, because of the tax breaks that are both “a good deal for the developer but not for Glen Cove residents,” and because of its size, which she said would bring too much traffic and other problems into the city. De La Fuente said the city should do more to require developers to build affordable housing.

Anne Phillips:

Background:
Phillips, 46, is running in a Democratic primary. She has the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines in the general election. Phillips works in tax administration for an accounting firm and is president of Glen Cove City Schools’ special education PTA. The Glen Cove native received a bachelor’s degree in international politics from Penn State University. Phillips has two children and is single. She is one of 105 plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to block the construction of the Garvies Point waterfront development.

Issues:
Phillips said the size of Garvies Point — and the huge tax breaks for it — helped inspire her to get involved in politics. “The volume and density of the residential housing they’re starting to build is very out of character not only with Glen Cove but the North Shore of Long Island in general,” she said, referring to high-density developments in the city. Tax breaks may sometimes be appropriate, but the number and size of them “seems to be snowballing out of control,” she said. “We have to start thinking about the long-term effects on the city as you continue to do this. It shouldn’t be something that’s expected but analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

Marsha F. Silverman:

Background:
Silverman, 46, is running in a Democratic primary. She has the Reform Party line in the general election. Silverman has worked for more than 25 years in finance and data analytics. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Haverford College and an MBA in finance from New York University. Silverman is originally from Queens and moved to Glen Cove six years ago. She is married. Silverman is one of 105 plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to block construction of the Garvies Point waterfront development.

Issues:
Silverman said that “with my finance background, I can add a lot of value to how the city manages its budget and finance practices, and put disciple around that.” Current “budgeting practices are very short-sighted” and not designed to ensure long-term revenue, she said. Silverman opposes tax breaks for residential projects such as Garvies Point, and she believes that the payments in lieu of taxes for the project won’t be enough to cover the increase in services and strain on infrastructure from the development. Silverman wants to create neighborhood community councils to advise the City Council. She said a recent Industrial Development Agency meeting on developer tax breaks that was held in the late afternoon outside the regular meeting schedule illustrates that “this city needs a lot more transparency.”

Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews:

Background:
Stevenson-Mathews, 58, is running in a Democratic primary. He has the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines in the general election. He is a speech and language coach for business professionals. He founded and ran a theater company in Dallas. Stevenson-Mathews has an associate degree in business from Louisburg College in North Carolina, a bachelor’s in English literature from Berea College in Kentucky and a master’s in theater from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is a North Carolina native who moved to Glen Cove in 2007 with his husband.

Issues:
Stevenson-Mathews said he is “for development as long as it is a smart and balanced approach.” But projects such as the huge Garvies Point along the waterfront are a poor fit for the city, and the tax breaks for them are far too large, he said. The city “should be developed in a way that is keeping with the beauty and quaintness that comes with Glen Cove. With the magnitude of the developments, we are losing that.” He said the city is not transparent enough, pointing to how a recent Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency public hearing on tax breaks for a developer was held at 5:30 p.m. outside the IDA’s regular schedule. “Input from the community should be welcomed,” he said. “Instead it’s seen as a hindrance.”

Roderick Watson:

Background:
Watson, 42, is running in a Democratic primary as he seeks his second Glen Cove City Council term. He has the Working Families and Women’s Equality lines in the general election. He was elected as a Republican in 2015 and switched to the Democratic Party last year. Watson is a medical social worker for the New York State Veterans’ Home in Queens. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Hofstra University and a master’s in social work from Stony Brook University. Watson, a lifelong Glen Cove resident, is single.

Issues:
Watson opposes the more than $200 million in tax breaks developer RXR Glen Isle Partners received last year for the Garvies Point waterfront project, plus a bond to build public amenities at the project with future city tax revenue. “New businesses that come into Glen Cove, especially small businesses, don’t receive any type of financial assistance,” he said. “There’s no equivalency.” Watson said he regularly helps residents access city services and puts them in touch with police and other officials for assistance. He supports creating boards to advise the city on key issues, such as children’s issues. “I’d like to see more community involvement,” he said.

Roger C. Williams:

Background:
Williams, 48, is running in a Democratic primary. He has the Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines in the general election. He is pastor of First Baptist Church of Glen Cove. He is a past president of the Glen Cove NAACP. Williams, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, native, studied for three years at Southern University in Baton Rouge and two years at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has lived in Glen Cove for 18 years. He is divorced and has a son.

Issues:
“There is a great need for a moral vision in the way we govern the citizens here in Glen Cove,” Williams said. The city focuses too much on attracting high-end housing and not enough on developing housing for the working class and working poor, he said. “I think a lot of people are being priced out of Glen Cove, and a lot of people who are already here are feeling the pressure,” he said. Williams said tax breaks to builders could be appropriate in some cases, especially for affordable housing, but the huge breaks to RXR Glen Isle Partners for the Garvies Point project were excessive. Williams said the city should erect a recreation center to provide more activities for young people.

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