Town of Hempstead Supervisor

Posted: 10/23/2017 14:47:00 -04:00 Updated:

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Laura A. Gillen - D, WF, WEP

Background
Gillen, 48, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. She is an attorney in the Uniondale firm of Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein LLP and specializes in commercial litigation. She is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association. She ran unsuccessfully for Nassau County clerk in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University and received her law degree from New York University. Gillen grew up in Baldwin and moved to Rockville Centre in 2003. She previously went on a volunteer mission to Calcutta with the Missionaries of Charity. She is married and has four children.

Issues
Gillen said she has campaigned on ethics reform and said she would, if elected, repeal a recently passed $125,000 outside income cap for members of the Hempstead Town Board. She said she wants “greater disclosure” for the town and would hold more town board meetings in the evenings, rather than in the mornings. She said she would also conduct the public comment portion of the meeting in the beginning, instead of at the end, so residents don’t have to wait hours for the meeting to finish before they can speak. Gillen also said she would archive video of the meetings online; they are currently only live-streamed. She said she has concerns about alleged nepotism and cronyism in the town and would “carefully monitor” the contract procurement system and hire an inspector general. After months of infighting among members of the town board, including among its Republicans, “right now it seems like our town government has become completely dysfunctional,” she said. “This should be a grave concern to everybody in the Town of Hempstead.”

Anthony J. Santino - C, IN, R, Ref

Background
Santino, 56, of East Rockaway, is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence, Reform and Tax Revolt lines. He was elected town supervisor in 2015 after serving as a town councilman since 1993. In 1983, he was elected an East Rockaway village trustee and served two terms, including two years as deputy mayor. He was Hempstead Town’s director of communications from 1978 to 1993. He has also been a spokesman for Nassau County GOP leader Joseph Mondello. Santino has a bachelor’s degree in history from St. Joseph’s University. He is single and has no children.

Issues
Santino said he has cut spending significantly during his tenure as supervisor and has put together the first structurally balanced budgets in two decades. “We’re getting results for taxpayers with very tight fiscal management, using innovation and strict management to lower costs,” he said. “I’m trying to maximize efficiencies and cut costs.” Santino said he has worked to run the town as if it were a business and tried to restore its fiscal stability after years of using the surplus to fund operations. If elected, he said, he would continue to build up the town’s surplus, as well as invest more money than the current $25 million allocated for the repair and maintenance of the town’s 1,200 miles of roads. “That’s something you can’t put off forever,” he said, noting the current funding level is “clearly not enough.” He said he would also continue efforts to make the town more “user-friendly” for residents, and especially wants to streamline processes in the building department with its new “express window” for permits.

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