Suffolk County Legislature District 7

Posted: 10/23/2017 16:40:00 -04:00 Updated:

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Robert T. Calarco - D, IN, WF

Background
Calarco, 38, is seeking his fourth two-year term as a county lawmaker, running on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence party lines. He is the legislature’s deputy presiding officer and chairman of the government operations and personnel committee. Born and raised in upstate Auburn, Calarco moved to Suffolk to attend Dowling College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science. Later he received a master’s degree in public administration from Stony Brook University. Before his election, he had served as chief of staff for former Legis. Jack Eddington. A resident of Patchogue for 12 years, Calarco is a member of the Patchogue Historical Society and the Patchogue Garden Club. He is married and has a daughter and two sons.

Issues
Calarco is running on his record of bringing in county funds to improve the district, including $18.5 million to connect homeowners in low-lying areas of Patchogue to the village sewer system, and providing grants for new high-tech septic systems to protect groundwater. He also has worked to provide funding for a master plan for East Main Street in Patchogue, the relocation of the former Carnegie Library to Main Street, and the sale of the former Foley nursing home to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital for the relocation of its dialysis unit, making room for a downtown hotel. He has obtained funding to remove invasive species from Canaan Lake and to redesign Waverly Avenue near Patchogue Lake to improve safety, add parking and allow use of parkland.

Christine T. Rignola - C, R, WEP

Background
Rignola, 49, of Patchogue, is making her first bid for the county legislature and is running on the Republican, Conservative and Women’s Equality ballot lines. Raised in East Patchogue, Rignola graduated from Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and English and from Stony Brook University with a master’s degree in liberal studies and education. She has had a varied career working for Fireworks by Grucci in hazmat logistics, a real estate agent and a teacher for 15 years. She is currently in charge of maintaining all technology equipment for a South Country School District’s elementary schools. Rignola, first elected in 2012, is also serving her second term on the Patchogue-Medford school board, where she spent two years as a board vice president. She also chairs a committee on building operations and security and the committee on positive culture and identity, which does outreach to diverse community groups. A former Girl Scout leader, she is also involved with Our Community Salute, a group that honors new enlistees in the armed services as well as veterans. She has two children.

Issues
Rignola opposes the county’s red light camera program as well as other fees for alarms, car registrations, mortgages and tax map verification. She also said she favors a bill that would bar lawmakers from voting on county contracts that may affect them or their families. She criticized the county for not balancing its budget for the past decade and said officials “must think out of the box” to save money, though she would not support any layoffs of county employees. She also said county law enforcement has good education programs to combat opioid and drug use, but they are underutilized. She believes she can use her education experience to help widen their impact.

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