Glen Cove City Council Member

Posted: 10/29/2017 14:20:00 -04:00 Updated:

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Andrew Bennett - D, WF, WEP

Background
Bennett, 51, of Baldwin, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines. He is making his first run for public office. A Hofstra University graduate, he has a bachelor’s degree in business management and economics and a master’s in human resources. Bennett served as Nassau’s director of Equal Employment Opportunity and as deputy director of minority affairs under former county executive Thomas Suozzi. He served two years as executive director of the Empire State Development Corp.’s division of minority and women’s business development, appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011. He runs a management consulting firm, J.K. Bennett and Associates, which he started in 2010. It specializes in business development and diversity issues. He is married, and has three children.

Issues
Bennett said he wants to bring accountability, professionalism, service and innovation to the county clerk’s office, to make sure that its public records are accessible and protected. He said he would use his experience in county and state government to provide better management of the clerk’s office records and employees while updating its operations to reflect 21st century technology. He said he helped streamline the purchasing office and procurement system while working in Nassau. At the state level, he said he converted the certification process for minority- and women-owned businesses from paper to an online system.

Joseph Capobianco - C, IN, R

Background
Capobianco, 57, of Glen Cove, who is running for his second full term on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from LIU Post, and received his law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University. Capobianco has worked as an attorney for the Garden City law firm of Reisman Peirez Reisman & Capobianco since 1990, handling commercial disputes involving real estate, bankruptcy and other issues. Elected to the council in 2014 in a special election to fill former Democratic councilman Nicholas DiLeo Sr.’s seat, Capobianco said his accounting and legal backgrounds “enable me to review the budgets and resolutions whether they’re properly worded, whether we need to give notice, whether there needs to be a public hearing.” He previously served on the Glen Cove YMCA board, and was on the Nassau Health Care Corp. board of directors for about 10 years. He is a member of the Sons of Italy. Capobianco is married and has three children.

Issues
Capobianco said he fully supports a clampdown on illegal housing — an initiative the current administration has pushed for with increased code enforcement. Not only is the practice illegal, he said, but it’s also “a danger issue.” Capobianco described one example of illegal housing as when a landlord rents out knowingly to “five, six, seven, eight people who aren’t related.” He’s supported various developments in Glen Cove as well — notably the $1 billion Garvies Point waterfront project, the Village Square residential and retail project and the Villa condominium project — which he believes are vital to attracting new business and bolstering the city’s tax base. Capobianco is also backing the council’s environmental endeavors, which include planned solar paneling at the fire department’s firehouse and an electric car charging station in a municipal parking garage near City Hall. “We’re moving in the right direction for making things more environmentally safe and sound,” he said.

Matthew Connolly - C, IN, R, Ref

Background
Connolly, 36, is vying for a seat on the city council, running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines. Connolly received a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross, and his law degree from Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law. He’s working as a principal law clerk for a Nassau County court judge after five years as a Nassau County prosecutor and a one-year stint at Grizopoulos & Portz, a law firm that provides legal representation in criminal defense and personal injury cases. He became president of the Glen Cove Republican Club in August 2016, but stepped down in May to run for city council. He is married, with two children.

Issues
Connolly said his career experience in public service has made him gravitate toward public safety issues. Continued police enforcement and public education on the heroin epidemic are important, he said. He praised the Glen Cove Police Department’s continued efforts and the current administration’s reinstatement of the two-officer crime prevention unit in 2014, saying he wants to “build on the work that’s already been done.” Connolly said public forums, town hall meetings and social media could be used as ways to educate Glen Cove residents about the heroin epidemic. “Being in a position on the council to actually hear concerns of residents, and being able to effectively respond to them and work with the entire community — I think I could excel at that,” he said.

Marcela L. De La Fuente - D, WF, WEP

Background
De La Fuente, 58, is running on theDemocratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. 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 high 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 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.

Nick DiLeo Jr. - C, IN, R

Background
DiLeo, 29, of Glen Cove, is an incumbent seeking his second term on the city council, running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. DiLeo graduated from LIU Post with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He is the president of family-owned insurance agency Cam Associates Inc. in Glen Cove. DiLeo is also a general member of the Glen Cove Chamber of Commerce, which supports and promotes local businesses. He is married.

Issues
DiLeo is a proponent of the city’s downtown, which has welcomed some new business in recent years with the newly redone AMC Glen Cove 6, Panera Bread and PetSmart openings. He backs other developments such as the Village Square, a residential and retail project set to open in 2019. The project will bring “new life” into the area, he said. DiLeo wants to continue the budgeting practices of the current administration, which saw a combined $3 million surplus in the past two years’ budgets. “I’m currently a part of what’s going on in the city of Glen Cove,” he said, “and I want to continue doing what I can for everyone in Glen Cove in this capacity.”

Kevin Maccarone - C, IN, R

Background
Kevin Maccarone, 27, of Glen Cove, is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. Maccarone graduated from Xavier University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and obtained his law degree from Touro Law Center. Maccarone joined the law firm of John L. Maccarone as a practicing attorney in March. He volunteered for Glen Cove junior baseball and softball. Maccarone decided to run because he grew up watching his father — former councilman John Maccarone — in local politics and wanted “to try to do my part to get involved,” he said. He is single.

Issues
Maccarone said he would bring businesses back to Glen Cove to expand the city’s tax base. He backs city development projects such as Garvies Point, the Village Square and The Villa at Glen Cove. Maccarone said he embraces Glen Cove’s ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as its younger population. He said he’s spoken to minorities who — like other residents — have expressed concerns on topics such as affordable housing and their level of inclusion in local politics. As a millennial, Maccarone said, “I can be a bridge to that demographic as far as informing them, getting them involved, and helping them understand how local politics affects their lives.”

Pamela D. Panzenbeck - C, IN, R

Background
Panzenbeck, 64, of Glen Cove, is an incumbent seeking her third term on the council. She is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. Panzenbeck graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a teacher certification, and obtained her master’s degree in human resources from the college as well. She retired from her position as a high school business and computer education teacher in the Levittown school district in 2008 after 34 years. Panzenbeck acts as the council’s liaison to the Glen Cove Youth Bureau and the Glen Cove Downtown Business Improvement District, and is a member of the Beautification Commission and Glen Cove Senior Advisory Council. She is also a Glen Cove Hospital volunteer and a trustee, lector and fundraiser for St. Patrick’s Church. Panzenbeck is married and has three children.

Issues
Panzenbeck’s main agenda is continuing to remedy the city’s finances, which included deficit budgets and were “in a terrible state” when she joined the council, she said. She cited successes of the current administration as: A $3 million combined surplus from the past two years’ budgets; a nearly 10 percent increase in homes’ sales prices; a slated $9 million debt reduction by the end of this year; and stabilized taxes with “very minor” annual increases. Panzenbeck is also focused on attracting new families to the area — she lauded a recently opened dog park in Dennis Brian Murray Park as an example of community building — and wants to encourage more minorities and other residents at-large who aren’t participating in local politics to get into government. “The financial picture is probably the thing I’m proudest of,” she said. “ . . . My big thing really is just to keep up the momentum and the level of work and level of accomplishments that have gone through.”

Jeffery J. Peress - G

Background
Peress, 45, of Glen Cove, is seeking a seat on the Glen Cove City Council on the Green Party line. Peress holds an associate degree from Nassau Community College and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Old Westbury. He works as a custodian at a private college. Peress is a delegate for the Nassau County Firefighters Association and a Glen Cove Fire Department volunteer. He formerly served as a North Shore Sheltering Program volunteer and as a board member for Congregation of Tifereth Israel Temple. He is not married.

Issues
Peress opposes multiple development projects in Glen Cove, such as Garvies Point, The Regency at Glen Cove and the Village Square. That includes “146 units clogged into 2.8 acres of land that’s not geared toward low-income or affordable housing,” he said. He said he would push to revoke many decisions of the Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency, which included $1.24 million in tax breaks for RXR Realty for its work on the Village Square project. “We need to attract local businesses, local landlords, not charge too much for rent and give local residents the incentive to open businesses, rather than franchises,” he said. His other focuses include advocating for single-payer health care in New York State and monthly meetings between community members and the police department.

Anne Phillips - D, WF, WEP

Background
Phillips, 46, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. 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 is one of 105 plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to block the construction of the Garvies Point waterfront development. She has two children.

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 - D, Ref, GC

Background
Silverman, 47, is running on the Democratic, Reform and Glen Cove First party lines. Silverman, who has worked for more than 25 years in finance and data analytics, has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Haverford College and a master’s in business administration in finance from New York University. Originally from Queens, she moved to Glen Cove six years ago. Silverman is one of 105 plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to block construction of the Garvies Point waterfront development. She is married.

Issues
“With my finance background,” Silverman said, “I can add a lot of value to how the city manages its budget and finance practices, and put discipline around that.” Current “budgeting practices are very shortsighted” and not designed to ensure long-term revenue, she said. Silverman opposes tax breaks for residential projects such as Garvies Point, and she believes payments-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOTs, 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 late afternoon, outside the regular meeting schedule, illustrates that “this city needs a lot more transparency.”

Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews - D, WF, WEP

Background
Stevenson-Mathews, 56, is running on the Democrat, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. 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 [in] 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 - WF, WEP

Background
Watson, 42, is running for his second term on the Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines. But since losing the Sept. 12 Democratic primary, he said he is not actively campaigning.

Roger C. Williams - D, WF, WEP

Background
Williams, 49, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. 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 create a recreation center to provide more activities for young people.

Michael Zangari - C, IN, R

Background
Zangari, 57, of Glen Cove, is a registered Democrat, but is running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. Zangari attended Farmingdale State College before entering the workforce. He’s been a medical equipment pricing analyst and showroom manager for Home Medical Equipment for seven years, and previously worked for a company that supplies wheelchairs to both private individuals and veterans. After an unsuccessful city council run as a Democrat in 2015, Zangari was elected head of the Glen Cove Democratic Committee — a position he held from January 2016 to April. He then won Republican Party support for City Council in May. Zangari is a Glen Cove Youth Bureau adviser; a member of the Glen Cove Recreation Commission, the Sons of Italy and the Kiwanis Club of Glen Cove; and teaches able-bodied pre-K and kindergarten basketball. He is also a former conference commissioner for a local wheelchair basketball association. Zangari is married with one child.

Issues
One of Zangari’s main charges is to improve accessibility across Glen Cove for those with wheelchairs, canes, crutches and other medical supports. While he touted the city’s more than $360,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation this year to help construct new curb ramps, Zangari said he’d work to bring more buildings in Glen Cove — including those newly renovated — up to code as well. “I’ve always tried to fight for the little guy,” said Zangari, adding that as someone in a wheelchair, he takes the term “little guy” to heart. Zangari also applauds the current administration’s call to eradicate illegal housing.

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