Huntington town council member

Posted: Updated:

Joan A. Cergol
Democratic

Background: Cergol, 57, of Halesite, was appointed to the Huntington Town Board in December 2017, to fill a vacancy created when Town Councilwoman Susan A. Berland was elected to the Suffolk County legislature. Cergol, is running on the Democrat, Working Families, Independence and Women's Equality party lines. Cergol was previously the director of the Town of Huntington Community Development Agency from 2013 to 2017. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast journalism and public relations from LIU Post in Brookville. Cergol has also worked as an economic development specialist in the Town of Huntington supervisor's office, and she owned a marketing and public relations business in Huntington. She is a graduate of the Molloy College Energeia Partnership, a two-year leadership training program. Cergol is married to Greg Cergol, the Long Island reporter for WNBC-TV, and they have two adult children.

Issues: Cergol said that she is an advocate for "preserving the environment and water quality" and is concerned about "nitrogens that are being discharged into our harbors and waterways." She continued, "We need to come up with solutions that protect our waters" from nitrogen pollution. Cergol said she is also "very attuned to the opioid epidemic, drug abuse and gangs" — three issues she says she "would like to continue to focus on, going forward." Cergol said that if elected she would start planning community information forums on issues of community concern such as "land use and the impact of newer 5G technology and what we can do to minimize overexposure to radiation levels." Cergol said that as she has "grown into the work as a councilwoman over the past 10 and a half months," she has seen the need for more public discussion to form a consensus on solutions to issues facing the community.  

James F. Leonick
Republican

Background: Leonick, 56, of East Northport, is an attorney with a private practice in estate planning, real estate transactions and representing plaintiffs in personal injury litigation. Leonick is running on the Republican, Conservative and Reform party lines. . He earned an associate degree from Suffolk County Community College in Selden, a bachelor of arts degree in English from SUNY Albany, and a juris doctor's degree from Touro Law School. Leonick ran unsuccessfully for Huntington town council last year. Leonick is active as a parent leader with Boy Scout Troop 52 in East Northport. He is a member and past president of the Rotary Club of East Northport. Leonick is married and has three children.

Issues: Leonick said a major issue facing Huntington residents is "excessive development and down-zoning from residential to high-density apartments and mixed use." Leonick said, "my goal is to keep the suburbs, the suburbs, and to slow the volume of development and decrease unnecessary down-zoning." Leonick said that he would support "various means of fighting the tax increase proposed by LIPA and National Grid based upon the reduction of the tax assessment on the Northport Power Plant, which is currently in litigation." Leonick said that if the utilities "are successful everybody in the town will pay hundreds of millions of dollars to reimburse the utilities for back taxes, and the Northport-East Northport school district would pay a tremendous increase in school taxes going forward." Leonick added, "Our groundwater and our harbors need to be protected from increasing nitrogen loads, which negatively impact the quality of our water."

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