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VOTE411 Voter Guide

District #2

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Siela A. Bynoe (DEM, WFP, IND, REF, WEP) Legislator, 2nd District

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    James Lamarre (REP, CON) Business Owner

Change Candidates

Every candidate in every Nassau County election for decades says something like: “We must reform the unjust property tax system to provide businesses and homeowners with a transparent, fair and clear assessment program going forward.” And it never happens. Other than repeating the above, what is your specific plan for fixing this system that continues a debt burden for Nassau County.

Integrity, honesty, trustworthiness are all qualities we expect from our politicians, yet Nassau County has had several elected officials that have faced criminal charges. What specifically will you do to implement accountability, transparency, checks and balances, and proper oversight? What concrete steps will you take to re-build the public’s trust?

Having the financial resources to live in Nassau County is becoming increasingly difficult. What strategic plans do you have on the county level to support and partner with the various municipalities to create more affordable housing for young adults, working families and seniors?

Redistricting and gerrymandering affect the choice of candidates that voters elect to represent them. What are your views for setting up an independent redistricting commission for Nassau County for the drawing of lines after the 2020 census? If you agree with setting up an independent redistricting commission, how would you make it a reality in Nassau County? If you are not for an independent redistricting commission, why not?

In order to fix the broken system, we must first hire a qualified tax assessor. The current administration has appointed an acting assessor who does not have the proper qualifications to hold the position. A qualified assessor would be able to work with the county stakeholders to establish and implement a plan to fix the assessment program.

After learning that homeowners in minority areas represented the greatest percentage of those who had not filed property tax assessment grievances, I set forth an initiative to address the unjust burden impacting district residents. Through property tax assessment workshops, informational letters, and employing unprecedented outreach efforts to both community leaders and constituents, I sought to illuminate the benefits and ease of the tax assessment filing process and ensure that homeowners have an equal and informed opportunity to decrease their assessed bills.
In an effort to protect taxpayers from the high price of corruption, I worked with my colleagues to introduce legislation to establish the Office of the Inspector General. The legislation was crafted to ensure that multiple safeguards are in place to enable the inspector general to operate independently and without fear of retaliation. In addition, the legislation would ensure that the office is properly resourced to effectively and thoroughly investigate the county operations, including the procurement process. Ultimately, if approved, this initiative would deliver transparency and restore integrity to County government.
My experience in housing has proved beneficial during my tenure as a Legislator. After introducing legislation to start a land bank, a non-profit corporation organized to buy, restore, and market abandoned properties, the Nassau County Land Bank was officially formed in 2015. Its mission is to remove the blight of "zombie" homes in the community by renovating homes and putting them on the market at affordable prices, making home ownership a real possibility in Nassau County. As a Director of the Land Bank, I will continue the work to create affordable housing options throughout Nassau County.
The establishment of an independent redistricting commission can allow the focus to be placed on the needs of constituents and the promotion of equality among various populations, which has been my goal throughout my time as Legislator. An independent commission should consist of qualified individuals who represent the various demographics reflected across the Nassau County landscape. Working with my colleagues, with the support of engaged and concerned citizens, a transparent and constituent centered independent redistricting commission can become a reality for Nassau County.
I am a solution-orientated person and it is my goal to make meaningful changes. There must be fiscal responsibility and cost efficiency. Wasting resources and a broken system is not fair to anyone in Nassau County. I propose a reduction in wasteful spending and holding anyone accountable for unethical behavior or mismanagement of County resources. I would also address the need to increase the tax base, which can be achieved by creating effective programs that will not only assist property investors during the attainment process but also throughout the life of ownership to ensure maintenance and even expansion where applicable. I would engage banks, lending firms, community organizations, the Small Business Administration and other entities to be a part of these supportive programs. Also, I propose a more effective system in which property owners can report grievances and challenges ensuring prompt resolution. I am a candidate for the people and together we can make this happen.
I believe that integrity and transparency are the two most important things an elected official must possess in order to serve the community at the highest level. I would enforce zero tolerance for corruption and ethics violations at all levels. I would fight wasteful patronage and work hard to eliminate wasteful spending across the board. Nassau County deserves honest, hard-working representatives that will add value not diminish it.
Affordable housing is essential to any area, especially Nassau County. I propose that landlords who rent to individuals under 30 and seniors provide a subsidized rental amount, for which, landlords would receive a tax credit. I also propose implementing community programs to assist working families to avoid evictions, and in addition, provide empowerment and support to families that want become property owners.
I oppose any type of redistricting and gerrymandering that negatively affect residents of Nassau County. I do support the proposal to create and implement an independent committee to oversee the process. I would also like to encourage the input of residents that know the areas in which they live the best, in order to determine where districts should begin and end. I propose the independent commission be a requirement for redistricting to take place and legislation put in place to oversee the commission process to ensure accountability and integrity at all levels.

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