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VOTE411 Voter Guide

District #10

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    David A. Adhami (REP, CON) Attorney Experienced in Civil and Criminal Litigation

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    Ellen W. Birnbaum (DEM, WFP, IND, WEP) Legislator

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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?

My Specific plan to fix the system that continues a debt burden for Nassau County is to negotiate better contracts and cut wasteful patronage contracts that are given to friends of politicians. If a business is not fiscally responsible it goes out of business, but for too long we have had politicians who make poor fiscal choices and pass the bill to the taxpayers. As a small business owner and coming from a family of small business owners I understand what it means to do more with less and be financially responsible. I will fight for Nassau County tax payers to make sure they are getting what they pay for.
In order to re-build the public’s trust I would strongly support term limits for politicians to make sure they do not become career politicians. I believe that too many politicians are concerned with keeping their job security and will go to extremes in order to promote their own selfish interests, as opposed to fighting for the best interests of their constituents. Additionally I would work diligently to pass legislation if an elected official is found guilty of corruption or an ethics violation, they would lose their position and all benefits including but not limited to their pension. Nassau County tax payers should not be paying for the pensions of corrupt politicians. I would make it illegal for there to be any financial or familial connection between Contractors and politicians who vote
In order to create more affordable housing for young adults, working families, and seniors, I would propose tax abatements for new developments that would give preference to Nassau County residents. Landlords and business owners must be incentivized to invest in Nassau County. If property taxes remain as high as they are, landlords are essentially discouraged from investing in Nassau County. When taxes remain at unsustainably high rates, rents must also be increased, thus making it impossible for landlords to charge lower rents even if they wanted to. Additionally I would propose legislation to rezone certain areas so that larger apartment buildings can be built at lower costs.
Setting up an independent redistricting commission for Nassau County after the 2020 census seems like a good idea initially, but one must ask who will comprise this commission and what will their qualifications be? I would be against an independent redistricting commission. Too often these so called independent commissions are just an additional form of bureaucracy and government red tape that end up wasting more tax dollars and further muddying the process.
Nassau County needs a qualified professional Assessor who can take charge. For over 6 years, Nassau has had an acting assessor who was never confirmed by the Legislature. Nassau needs an assessor who can lead a review of the assessment of all properties so that residents believe that there is a fair system in place where they don't need to challenge their assessment each year. Companies that do these challenges have been making far too much money as a result of this broken system at the expense of taxpayers.
I strongly believe that Nassau County needs the office of an Independent Inspector General who does not report to the County Executive. By creating this position along with a support staff, there would be much needed oversight of the contracting process. In addition, the County Board of Ethics must function as a body that can review any ethical issue that arises. All the committees of the Legislature must meet on a regular basis to ensure that proposed legislation is thoroughly reviewed in a public forum. By taking these steps, the public will begin to see government function more transparently.
Nassau County needs to have more exciting, vibrant downtown areas which would attract young people when looking for a place to live and work. The County should work with Villages and the Towns to provide incentives to support housing and job opportunities. The County must attract new businesses such as in the HUB area as well as in local communities. Expansion of IDA County tax benefits to developers of housing projects in return for affordable rent commitments would help to provide affordable housing. The County can work with local municipalities to encourage zoning incentives for mandated. New buildings should have a certain percentage of apartments mandated so that working families can afford to reside in them.
Redistricting every ten years has been a complicated divisive process.which must be improved upon. An independent commission would help to reduce the partisan politics that takes place when gerrymandering a district. It is important to find qualified independent people to serve on a commission, I believe that it would be a very worthwhile endeavor to have an independent commission to examine the districts in 2020.

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