As Town Clerk, I am dedicated to constraining expenses of my department and delivering important services for residents. I have reduced expenses within my office and have helped the Town Board achieve a NO tax increase budget for 2018. Town taxes make up only 13% of your property tax bill, while school taxes comprise 67% of your total taxes. More must be done at the State level to combat the high cost of school spending in our State. I commend State leaders for approving a property tax cap to protect our residents.
The Town of Oyster Bay recently won a $10 million award from Governor Cuomo and the State of New York for redevelopment of downtown Hicksville. Together with community leaders and local civic organizations, the Town drafted and is advancing plans for rezoning the community and incorporating new housing options. This initiative, along with the MTA’s investment of $132 million in the Hicksville LIRR station, will transform downtown Hicksville into an attractive, vibrant area for young families.
Earlier this year, the Town was awarded $350,000 in State grants to help combat the Zombie Home crisis. More must be done at the State level to help towns and cities tackle abandon properties and transform them into housing for young people and veterans.
$10 million was awarded this year to the Town of Oyster Bay from the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program for storm resiliency and hazard mitigation projects. These funds are a critical component when it comes to strengthening our infrastructure in storm surge zones and providing safe locations with generator-power for first responders, evacuees and emergency workers. The Town is currently in the process of designing and constructing traffic light upgrades along roadways that are critical for safe and secure passage during and after storms. Solar-powered LED lightbulbs are being installed and backup solar-powered retrofits to ensure major roadways and those surrounding key facilities remain lit during power outages. Furthermore, funds are being invested in a shoreline erosion and flooding mitigation project.
My single most important objective, once elected, is to curb corruption in the Town of Oyster Bay and increase transparency in the Town Clerk's office. Eliminating corruption within the town will lead to a decrease in overall spending and allow the town to implement property tax relief. A corruption free town will help to retain current residents by increasing the trust between residents and the government that serves them. A tax relief will also help to keep young professionals in town. I have been a proven advocate for change and transparency within the town - having founded the watchdog group - Long Island Citizens for Good Government.
One area that the Town of Oyster Bay needs to improve on is developing and implementing transit oriented housing - as so many other towns of Long Island have. Any transit oriented development must include affordable housing options for low income and young professionals. Tackling the burden of excessive property taxes is also necessary to ensure that young people remain on and move to the Town of Oyster Bay.
It is important to recognize the connection between climate change and hurricanes. Installing solar panels on town buildings, expanding infrastructure for charging stations, and promoting solar panel installation through tax credits is a significant first step in finding a solution to climate change.