There is a reassessment for Nassau County scheduled for 2018. It is incumbent on the County Legislature to have active oversight over this process to ensure that this reassessment is performed in an accurate manner, as well as preserving the right of taxpayers to grieve the result if they disagree with it.
For over ten years in the New York State Assembly, my conference and I brought amendments to the floor which would strip the pensions for those in public office who abuse the trust they were given and profited themselves. This year, there will finally be a constitutional amendment on the ballot to be voted on by the voters who will hopefully make this a reality. The legislature must vigorously scrutinize all contracts so that the public faith is restored in how taxpayer dollars are being spent.
Nassau County should partner with towns and villages to allow for higher density housing so young adults can stay here when they finish schools, and seniors can afford to live here in retirement. There have been numerous projects recently built in Mineola and Rockville Centre near mass transit, but are not affordable to many. We would need to partner with the state legislature on possible tax credits to give incentives to developers to construct such housing. The Nassau Hub is also an area that has potential for such housing.
While in the New York State Assembly, I voted for the constitutional amendment which will provide for a redistricting commission for the 2022 redrawing of the state legislative lines. I would like to see if this process is truly effective when that occurs, and if this should be a model for Nassau and other municipalities. The challenge is to to design a commission which is truly independent to equitably draw the lines.
Once elected, and working with the new CE. A qualified Assessor will be appointed. The assessment department will be supported with qualified workers therefore eliminating the need to contract any reviews from outside agencies. Reviews will be done more frequently therefore having more updated information to assess properties fairly and timely.
I firmly believe we need an Independent Inspector General whose sole responsibility is to comb through the millions of dollars of contracts to review any conflict of interest. In addition, a more user friendly public access to contracts that are being bid and those that are in effect. Campaign finance reform to eliminate conflicts of interest with receiving contributions from vendors that do business with the county. I also feel strongly about communicating with the community, therefore I will hold public town halls in different parts of the district in the evening. It is important to communicate the work being done, but also having a report card response to my performance.
I also am in favor of term limits. I believe that change is necessary and promotes progress. Unfortunately, we must all discuss measures that prevent elected officials found guilty of a crime from receiving taxpayer supported pensions. It should be that simple, you commit a crime you lose your pension.
We need to better provide more accessible, affordable and reliable transportation. NICE bus has eliminated bus routes and continues to operate in a deficit. I believe local government may have to step in before this issue becomes so severe it is unsolvable. Revitalizing downtown areas that have access to bus and trains to promote affordable housing in an effort to lure young professionals, young families and seniors to stay on Long island. In addition, any property owner, or developer, would be required to maintain the property under affordable housing guidelines for a period of time to be determined. Developing business in our downtowns will also keep communities flourishing and continue to grow.
A independent redistricting commission is necessary to curb gerrymandering. But I believe a bipartisan group is essential and can be effective in keeping districts fair. Currently one party controls the redistricting, that has taken a toll on residents being redistricted into others that just don't make sense. Once elected we must look to develop this commision quickly so that they have the time to do the research before the next census which is in 4 years.