Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton

From the Desk of Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton

To my constituents, this is my first column as your Legislator in Nassau County’s 18th Legislative District, which encompasses Glen Cove, Sea Cliff, Bayville, Locust Valley, Brookville, Glen Head, Greenvale, Jericho and Old Westbury. I am serving on the Finance Committee, Health and Social Services Committee, Economic and Community Development and Labor Committee, and I am the Ranking Member of the Towns, Villages and Cities Committee. I am very grateful that I was chosen to represent this district, and promise that I will diligently serve each of you.

I am writing this week to establish contact with you in this newspaper and to provide you with a regular update on the issues that I’m working on and the concerns that I hear from our residents as I travel around our district.

As I am sure you are aware, the County faces a serious budget deficit and is in a constant struggle to balance its books. County Executive Edward Mangano and his majority in the Legislature have resorted to slashing services, laying off employees and borrowing money in order to make ends meet.

My colleagues and I in the Democratic caucus are opposed to the excessive borrowing of $450 million that County Executive Mangano has asked for in his plan. This is essentially kicking the can down the street, in a time when our elected leaders are being asked to make tough decisions. While they will claim they are holding the line on taxes, the truth is that borrowing this massive sum will only forestall a tax increase down the road that our children and grandchildren will be forced pay for.

As your Legislator, it will be my priority to make sure that Nassau County operates within its means and with sound fiscal practices, while still providing the high level of service that our residents expect.

Although the broader County issues are on the forefront of our minds, I will be sure to thoroughly examine and follow up on any issues in our community. Since my first day in office I have been following a pressing local issue regarding hydro fracking in New York State and I want you to know that it has my full attention.

The environment is of major importance to me and I am committed to stopping pollution and revitalizing contaminated areas wherever possible. So, I was immediately alarmed by recent rumors that Glen Cove’s water treatment facility is one of a handful of sites in New York State that could possibly be used to process hazardous, possibly radioactive, material that would be imported to Long Island from upstate New York.

Upon my initial research, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has told me that this rumor could simply be a misunderstanding. However, working as a city councilwoman, I was part of a large, ongoing effort to clean up our contaminated areas. It has been a goal of many people, including me, to revitalize polluted areas in Glen Cove and the Gold Coast. So, the idea of trucking in waste from upstate does, at the very least, require some serious investigation. I will continue to research this plan I will be certain to share the latest details with my constituents if there appears to be any truth to this.

I would like to again thank you for the honor of serving as your Legislator. I will be reaching out to all of you in many ways over the next few months to learn of your concerns and to let you know what I will be doing to improve the 18thLD and all of Nassau County.