Local elections often go unnoticed, especially in an “off year” like 2011 when state and federal elections aren’t on the ballot. While this is unfortunate for many reasons, it’s particularly unfortunate because these local races often determine the direction of land use and transportation policy in the region. The majority of land use decisions are made at the local levels, and local budgets often determine the direction of transportation priorities. (See Bus, Long Island)
This year, in addition to myriad local town and municipality elections, both the Nassau and Suffolk County Legislatures are up for election. Suffolk County will also elect a new County Executive, as current County Executive Steve Levy is not running for reelection.
To provide voters with insights into candidates’ positions on key transportation and land use issues, Tri-State drafted a questionnaire for races in both County Legislatures and the race for Suffolk County Executive. Issues covered include the privatization of Long Island Bus, expansion of bus service in Suffolk County, and positions on development around the Nassau Hub and the Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center. Questionnaires were distributed to each candidate in the Nassau County Legislative races, to both candidates for the Suffolk County Executive race and via the Suffolk County Democratic and Republican Party headquarters for the Suffolk County Legislative races.
Here are the responses Tri-State received:
Suffolk County Executive candidate Angie Carpenter
Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (District 1)
Nassau County Legislative candidate Carrie Solages (District 3)
Nassau County Legislative candidate Darlene Tangney (District 4)
Nassau County Legislative candidate Eva Pearson (District 14)
Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs (District 16)
Nassau County Legislative candidate Delia Deriggi-Whitton (District 18)
Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg (District 19)
TSTC is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and does not support or endorse political candidates.
Images: Suffolk and Nassau County legislative districts, via Suffolk and Nassau County Legislatures, respectively.