The two candidates in the 11th Legislative District offer differing views on the best way to make Nassau County's government more efficient and reduce the property tax burden on its residents.
Incumbent Democrat Wayne Wink of Roslyn advocates what he calls "right-sizing of government, which is not so much consolidating as figuring the right level of government to do the job and getting all the other levels of government out of the way."
For Republican Jeffrey Losquadro of Albertson, who is chairman of the Albertson Water District Board of Commissioners, the answer is cutting patronage jobs, eliminating the county home energy tax and fostering new development to bring in additional revenue.
Wink, 42, running for his second two-year term after winning a special election to fill an unexpired term, has had a chance to try out his solution. The county has turned over some of its roads and parks in North Hempstead to the town. Wink, who served as a town board member for five years, voted for the plan in that role and later sponsored the county legislation for the transfer.
Losquadro, 49, president of Hy-Grade Fuel Oil Co. in Mineola and an unsuccessful candidate for the North Hempstead Town Board two years ago, argues that under Democratic control "services have declined and taxes have increased to the point that young people can't stay here anymore and seniors can't afford it."
Like the other Republican candidates, Losquadro hopes to repeal the county's 2.5-percent energy tax to "give people some relief." He wants to overhaul the county's assessment system to avoid borrowing money to refund overpayments. He said the county should reassess properties only every five years "to give people a chance to budget" for increases.
Losquadro said the county could raise additional revenue by fostering development of affordable housing in buildings up to five stories high.
Wink introduced the legislation that put a referendum on the ballot to make the assessor's position an appointed one, rather than an elected one. He sponsored the law creating a Silver Alert system to notify numerous agencies quickly about missing senior citizens with Alzheimer's or other disorders.