Hall and Garner to face off again
In interviews with Newsday, the political foes announced they both plan to run in the race to be decided at the polls on March 19. Hall, 65, a Democrat, has been in office since 2005. Garner, 67, a Republican, was village mayor from 1989 to 2005. Hall beat Garner in 2005 and 2009.
"I am going to run because I still haven't completed what we have set out to do," said Hall, who has lived in the village for almost 35 years.
Hall said he's committed to completing the $2 billion downtown revitalization project, continuing to lower crime, reducing the village deficit, improving the bond rating, creating a 311 system and having Shot Spotter functioning by January.
"The downtown development is an important piece of the quality of life for the village, and we are going to put our residents back to work," Hall said. He added that 25 percent of jobs created by the project will go to village residents, and 25 percent of contracts to minority businesses.
Hall, who has kidney disease, is seeking a third term despite health challenges. He is also facing sexual harassment, discrimination and intimidation allegations from village justice Tanya Hobson-Williams. "I am going to prove her allegations are false," Hall said.
Garner, the first African-American elected mayor on Long Island, said he is running to promote economic development, create jobs, help increase the village's employment, fight crime and work to allow the village to collect its own sales tax, which are filtered through the state and county.
He would like to place a surveillance tower in the village to give police "an eye in the sky."
Garner has dismissed critics, including Hall, who have complained that he left the village with a $6.5 million deficit and a bond rating one notch above junk. "I'm running because I think we are running in the wrong direction in the Village of Hempstead," said Garner, a Nassau Count deputy comptroller who has lived in the village since 1969.
"Nobody is going to invest money in Hempstead if the crime is not under control."