Public safety is the overriding concern for all three candidates running in Tuesday's election for two seats on the South Floral Park Village board.
Incumbent trustee George L. Ingram of the Residents Party has been in office since 1999 and also serves as the village's police commissioner. He touts his experience, his work with youth and his public safety record, especially cooperating with the Fifth Precinct to increase police patrols and the number of tickets issued to people running stop signs.
"I'm committed to making sure our village remains a safe place to live and raise a family," said Ingram, 51, who is a managed health care executive for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. "And also make sure our village taxes remain as low as possible."
In past years, Ingram has served as the village's commissioner of power and light and of roads and highways. He also coaches basketball for several area boys and girls programs.
Ingram also cites his financial acumen. He said during the 12 years he's been in office, village taxes have not been raised. He pointed out that this is a challenge because the village does not have a commercial strip, forcing trustees to come up with alternative ways to raise revenue, including erecting a cell tower in the village.
Both Gary R. McCollin, of the Village Party, and Marian P. Kelly, of the Citizens Party, said they are concerned with road and traffic safety in the village of about 1,700 people that sits within a 0.1-square-mile area. It is nestled between Floral Park, Belmont Park racetrack and Route 24 in the Town of Hempstead.
McCollin, 41, is the director of medical staff services at the Mount Sinai Hospital of Queens. He said he has lived in the village since 1976 and is a longtime supporter of Mayor Geoffrey Prime. McCollin is running for public office for the first time and said the time was right to get involved officially with community service.
"Cars are speeding through the neighborhood, and I want to work with our police department to help crack down on offenders," he said. "I want to see the neighborhood improve and give back to the neighborhood that I grew up in."
First-time candidate Kelly, 57, is a registered nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park. She has lived in the village for 27 years and thinks the current administration is doing the best it can but believes she brings integrity, a no-nonsense bipartisan approach and fresh ideas, especially when it comes to safety regarding children.
"I really got concerned when they started talking about closing the Fifth Precinct," Kelly said. "We have stop signs on just about every corner to slow down traffic, everyone gets a heavy foot now and again but come on, we need to do more besides the stop signs."
Voting is from noon to 9 p.m. at Village Hall.