Joseph Reinhardt Jr., 69, has lived in Hicksville more on than off since 1941. The registered Republican stopped by Old Country Road Middle School to cast his vote for Oyster Bay’s future leaders and answered some questions about his life in the hamlet.
What issues are you thinking about in the voting booth today?
Reinhardt: Obviously I guess everybody would say property taxes. The other is the revitalization of downtown Hicksville. It has really become a primary parking spot since they widened Broadway and never finished the job.
What was it like growing up in Hicksville?
Reinhardt: It was really neat. I remember having to get my errands done before 1 p.m. because at 1 p.m. a freight train with about 100 cars would roll through the middle of town and you couldn’t get from one side to the other. It would take the train three quarters of an hour to pass and I remember the guy that operated the gates only had one leg.
When you think about how Hicksville has changed, what’s the first thing that pops in your head?
Reinhardt: Traffic. That just jumps in my head. The whole island is ridiculous.
What’s one change in Hicksville that you enjoy?
Reinhardt: (Pauses for a while) -- I'm still here, I must like something, right? The people. I used to call them the LTHR, longtime Hicksville residents
What’s one change you’d like to undo here in Hicksville?
Reinhardt: There’s not enough empty land. I don’t know how the water stays clean with all of the concrete.
How did you vote today?
Reinhardt: I am registered Republican but I vote Independent. I voted for Rose Walker because it's funny -- revitalization is a primary thing but also if I see her walking down the street I know I can approach her. She has the people of Hicksville at heart.