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Nassau villages get a representative on state mandates

David E. Tanner has been elected president of

David E. Tanner has been elected president of the Nassau County Village Officials Association. The mayor of the Village of East Williston, he will establish policies and direct the organization's efforts on behalf of village residents throughout Nassau. Credit: Handout

Nassau villages, with a thicket of state mandates to abide by, now have David Tanner to wade through them.

The new president of the Nassau County Village Officials Association, who has been mayor of East Williston since 2011, is charged with advocating for Nassau's 64 incorporated villages. The issues run the gamut, from seeking changes in the state's cap on property taxes to complying with electronic voting machine requirements.

The greatest challenge is "controlling costs and still meeting the expectations that residents require for service," Tanner said. "The costs come in different forms, to a certain degree it's top-down from the state."

New this year to the association is a three-member editorial board of officials who will establish positions to be published. The group members are Tanner; previous president Ralph Kreitzman, mayor of Great Neck; and first vice president Barbara Donno, mayor of Plandome Manor.

"We see ourselves as a nonpartisan caucus for exemplary governance," said Tanner, 58, a member since 1998. The unpaid president's term is one year.

Tanner's experience as a municipal finance adviser will serve him well, said Peter Cavallaro, Westbury's mayor and also a vice president with the organization.

Tanner said he hopes to help villages have greater say, such as a veto option, in decisions by the Industrial Development Agency, which can grant large tax breaks to developers.

Tanner said he will partner with the group's Suffolk counterpart, the Suffolk County Village Officials Association, to combat state mandates.

"We're adopting more of a voice," he said, adding when it comes to state mandates: "It would be helpful for us to control our own destiny."

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