Republican Patricia Bergin Weichbrodt is ending a 12-year tenure on the Islip Town board. Term-limited, she is seeking to replace Tom Cilmi, who is also term-limited. She ranks water quality as a high priority and wants to expand the program of seeding South Shore bays and canals with shellfish to speed up the filtering process. Another priority is trimming county spending and putting some money in reserves to meet the county's pension obligations.
Bergin Weichbrodt, 50, of East Islip, would advocate for a county-towns partnership to make sure each entity's federal COVID-19 funding is spent efficiently on sewer infrastructure projects to have a regional impact, a smart approach. Another plan would have the county implement a community preservation fund that would tax real estate transfers in the western towns, much like the successful program in the five East End towns that collects a 2% tax. The money would be used for land preservation and other eligible pollution prevention programs. It's a good idea but Bergin Weichbrodt needs to provide more information on exactly how it would work. Also on her to-do list is a waste treatment plant on Fire Island.
Democrat Carla Simpson, 39, of Hauppauge, owns a real estate investment firm and previously worked on commercial real estate for investment banks. She's a first-time candidate with considerable community volunteer experience. She is PTA president for Bretton Woods Elementary School, a member of the Central Islip Civic Council, and a family court special advocate for children who are abused and neglected.
Simpson has good ideas about improving and expanding housing in the district, such as taking existing rental complexes and rehabilitating them to add more units and bring smart, green development. But she also feels the district is overdeveloped and actively opposes several proposed projects in Sayville and East Islip. She's also raised misguided concerns about the sale of the long-shuttered Whiporwil School, near the closed Blydenburgh landfill, for construction of luxury senior housing. Simpson wants to review the county's criteria for the selection of red-light camera locations, saying that too many cameras are placed in communities of color.
Simpson has impressive credentials and the potential to become a strong political voice. However, Bergin Weichbrodt is better informed on many vital issues. Working in a collegial, nonpartisan manner would better advance her goals and serve her district's residents.
Newsday endorses Bergin Weichbrodt.
Suffolk Legislative District 10 covers Great River, parts of Bay Shore, Bohemia, Islips, Islandia, Hauppauge
ENDORSEMENTS ARE DETERMINED solely by the Newsday editorial board, a team of opinion journalists focused on issues of public policy and governance. Newsday’s news division has no role in this process.