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Quick hit: Hands-on mayor parts the waters

Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy says a new water

Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy says a new water control system he designed will prevent most non-storm street flooding. He stands by Randall Bay in Mineola on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Hats off to Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy for redefining the notion of a hands-on leader.

Freeport long has suffered from street flooding during high tides, especially when it rains. Instead of hiring experts to devise a solution, Kennedy, who took office in April 2013, took on the problem himself. He designed a system of special valves and pumps to stop rising bay waters from backing up through catch basins and to quickly drain Freeport's streets. The 20 valves in place are working. Next up: more valves, plus the pumps. Now other South Shore villages are seeking guidance.

To be fair, most political leaders can't take such steps. Kennedy has expertise; a mechanical contractor, he has installed pumps for more than 30 years. But give him credit for acting on his knowledge, reducing red tape and getting the job done.