Lynbrook Republican William Gaylor is a walking billboard for every wrongheaded attack on Democratic County Executive Laura Curran's attempts to build a working property-tax assessment system.
He calls the process a "backdoor tax increase," which it is not. The 56-year-old attorney also says the state should bail out the county with cash to soften the blow for residents whose bills are increasing, which it will not. And he argues that Curran's original plan to limit any increases to 6% annually and 20% over five years would have been fairer, when in fact that method could take decades to bring relief to those overpaying and fairness to those underpaying.
Laura Burns, 50, an author of young adult novels from Rockville Centre, says Curran is on the right track and will support her. Burns is running as a Democrat but is not registered with a party. She became an activist after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and is a founding member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. That led to campaign work for Nassau's Democratic State Senate candidates in 2018, and success there inspired her to take on this race. She is just the type of newcomer that elective politics needs.
Burns said she'd be more responsive to constituents than Gaylor, promising regular town hall meetings and outreach. She said his work as an attorney for a client seeking a zoning variance to open a "gun spa" in Lynbrook — a shooting range-beauty parlor — is an example of being out of touch with district desires. The project never went forward.
Burns is also a strong voice for transit-oriented development, and promises a nonpartisan approach to county issues. She wants to see fewer police officers working as crossing guards and more of them equipped with the county's 150 precision tactical rifles, most of which are not distributed to officers.
Gaylor knows his district and the issues. But his cynical take on assessment, currently the county's most impactful issue, is misplaced, and Burns' fresh takes on county issues are welcome.
Newsday endorses Burns.