North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth has been in office for nearly six years, and says she has hit her stride. Under Bosworth’s watchful eye and steady-as-you-go approach, the town has maintained steady finances and a solid AAA bond rating. And her quiet, unassuming demeanor is welcome in a county where political controversy often reigns.
Bosworth, a Great Neck Democrat, often focuses on the needs of her constituents, working to find solutions on everything from transportation for seniors to medical care for veterans. And she recognizes that North Hempstead has to do more to provide workforce housing. While she rightly notes that there's not a lot of land left, she's also able to pinpoint some communities where adding housing might be possible. Perhaps the town's best chance at new development lies in the Macy's parking lot in Manhasset, although concerns about adding traffic congestion are significant. Bosworth would do well to take a leadership role on this issue in a new next term. Her willingness to listen to and work with communities and developers would serve her well.
That’s not to say Bosworth’s tenure has been without controversy . In the last year, there has been considerable turnover among key town department heads, and that bears watching. And the town faces litigation by a contractor who alleges that North Hempstead is withholding funds from the renovation of the Clinton G. Martin Park pool in New Hyde Park. Bosworth, 71, says the town held back some money when additional fixes were necessary, but notes that the project stayed under budget.
Republican David Redmond, 33, works for the Nassau County Board of Elections, but has no experience that would qualify him to run the town. The Mineola resident complains that the town isn't managing its spending or hiring well, but he lacks significant ideas about what to change. He recommends using income tax, rather than property tax, to fund schools, and would like to see the town take on its own assessment process. Redmond suggests the town doesn't have a real role to play in land use, preferring to leave it up to the market instead. When asked for a vision of the type of future development he'd like to see, he says, "It's not up to me."
Bosworth knows it is indeed up to the town supervisor to have a vision, and to find new ways to deal with old problems. In her next term, she should focus on the small issues her constituents care about, like establishing an animal shelter for cats, and the larger issues that are important to the town's future, like continuing to improve the building department and adding housing And she has to surround herself with a top-notch staff to avoid further turnover.
Newsday endorses Bosworth.