Written by Wendy Kreitzman Wednesday, 07 August 2013 00:00
A lifelong Nassau County resident and a 32-year Great Neck resident, Ellen Birnbaum has “always” been interested in government and now seeks the position of legislator for the county’s 10th Legislative District. “I saw the opportunity to become the candidate and to continue to serve the community I live in,” she told the Great Neck Record.
Birnbaum is the Democrats’ choice and in November she will run against the Republican candidate Jane Centrella. Birnbaum is also running under the Independent Party and the Working Families Party.
The 10th legislative district includes all of Great Neck, a small portion of Manhasset and the areas within the Herricks School District.
With many years of local government experience, Birnbaum said that she has “seen how levels of government react … with a good understanding of different jurisdictions and how each level operates.” She noted, too, her “strong relationships” with village mayors and her “working relationships” with elected public officials in the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly. “I’m accustomed to working with public officials,” she said.
For the past 17 years, she has worked for the Town of North Hempstead in various positions, including as records management surveyor, the town’s archivist, a legislative aide to two council members, and most recently the director of inter-municipal coordination. In this position, she is responsible for “navigating the complex maze of the multiple layers of government that comprise the town,” including 31 villages, over 50 special districts and 11 school districts.
As a county legislator, Birnbaum explained that her job would be to represent the 10th district and to “fulfill any needs when comes to county projects … such as roads, drainage, traffic control, health and well being, safety and social services, particularly for children and senior citizens.”
With a win in November, Birnbaum promises that she would “be out there …listening to people, sharing their concerns, being as accessible as I am now in the town.” And she added, “I’ve always been involved in my community.”
Acknowledging that she would have “big shoes to fill” following current County Legislator Judi Bosworth,” Birnbaum told the Great Neck Record: “Judi Bosworth has been a model representative for our community and for our county.”
A priority for Birnbaum, as a county legislator, would include “keeping the level of borrowing under control because so many requests are made of the legislature to approve large sums of money, money they have had to approve for various projects.” She would also like to see “detailed analyses of these requests as to where the money will be going and how it will be paid back.” Birnbaum said that she does not want to see this county “sustain a continual decline in the county’s bond rating.”
Ready to now work on a county level, as legislator, through the years Birnbaum has a rich history of working at different levels of local government and working for many community organizations. For the town, she now spends considerable amounts of time working with town storm management programs in these post-hurricane days. She has also worked on the Committee Against Domestic Violence, did volunteer work with CAPS-Child Abuse Prevention Services as a trained bully prevention leader, worked with the Lulav group of Hadassah and is an active member of Temple Israel of Great Neck.
Ellen Birnbaum’s eye on the future focuses on taking her years of government positions and community service to a new level, to serve as legislator to Nassau County’s 10th legislative district.