Written by Betsy Abraham, email@example.com Saturday, 01 February 2014 00:00
A special election will be held Feb. 11 for the Nassau County Legislative District 2 seat, which oversees parts of Hicksville.
Robert Troiano previously held the title of District 2 Legislator until earlier this month, when he took a position as Director of Operations with the Town of North Hempstead. Up for the position now is Siela Bynoe, who was nominated by the Nassau County Democratic Committee, and Republican nominee Pepitz Blanchard, who lost to Troiano for the council seat in last November’s election.
“When there was a vacant seat, I thought it would be a natural fit for me given my public service,” said Bynoe, a Westbury resident. “I’m honored to have received the nomination, and if elected I’ll work hard to meet the needs of the entire district.”
Bynoe is currently the Executive Director of the Huntington Housing Authority. Much of her career has revolved around advocating for affordable housing all over Long Island. She previously worked at the Long Island Housing Partnership, and was involved in opening up their Nassau County Office. She is also on the Board of Commissioners for the North Hempstead Housing Authority. In addition, she is a trustee on the Westbury School Board. She says all this experience in public service has given her a good feel for issues throughout the district.
In addition to Hicksville, District 2 includes Westbury, New Cassel, Hempstead, East Meadow, Garden City, Malverne, Rockville Centre, Uniondale and West Hempstead. While all these communities are different, Bynoe says the issues are the same.
“Consistently throughout my travels, taxes have been the number one issue I’ve been hearing,” she said. “And also public safety and services.”
Bynoe graduated from Hofstra University and received a Master’s in Public Administration from Long Island University.
Blanchard says he wasn’t even thinking about the nomination, but is hoping this special election will give him a second chance to prove he can represent the community.
“I feel people will give me a better look than before because I was there trying to unseat Troiano before and then he just quit without explanation. They should consider giving me a chance,” Blanchard says.
Prior to last year’s campaign, Blanchard had no political experience. A New Cassel resident for almost 30 years, Blanchard says his experience campaigning helped him better understand the needs of the district.
“I know my community well,” he says. “Having done the campaign last time, I know a lot more than when I started and I’m sure I’m going to be a better voice for the concerns of the people.”
If elected, he says he will focus on increasing housing options, decreasing crime and making sure people are getting the services they need.
“I’ve become very involved in my community and have become a community leader,” Blanchard said, saying these are experiences he gained during his last campaign. “People don’t have representation and they feel let down. “I’m hoping to get the seat and make a difference for the people.”
Blanchard has served as an auxiliary policeman for the village of Westbury for almost 17 years. He majored in biology at Nassau Community College, with a minor in political science. At NCC, he was president of the college’s first Haitian club. He then went on to Molloy College, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Respiratory Therapy. He is now working at Apria Healthcare and Holly Patterson.
The special election for the District 2 seat will be held Tuesday, Feb. 11. Find a polling place near you at www.voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx.