Written by Wendy Kreitzman Saturday, 03 August 2013 00:00
North Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio is running for town supervisor, something she never envisioned for herself, but now, having served on the town board for close to a year and a half, she believes that her work at bringing consensus to difficult issues has brought out her leadership qualities. A lawyer by profession, De Giorgio is a 17-year Port Washington resident who is proud that she has fought for local improvements.
Her opponent is Democrat Judi Bosworth, of Great Neck.
Prior to winning a seat on the town board in November 2011, De Giorgio was heavily involved in saving the open space/park area known as Alvin Petrus Park, on Port Washington Boulevard. She then sought other ways to become involved. The success at the park was “very powerful.”
Although she was a registered Democrat, the Republican Party had approached her to run for town council and De Giorgio believed that this would be “a good way to become more involved in a political way.” She joined the GOP and won. “I ran a very vigorous race,” she told Anton Newspapers.
Although she praised current Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman for his help in saving the park, and for spearheading some important projects (e.g. Project Independence and the environmental programs), she would like more transparency at town meetings, even having the meetings live on the town website. “I want the public to participate fully in government,” she said. But the live streaming concept was voted down, she added.
As for her ability to lead such a large, complex town, De Giorgio said she “absolutely has the experience.” She said that she has accomplished a lot since taking office. And she added that a leadership role is the ability to bring diverse groups together, such as her “leadership role” in saving and maintaining Petrus Park. “I worked for consensus and it takes a leader to do that,” she stated.
Should she become the next supervisor, in addition to her quest for more transparency, De Giorgio will focus on short-term borrowing. With the need to fully pay back short-term loans by 2017, she is firm that “we need to streamline government.” That, she says, can be accomplished by solely by cutting back on employees, without losing programs. “We just don’t need so many management employees,” she said. “This can be done.” She believes that with modern technology, she can cut the number of employees, yet run the town more effectively.
De Giorgio said that while she was once a “conservative Democrat,” she is now a “liberal Republican.” She says that there is “room for improvement” in North Hempstead. “I believe in small government,” she said. She says she’s not interested in “splashy projects,” but will be careful to tend to infrastructure. Her next project would focus on bullying.
De Giorgio believes that the villages (Great Neck has nine, Port Washington has many too) each want their own individuality and their own governing, but she would be there to help.
In New Hyde Park, the main issue is the Clinton G. Martin Park audit. She believes that the town should have allowed the audit, or residents “might think there is something to hide.” For those on the LIRR’s Port Washington, the pending expansion ranks foremost
“We need to look at the big picture,” she said, “to be sure riders get benefits but be sure Port does not suffer undue detriment.” She also noted other related issues, especially in Great Neck, with a concern about being “oversubscribed with parking.”
In Westbury and New Cassel, De Giorgio is seeking repairs and maintenance in Charles Fuschillo Park.
In areas such as Mineola and Great Neck, and other villages, she feels “a sense they like to be self-contained, hands-on” and maybe not so involved with the town. But, she added, she still seeks the personal touch and asks residents how the town can help.
“I really want to make a difference,” De Giorgio told Anton Newspapers. “I really do love what I do and now I want to direct policy and fulfill my visions … it’s very exciting.”