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Civic Group Welcomes Candidates

Good things happened at the East Norwich Civic Association’s last meeting of the year on Oct. 24. The North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association presented Mel Warren with a check for $500 and David Gugerty added one for $100 to help the Friends of Mel Warren fund his van and motorized wheel chair. Representing the Baymen were Eileen and Joe Finke and Jack Chale. Finke said the funds were earned at the Oyster Festival where they sold lobster dinners for $60. He said the North Oyster Bay Baymen’s Association is unique in that although they all compete, they keep together as a group and he credited that to their working together at the food court in the Oyster Festival over the years. They raise funds that they give to charity, usually for the Matthew Fetzer Fund for children and their families fighting cancer, but for other worthy causes: all done quietly without photo ops.

The money is given through the Friends of Mel Warren, under the auspices of the ENCA. Laine Gunther, ENCA treasurer said so far the group has raised $29,975.58 toward Mel’s new motorized equipment.

Warren gave his thanks to the Baymen saying that having grown up locally, he too was a clammer. He talked eloquently about his need for the van and chair and thanked those who had come to his aid.

At the previous ENCA meeting President Matthew Meng said Republican candidates James Altadonna and Councilwoman Michele Johnson, both appointed to office when their predecessors resigned, came to talk of their qualifications for office in their first election campaigns. Sitting Judge Rhonda Fischer also attended in her campaign to keep her seat as a District Court Judge. Meng said at that meeting in September, the ENCA questioned the town’s repeated contracts with Woodstock Construction despite the fact that they have been in violation of town zoning codes for over 20 years. Andrew Woodstock was named Republican of the Year by the Muttontown, Syosset, Brookville Republican Club several years ago.

Three candidates running for office visited the ENCA on Oct. 24: Dave Gugerty running for Nassau County Legislator in the 18 L.D.; Mili Makhijani running for Oyster Bay Town Clerk; and Chris Briggs running for the Oyster Bay Town Board.

Mili Makhijani For Town Clerk

Mili Makhijani said she is uniquely qualified for the office of Oyster Bay Town Clerk with a business degree from Hofstra University and a law degree from Truro Law Center. She has had a private practice in Jericho for seven years, and is an adjunct law professor. Before that she served as a Law Clerk to a NC Supreme Court Justice. She said, “We need a government that works for the people and not for itself. There is complacency (in town government) and that is why it needs a fresh face, new ideas and an independent voice.”

She showed a good understanding of how the Town Clerk’s office works, and offered a new idea for raising funds. She said that half the pets in the town are not licensed, which could be a source of revenue; it would increase the health and safety of the pets, and aide in returning lost pets.

Dave Gugerty For Legislator

Dave Gugerty said he was a friend of Legislator Judy Jacobs and is running for office in some of her former district, as a result of the new voting lines. He shares a background as a civic leader with her.  He grew up in Locust Valley and Lattingtown and lives in Bayville where he was a village trustee from 1994 to 2002. He and his wife Helene, a NC Judge, have two daughters, one in college. An attorney in private practice, in 2005 he was Chief Legal Counsel in the Nassau Legislature; has served as a Civil Service Commissioner and as a Nassau County Public Administrator.

Gugerty is very proud of working on a Bayville drainage program to correct a 40-year problem that helped clean up Mill Creek; as well as working to pave all the roads in his area, and getting rid of potholes in a village known for having private roads cared for my homeowners associations and not the village.

A Democrat, he listened to President Bill Clinton speak in Great Neck on Oct. 23 and took inspiration from what he said. Gugerty quoted Clinton as saying, “We need to get back into the future business,” which Gugerty sees as something the legislature should and can do. That includes housing for younger people in the areas near train stations, and over commercial businesses, to keep them from leaving Long Island. Gugerty said he has a good track record and is proud of working to create a law that keeps sex offenders from living near schools, parks and playgrounds. He said a sex offender on probation in Bayville was moving out of his home of 30 years on Oct. 25, because it is near a school.

He said open space is another of his priorities, and he has bi-partisan support. “In this highly divisive political scene I’ve been able to reach across the board,” he said. Proving that he said he was glad Chris Briggs, a Republican was there. He commented, “When one party is in power you need adversarial checks and balances.”

Chris Briggs For Councilman

Republican Chris Briggs is running for a seat on the Oyster Bay Town Board.  He said as a registered Republican, “There needs to be one person to stand up and say no.” He wants to solve the town’s debt problem and to see where the holes in the budget are that need to be fixed to make the town financially stable. “I want my children to be able to live here.” Briggs said he attends all town board meetings, and he speaks up, asking the supervisor questions, “To be a voice for the community.”