Written by Betsy Abraham Wednesday, 29 January 2014 00:00
A special election will be held Feb. 11 for the Nassau County Legislative District 2 seat that was left vacant by Robert Troiano at the beginning of January.
Up for the position are Westbury School Board trustee 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 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 and is also on the Board of Commissioners for the North Hempstead Housing Authority. She previously worked at the Long Island Housing Partnership. She says all this experience in public service has allowed her to take the pulse on issues throughout the district.
District 2 includes parts of Westbury, New Cassel, Hempstead, Hicksville, 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.
Specifically when it comes to Westbury, Bynoe says constituents have expressed concern over overcrowded housing and serious violent crimes.
“I’d be interested in trying to create a task force able to address some of the issues in those areas where those crimes are,” Bynoe said.
Bynoe graduated from Hofstra University and received a Master’s in Public Administration from Long Island University.
Blanchard 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. They should consider giving me a chance,” Blanchard says.
A 30-year New Cassel resident, 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.
Blanchard has served as an auxiliary policeman for the village for almost 17 years. He majored in biology at Nassau Community College, with a minor in political science and then received a Bachelor’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy from Molloy College. He now works
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.