Patch asked questions of each candidate running for Port Washington Water District commissioner. Here is Mindy Germain's response.
Patch: Why are you running for water commissioner?
Mindy Germain: As a mom, I believe safe water is our most precious resource, and I am running for Water Commissioner to continue the hard work that I feel so strongly about – keeping our water safe. Over the last five years I have been recognized throughout Long Island as a leader in water management. I have been tirelessly working to protect our aquifer from potential sources of contamination so that when families turn on the faucet they know it is safe.
In May, I was incredibly honored when The Town of North Hempstead recognized my leadership and skills in water management by appointing me Interim Water Commissioner of the Port Washington Water District. My goal is to continue to ensure a long term sustainable water supply for all Port Washington families.
Patch: What do you see as the issues that need addressing?
MK: The two biggest threats to our drinking water are salt water intrusion and contamination. During warmer months when pumpage peaks, we have to watch carefully to prevent salt water from entering our wells. All year round it is important to track flow paths of contaminants from clean up sites resulting from dry cleaner spills, our landfill, etc. In 2007, I took a leadership role on the Peninsula Aquifer Committee to develop the tools necessary to track and monitor these situations. As Executive Director of Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington, we convened a team hydrologists, engineers, scientists, government agencies, elected officials and local Water districts to manage and protect our water supply. Through this effort we created a computer generated model of ground water flow under our peninsula. This intelligence now guides the Port Washington Water District’s management of our drinking water. Most importantly, we can advocate for remediation from any contamination posing the slightest future threat to our drinking water.
Patch: What makes you uniquely qualified for the position?
MK: I am proud of the strong skills and qualifications I have developed over the last five years working at Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington, including:
- Leadership role on the Peninsula Aquifer Committee,
- Creation of one of Long Island’s most sophisticated systems for monitoring and predicting changes in our water conditions
- Appointment to the Long Island Cleaner Greener Communities Water Management Working Group
- Leader in sustainability initiatives in Port’s schools, including environmental education curriculum and collaboration with HSA Green Committees to provide Port’s students with the knowledge and attitudes to create a more sustainable future.
These accomplishments contributed to Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington receiving the 2012 EPA Environmental Quality Award and The Port Washington Chamber of Commerce recognizing me in October, 2012 for “Outstanding Community Service.”
Patch: What would be your top priority as water commissioner?
MK: Beyond keeping your water safe, other important goals include holding rates steady and being a good neighbor. Economic times are tough and I am committed to delivering the utmost value for your money. As commissioner, I sign every invoice and take a hard look at how to best operate efficiently. Many of our wells and treatment facilities are in residential neighborhoods. As commissioner, it is my responsibility to ensure our sights are tidy, landscaping is maintained and our teams operate with an awareness and sensitivity the community.
A vote for Mindy Germain is a vote for a healthy, sustainable water supply. It is essential for our health and well-being; it keeps property values intact, and makes Port Washington a desirable community for families and businesses.
Editor's note: Special district elections in Port Washington take place Tuesday from 12-9 p.m. at the Polish American Cultural Association.