Legislative contenders of the 11th district Eric Zausner, R-Port Washington, and Wayne Wink, Jr., D-Roslyn, addressed voters concerns including redistricting and plans to raise revenue at the event on Tuesday.
The event was held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, which was hosted by the League of Woman voters.
On proposed redistricting: Zausner began by clarifying that he is not currently a part of the legislature, so he did not have any part in this decision.
“The problem isn’t redistricting," he said. "The constitution says we need to reapportion our district every 10 years, and what we do is abide by our county charter.”
The problem lies in that the directors of charter set up three conflicting sections, the first of which implemented new district lines within six months of 2010 census data becoming available. The second and third, he stated, were “public hearings by partisan to tweak those districts over the next two years.”
His proposition was to revise the charter by making it in plain and simple language so that the apportionment of districts will not end up in confusion.
Wink agreed with Zausner about amending the charter, but the agreement stopped there. He disagreed with Zausner’s theory that the three provisions were conflicting.
“When you read them together, instead of parsing them and choosing the position you wanted to take, based upon one provision and disregarding the rest ... you didn’t have to take that position quite frankly," Wink said.
Wink added that the worry of proposed redistricting should be the least of their worries when they are facing a $3 million deficit. He then alleged that Zausner would have probably voted for redistricting despite the fact that Zausner said earlier that he would have lost his hometown.
“Eric can allege that he wasn’t there and that he wouldn’t have voted for it because he would have lost his hometown," Wink said. "The fact of the matter is, with the exception of one legislator -- who is a registered Democrat but sits with Republicans -- all the Republicans voted in lock-step to make this happen.”
On Zausner’s plan to raise revenue: Zausner proposed a plan for Nassau County to generate up to $100 million in revenue. This plan involves selling rights to areas such as the Nassau Coliseum; Zausner arrived at the $100 million by looking at what other sports stadiums rights were going for; Citifield, he said, was about $20 million.
His plan is to first sell the naming rights of Nassau Coliseum for around $20 million, to then go on to sell the naming rights of parts of Eisenhower park, such as the aquatic center.
“We can absolutely sell those naming rights while retaining ownership so we can generate the kind of revenue we are looking for; then we can absolutely not only help plug the budget deficit, but also restore our parks," he said.
Wink countered this proposal by saying, “Unfortunately, that’s not even the low hanging fruit. That’s the stuff that fell off the tree and rotted on the ground for a while before someone picked it up and thought it was a good idea.”
Wink said this plan is not plausible and is not going to happen. He mentioned that Bethpage Federal Credit Union paid the Ducks Stadium $225,000, which later decreased because of the economy, to $161,000. Wink also mentioned that the Duck stadium was in better condition than our Coliseum and our parks.
“If it sounds too easy, it is too easy," Wink said.