By James V. Kelly, Jr.
CEO, Long Islander News
The purpose for endorsements is to express how the editorial board of the newspaper sees candidates. The endorsements are driven by the people who cover the town every day. These are people who attend meetings and monitor the actions of the Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, and cover our school boards as well as our lives in our town. You may or may not agree with every one of the selections – that is each of our prerogatives. I personally respect the process and sat in this year on the interviews.
The field this year is very strong. For Supervisor, Council, and Highway, the town cannot lose regardless of who is elected. All of the candidates were strong. Tracey Edwards got the nod for Huntington Supervisor because of her executive experience. She understands multi-million dollar budgets, unions and staff. She understands the operations of the Town. There is zero learning curve with Tracey Edwards. I have worked with Councilperson Edwards, and while we may not always agree, I respect her thought process and ability to discuss and explain why any action was taken. Tracey Edwards’ time to lead this town has come.
Chad Lupinacci is a strong candidate too. He could easily lead this town but his first year would bring a learning curve, which is not the end of the world. I met him several times and he has a great command of the state of the country, state, county and town. He is insightful and has a very bright future in service to our community regardless of what happens in this election. My personal feeling is he would make a great Congressman or US Senator and I hope that someday in his future that I will be supporting him in that endeavor. If Chad Lupinacci is elected, the town will be well administered.
The last candidate for Supervisor is Michael Raspantini. I have known Michael since 2003 through the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce. Michael was then heading up his video production company and incidentally was my first guest on my radio show back then “Kelly’s Corner” on 540 AM. He was also my last guest on the show three years later when I stopped. Michael is articulate, capable and passionate in what he believes, as evidenced by his run for Supervisor. If elected, he would shake up the town for sure and, I am sure, be diligent and capable.
I could list the other candidates, but to me, there are no negatives to any of them running. I am proud that we have such a fine field to choose from this year. What troubles me is the nastiness and hatefulness displayed in some of the political ads and a very few of their supporters. Many ads and mail pieces focus on innuendo and partial truths; I’d call it “fake news.” They are put out there as truth when it is an artful perversion of the truth.
Lastly, please consider a “No” on the Constitutional Convention referendum. The only major voice in favor of the proposition is the New York State Bar Association since they would like an overhaul of the Judiciary system. The convention would cost a lot of money and open up the door for more manipulation and special interest involvement in the process. This will be on the back of the ballot so you will need to turn it over and check. If you do not vote no, it is not counted, meaning proponents would need fewer yes votes to get a majority. So not voting on the referendum in essence helps it to pass.
So please get out and vote. Have your voice heard. Your vote does matter.