Madden: I have been a taxpayer and animal advocate since 2002. I have attended nearly every town board meeting since 2010, observing the conduct of the Town Board, including wasted tax dollars, and the making of important decisions while the public is uninformed. My objective is to bring transparency to government, which is the only way to repair this very broken system. In the same way my experience in exposing the Town’s animal shelter’s waste and misconduct led to initiating reforms, it holds true for all departments; I want all public meetings to be videotaped and streamlined on the Internet in an effort to keep the public informed and the town government accountable. I would also call upon the state comptroller to audit each department throughout the township.
Q: A lot of stores and businesses have closed in East Meadow recently. What do you think can be done to attract new business owners to the community?
Hudes: I established the first award winning downtown revitalization project in the county 17 years ago in Bellmore Village. At that time, every third store was empty before the revitalization and is now a very successful shopping area. When Levittown recently had vacant stores, we worked to bring in new businesses with tremendous success and now all major vacant properties are currently in work. I have already begun to reach out to East Meadow commercial landlords to encourage increased occupancy. I expect the same success as I continue to work hard with landlords to fill their properties with viable businesses. I know how to do it, because I’ve done it!
Madden: This is nothing new under the current administration. The major cause for the small and local businesses closing is due to the big box stores opening up, which attract low wage jobs. Small stores can’t compete with franchise pricing. This prevents local business from succeeding. The Town Board can reform zoning laws so that small stores can open quickly. We also need to work to attract professional jobs as opposed to retail stores.