Herald: What are the issues that are unique to the Senate district?
Martins: Over the past two years, we were able to work together to get our state’s economy on the right track. A significant part of our efforts going forward will be seeking economic development that makes sense for our communities to expand our tax base and create jobs. There is a tremendous opportunity to redevelop the south lot at Belmont Park to bring much needed revenue and job growth to the region.
We also need to continue our commitment to funding our schools so that our children receive the outstanding education they are accustomed to receiving. This will require that we continue to fight in Albany for our fair share of school funding.
In the Franklin Square and Elmont communities, the safety of Hempstead Turnpike continues to be an issue. The State Department of Transportation has made significant safety improvements and needs to continue its commitment to making this major thoroughfare safer.
Like many other areas throughout New York State, there are communities in the 7th Senate District that are still struggling because of the economy. While we have seen progress in our state, we must continue to watch the bottom line so that residents and businesses are not saddled with higher taxes.
Ross: I am concerned with coming up with quality use of Belmont Park, including bringing in jobs. I am also concerned with environmental protection, especially as it relates to the water supply and preservation of green space, public safety including gun control and maintaining a high quality of life through monitoring the cost of living.
Herald: What are your thoughts on the tax cap?
Martins: I voted in favor of the tax cap because the growth of property taxes we have seen prior to the cap being enacted simply was not sustainable. The tax cap slows the growth of property tax to provide some relief to residents and businesses that have been hit hard during the recession and simply cannot afford to pay more. The cap allows for our school districts and local governments to take a hard look at expenses to put forth budgets that the community can afford.