Incumbent faces challenge from political newcomer
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Naoime Jean-Philippe: Ever since I was young, I always wanted to be an elected official and serve the public. I feel that the people of the district are not being well served by the incumbent legislator. Youth programs were cut, residents and business owners due refunds have yet to receive them, and Bay Park Sewage treatment plant has yet to be repaired, despite the fact that the federal government will reimburse 90 percent of the funding. It’s time we start putting our community first.
What are the district’s most pressing challenges?
Solages: The most pressing challenge is avoiding bankruptcy. The county is headed in the wrong direction and we must avoid ending up bankrupt like Detroit. I would like to continue fighting against reckless borrowing and spending. The county has its highest debt, $3.5 billion, the highest in our history and even worse than under Tom Gulotta. Our fiscal policies must be prudent and not reckless as stated by NIFA this month. That is why I am asking for people to vote Democratic this year. It’s not about the party but about the person and the direction and vision they offer.
Jean-Philippe: Economic development and stabilizing the tax base. We have a rare opportunity to create thousands of jobs in the district. Development at Belmont would generate tax revenue and quality jobs for local residents. I support the soccer stadium proposal, which will create 3,500 jobs, bring in nine restaurants, reopen the LIRR train station to service the Elmont community, create 250,000 square feet of retail space, a 175-room hotel, a 25,000-seat arena and $2 million in community parks. The alternative plan that our current legislator supports calls for a strip mall with nothing but big box stores. This will not create long-term substantial employment opportunities for our residents.
What are your goals, if elected?