Harvey Weisenberg has served in the State Assembly since 1989, and during that time he has worked to pass more than 300 bills, sponsored legislation that has created tougher drunk-driving laws such as Leandra’s Law, helped people with special needs and supported legislation aimed at reducing property taxes, making him one of the most prolific legislators in Albany.
His opponent, Dr. David Sussman, claims that Weisenberg has toed the line in Albany, has not addressed job growth or rising taxes and has done little to help seniors and young adults who can no longer afford to stay in the district. But Weisenberg has the experience and political savvy that we think will most benefit residents of the 20th A.D. We encourage voters to re-elect him.
Sussman and others have criticized Weisenberg for not being a proponent for change in Albany. But Weisenberg has supported campaign finance reform and does support nonpartisan redistricting. He knows how to navigate a Byzantine governing body with bipartisanship efforts.
Though we agree that tax cuts and reduced spending are needed, Sussman, an 18-year member of the Lawrence School Board, offered few details about how he would accomplish those goals, other than saying he would vote to amend the Triborough Amendment. Still, while Sussman is running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, we are concerned that under his watch as a school board president, the district squandered an $18 million surplus over a four-year period by under-budgeting and using the surplus to make up deficits, which resulted in higher taxes.
We question Weisenberg’s assertions that the Assembly is not dysfunctional, and are troubled by the fact that he continues to collect a pension and “double dip” since he “retired” in 2010, which to us illustrates the need for reform. Still, he continues to fight every year to ensure that taxes don’t increase and to secure state aid for schools. He has supported bills that passed in both the Assembly and Senate that are aimed at keeping property taxes in check for Nassau County residents, and he has worked hard to create jobs.
Given his vote against the MTA payroll tax and his help in securing $900,000 in state funding for a pollution study aimed at determining and improving the water quality of the Western Bays, among other recent efforts, we are confident that Weisenberg will continue to fight for his district. Voters should support him on Tuesday.