We liked both candidates for Town of Hempstead clerk –– Republican Nasrin Ahmad, of Salisbury, and Democrat Jasmine Garcia-Vieux, of Levittown. But we believe Ahmad is better qualified.
Ahmad was recently appointed to the position after Mark Bonilla, a Republican from Bellmore, was forced to resign when he was convicted of an official misconduct charge. The appointment by the Town Board sparked angry cries from Democrats, who said Ahmad was handed the appointment to give her the advantage of incumbency in the general election.
Perhaps, but she is more than up to the job. She began working in the town clerk’s office 15 years ago, filing paperwork, and through civil service exams and old-fashioned hard work, she worked her way up to a supervisory post, helping to manage the office.
The clerk’s office processes marriage and death certificates, passports and hunting licenses, among other responsibilities. It has never made much sense to us that the clerk is an elected and not an appointed position, but it is. We must support the most qualified candidate for the job, and that’s Ahmad.
Garcia-Vieux, an attorney and a managing associate at Smith & Brink P.C., is clearly intelligent and civic-minded. To us, though, her legal credentials did not fit the clerk’s position well. She seemed almost overqualified for the post.
Garcia-Vieux spoke a great deal about her desire to make a difference in public office. We do not believe, then, that the clerk’s position would be right for her. The clerk’s job is more about processing paperwork efficiently than effecting public-policy changes. We believe Garcia-Vieux would be better qualified for the County Legislature, where her legal credentials would serve her well and she could focus on policy. Our guess is that Democrats are running her for clerk to prepare her for a run at the Legislature or another office by getting her name out there.
We encourage voters to choose Nasrin Ahmad for town clerk.