Republican Paul Sapienza, the owner of Sapienza Pastry Inc., on Hempstead Turnpike in Elmont, and the president of the Elmont Chamber of Commerce, is challenging County Legislator Carrié Solages for the 3rd Legislative District seat.
Solages, 38, has touted his record of getting the Nassau County Police Department’s 5th Precinct reopened and putting pressure on the Town of Hempstead Industrial Development Agency to be more transparent with taxpayers during the Green Acres Mall tax-break debacle.
Sapienza, 65, credits his leadership at the chamber over the past several years with fostering economic development in the community and maintains that his success as a businessman — balancing budgets, minimizing deficits — qualifies him to be a legislator.
The race had not received much media attention until June when Solages was arrested in a domestic incident and charged with misdemeanor assault and endangering the welfare of a child, to which he pleaded not guilty. Solages claims he has proof that the charges are false, and his next appearance in First District Court is scheduled for Dec. 11.
While he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, Solages’s arrest came at a time when voters are particularly sensitive about even the appearance of wrongdoing. In order for a government to function, trust needs to be restored in our institutions and is arguably even more important than bipartisanship.
Beyond that, we believe Sapienza’s enthusiasm is authentic, and that he would make the most of his dozens of years of business and customer service experience. Our endorsement goes to Sapienza.
He recognizes the need to revitalize the district’s commercial corridors, including Hempstead Turnpike, Meacham Avenue, Dutch Broadway, Linden Boulevard and Merrick Road. He supports smart development at Belmont Park that will create jobs and expand the tax base. He believes in promoting small and local businesses, bringing accountability to absentee landlords and providing job-creation incentives — while pushing for transparency in tax-break agreements by the local IDAs.
We thank Solages for his service, but it’s time for a change.
— Herald Editorial Board