After Nov. 2, the 8th district in the Nassau County legislature will be represented by someone other than Vincent Muscarella for the first time since the legislative body was formed in 1995.
Muscarella’s successor should be John Giuffré.
Despite the on-paper similarities between the two attorneys, Giuffré, deemed a “latter-day Vinny Muscarella” by county GOP chair Joseph Cairo, is a unique candidate with the skillset and approach necessary to guide the 8th legislative district through this era that is defined by crisis.
We agree with Nadia Holubnyczyj, Giuffré’s opponent, about Vincent Muscarella: the longtime legislator was not visible enough amid the height of a once-in-a-century pandemic, as he failed to offer innovative policies and engage residents of the 8th legislative district.
But John Giuffré is not Vincent Muscarella.
Giuffré, the owner of a law firm that focuses on personal injury and wrongful death cases who has also served on the Nassau County Bar Association’s Ethics Committee, never aspired to hold public office. He only agreed to run for the now-vacated seat after being asked by the Nassau Republican Club.
With the end of the pandemic in sight, Giuffré’s sensible yet bold approach will guard against a new wave of coronavirus cases by directing federal funds to increase vaccination and promote booster shots. Giuffré also plans to equip local businesses with touchless technologies and better air filters, looking to the future to beat Covid-19.
While Giuffré stresses the need to balance the county budget and eliminate “wasteful” government spending, he believes that government must spend funds on issues vital to community success, such as education. This open-minded approach will help bolster the 8th legislative district to a post-pandemic future. Giuffré, who supports lowering Nassau property taxes, is open to reassessing property values. He particularly has pointed out million-dollar mansions that faced what he said are low property taxes following the latest reassessment.
Lastly, with Elmont’s new UBS Arena set to open soon, Giuffré’s experience as an attorney will serve the people of the 8th legislative district. While Holubnyczyj’s 2016 effort to block the construction of a casino at Belmont Park is impressive evidence of her passionate defense of local communities and residents, Giuffré’s experience with negotiation is needed at this stage in the arena’s development to ensure employment opportunities are afforded to local residents and that traffic and construction concerns of nearby homeowners are addressed.
We admire Holubnyczyj, a dedicated community activist who has served at the helm of various civic organizations and raised large sums of funds for local community members during the pandemic. Giuffré’s experience and sober political approach is what the 8th legislative district needs to help bring an end to the pandemic, to drive down unemployment and to fight to lower property taxes.