Herald Roundtables

Solages prides himself in getting things done


Chances are likely that those living around Elmont and Valley Stream will recognize Carriè Solages around town — even if he’s wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses.

The 12-year county legislator has connections all throughout the district. Throughout his tenure, Solages has made it a point to live in various areas to get acquainted with the communities he serves. He has lived in north and south Valley Stream, Elmont, and currently calls Lawrence home.

“I’m a product of my community,” Solages told reporters during a recent Herald roundtable session.

The legislator is no stranger to reaching across county borders for help. He highlighted the importance of working with government officials outside of Mineola’s reach to serve the community, like when he worked with Queens borough president Donovan Richards to fix issues surrounding flooding in the Five Towns.

“I’m leaving the area better than it was when I came here,” Solages said. His infrastructure legislation was a project with Richards to remedy flooding problems that involved the Five Towns’ neighboring borough.

Formed relationships and reaching not just across county borders, but all the way up to the Assembly and state Senate in Albany, are important to circumvent any stalemates in the legislature. In 2022, Solages and his fellow Democrats in the minority helped expand the eligibility pool for tax benefits with a proposal sent to Albany. He said the support for the expansion is one of his greatest achievements since being elected.

“That’s one clear thing that any person who is running for office in Nassau County must address: the property taxes,” Solages said. “Help people get benefits, reductions, and other opportunities to have a fighting chance in this very unsustainable financial situation.”

As the price to live in Nassau rises, Solages says the solution is to increase the housing supply. When Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed a housing plan that would create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across the state, Solages described it as poorly packaged with the “affordable housing” label. The plan received pushback in Nassau, with Hochul eventually backtracking on the idea.

But that doesn’t mean Solages didn’t do his part to try and salvage what the governor wanted to do. He reached out to Hochul, telling her if the plan was packaged as “increased housing stock,” it might be successful.

“The average person, who does not have the salary that I have as an attorney, they’re looking at paying $4,500 to $5,000 a month for rent,” Solages said. “That’s not realistic. That’s not sustainable. So, we have a problem here on our hands, and we must address it.”

Solages says he takes a conservative stance despite his political standing, supporting quality of life initiatives when it comes to public safety. He secured funds in 2017 to implement ShotSpotter technology in Elmont. The gunshot sound detection device received mixed reactions from the community with concerns it could drive away economic development.

“I also secured funding for license plate readers all across the border,” Solages said. “So that when offenses occur between the border — between those who live in New York City looking for quick opportunities to make money by robbing or taking advantage of people here in Nassau County — our borders are protected.”

Solages believes the goal of public servants is to provide safety for their communities. He highlighted the inequities of arrests and agreed with the message of abolitionist Frederick Douglass that it is easier to educate a person properly than it is to fix a broken person.

“Nevertheless, we have to make the right investments in law enforcement due to the proximity that we have to New York City,” Solages said. “But to be very clear, the crime rate has gone down here in Nassau County, and we have the safest suburban community of its size.”

It’s a tight rope walk, between supporting law enforcement and bringing to light the inequities of arrest records. He posed that in his next term, he would explore the implementation of a civilian review board for the police department.