Challenger Thomas Schiliro and incumbent Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo will debate on Sept. 29

New Suffolk attorney Anthony Palumbo, elected in a special election in 2013 to fill a vacancy, hopes to stave off a challenge by Democrat Tom Schiliro of Manorville in the Second Assembly District race.

The candidates have tussled over the Women’s Equality Act and the Common Core Initiative, with Schiliro attacking Palumbo for refusing to support abortion rights and Palumbo arguing that the Democratic leadership in the Assembly was playing politics with the act, by refusing to allow its 10 components to be voted on separately and forcing an all-or-nothing vote on the entire package — including an abortion rights provision Palumbo opposes.

Both men say they are reformers who will clean up Albany.

Schiliro, 62, a sergeant with the Suffolk County Parks Police prior to the parks police force being merged into the Suffolk County Police Department this year, has been in law enforcement for nearly two decades. He is retiring at the end of the year. Prior to his career as a police officer, he was a high school social studies teacher.

Palumbo, 44, is a former Suffolk prosecutor who left the district attorney’s office to start a private law practice in Mattituck in 2004. He was elected to the assembly last November after incumbent and fellow Republican Dan Losquadro vacated the seat in March following his election, also in a special election, as Brookhaven highway superintendent.

2014_1103_lavalle_kenLaValle, 75, seeks 20th term in State Senate

There won’t be any surprises in the First Senatorial District on Election Day.

State Senator Ken LaValle, first elected in 1976, he is one of the two longest-tenured members of the state senate. A former high school teacher, LaValle is chairman of the state senate’s committee on higher education, a post he’s held since 1979. LaValle is a proponent of the 2 percent property tax levy cap and takes great pride in his efforts to protect the environment of the East End and preserve farmland. LaValle earned a law degree from Touro in 1987 and is of counsel to the Riverhead firm Twomey, Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo.

His opponent this year is little more than a Democratic placeholder on the ballot, as has been the case in many of LaValle’s re-election campaigns over the past 34 years.

Michael Conroy, 57, of Manorville, is a United Brotherhood of Carpenters union representative and a longtime Brookhaven Democratic Committee member. He is also currently a member of the N.Y. State Democratic Committee. He has not actively campaigned for office.

Two  seek to succeed term-limited Sawicki as county comptroller

Jim Guaghran (D-Eaton’s Neck), left, and John Kennedy (R-Smithtown)

John Kennedy, minority leader of the Suffolk County Legislature faces James Gaughran, chairman of the Suffolk County Water Authority, in a race to succeed Comptroller Joe Sawicki, whose tenure in that post ends due to term limits imposed by the county charter.

Kennedy, 58, is a five-term incumbent Republican legislator from Smithtown. He holds an MBA in finance and capital budgeting as well as a law degree from St. John’s University.

Gaughran, 57, of Eaton’s Neck, an attorney, is a former Huntington councilman and Suffolk County legislator.

Gaughran favors the proposed abolition of the position of Suffolk County Treasurer and the Department of Finance and Taxation, the functions of which would be merged into the Department of Audit and Control, headed up by the county comptroller. (See Proposal Number Four, below.) Kennedy opposes the measure.

Ballot Propositions

Proposal Number One:
This proposal would take direct control of the legislative redistricting process from the State Legislature and vest that authority with a 10-member commission. Eight of the commission’s 10 members would be appointed by legislative leaders. Legislators and other elected officials would be barred from serving on the commission, which would be required to hold public hearings on proposed redistricting plans.

Proposition text:
The proposed amendment to sections 4 and 5 and addition of new section 5-b to Article 3 of the State Constitution revises the redistricting procedure for state legislative and congressional districts. The proposed amendment establishes a redistricting commission every 10 years beginning in 2020, with two members appointed by each of the four legislative leaders and two members selected by the eight legislative appointees; prohibits legislators and other elected officials from serving as commissioners; establishes principles to be used in creating districts; requires the commission to hold public hearings on proposed redistricting plans; subjects the commission’s redistricting plan to legislative enactment; provides that the legislature may only amend the redistricting plan according to the established principles if the commission’s plan is rejected twice by the legislature; provides for expedited court review of a challenged redistricting plan; and provides for funding and bipartisan staff to work for the commission. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

Proposal Number Two:
This measure would allow electronic distribution of legislative bills to fulfill the requirement of “printing” contained in the state constitution.

Proposition text:
The proposed amendment to section 14 of Article 3 of the State Constitution would allow electronic distribution of a state legislative bill to satisfy the constitutional requirement that a bill be printed and on the desks of state legislators at least three days before the Legislature votes on it. It would establish the following requirements for electronic distribution: first, legislators must be able to review the electronically-sent bill at their desks; second, legislators must be able to print the bill if they choose; and third, the bill cannot be changed electronically without leaving a record of the changes. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?

Proposal Number Three:
This measure authorizes a $2 billion bond issuance to provide technology and high-speed internet access to schools across the state.

Proposition text:
The SMART SCHOOLS BOND ACT OF 2014, as set forth in section one of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2014, authorizes the sale of state bonds of up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) to provide access to classroom technology and high-speed internet connectivity to equalize opportunities for children to learn, to add classroom space to expand high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, to replace classroom trailers with permanent instructional space, and to install high-tech smart security features in schools. Shall the SMART SCHOOLS BOND ACT OF 2014 be approved?

Proposition Number Four:
This measure would abolish the office of the Suffolk County Treasurer and the Department of Finance and Taxation, currently headed by the treasurer, as of midnight, Dec. 31, 2017.
The Suffolk County Comptroller would assume all powers and duties currently assigned to the treasurer and the functions of the Department of Finance and Taxation would merge and be consolidated in the Department of Audit and Control on Jan. 1, 2018.

Proposition text:
Resolution No. 507-2014, is a Charter Law that proposes to transfer and consolidate the functions of the Department of Finance and Taxation into the Department of Audit and Control, headed by a County Comptroller elected from the general population. If approved, this Resolution will eliminate the existing office of County Treasurer and consolidate all powers and duties of the Treasurer in the office of the County Comptroller, effective January 1, 2018. Shall Resolution No. 507-2014 be approved?

Proposition Number Five- County of Suffolk:
This measure is a charter law that ends Suffolk County’s practice of diverting funds from the Drinking Water Protection Program to balance the county budget. It mandates restoration of diverted funds, establishes a schedule of repayment of diverted funds, authorizes Suffolk to issue a bond for the Enhanced Suffolk County Water Protection Program, allows the county to use excess funds for sewer infrastructure, sewer treatment plants and installation of enhanced nitrogen removal septic systems throughout Suffolk County.

Proposition text:
A Charter Law Amending the ¼% Suffolk County Drinking Water Protection Program (DWPP) for Enhanced Water Quality Protection, Wastewater Infrastructure And General Property Fund Tax Relief for Suffolk County Resolution No. 579-2014 is a Charter Law that:

i. extends the sunset period found in Local Law No. 44-2011 from 2013 to 2017 to allow the use of excess Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund balance for deposits to reserve funds for the payment of County bonds or retirement contributions to provide general property tax relief;
ii. mandates, commencing in County Fiscal Year 2018 and continuing through Fiscal Year 2029, the restoration of funds allocated from the Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017;
iii. allows the use of excess Assessment Stabilization Reserve Funds Balances to fund sewer infrastructure, sewage treatment plants, and the installation of enhanced nitrogen removal septic systems throughout Suffolk County;
iv. authorizes the County to issue $29.4 million in serial bonds for a 2014 Enhanced Suffolk County Water Quality Protection Program.

The phrase “excess Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund Balance” means balances in the sewer rate stabilization component of the DWPP greater than needed for sewer district tax rate stabilization only in those instances in which the pertinent sewer district will experience an increase in rates of at least 3% in the aggregate. Shall Resolution No. 579-2014 be approved?

2014_1103_parklandBallot Proposition Six – Town of Southampton:
This measure approves the substitution of a 15,000-square-foot parcel of county-owned parkland for a 7,500-square-foot parcel of dedicated parkland on the Riverside traffic circle. The larger parcel is located to the north of the existing parkland, which would be used for planned traffic safety improvements to the Riverside traffic circle.

Proposition text:
Shall a local law entitled, ‘A local law authorizing the alienation and discontinuance of approximately 7,510 square feet of Community Preservation Fund (CPF) parkland in furtherance of traffic safety improvements, in exchange for the acceptance and encumbrance of 15,286 square feet of contiguous property from the County of Suffolk to be used as additional parklands withint the Town of Southampton,’ be approved?

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.