November 7th, 2017 Election
Here's everything you wanted to know, didn't want to know, or were afraid to ask because you thought it would make you look stupid. You're not stupid. But if you don't vote you're a really big, ugly, silly stupid face. We're glad you're here. Let's do this.
WHEN AND WHERE DOES IT ALL GO DOWN?
Date: Tuesday, 11.07.17
Time: 6:00am - 9:00pm
Place: Sea Cliff Elementary School (280 Carpenter Avenue Sea Cliff, NY 11579)
WHAT ARE WE VOTING FOR?
We are electing local positions like Town Supervisor, County Executive, Judges, and Legislators, to name a few (there are 18 positions in total) for Nassau County and Town of Oyster Bay as well as on three ballot propositions.
We hacked into the government main mainframe and obtained a sample ballot so you can be less scared of what piece of paper you'll be filling out on election day...here it is. And by "hacked" we mean "asked politely for a sample ballot and got one."
The League of Women voters also published a detail of all the candidates in this handy, albeit thick voter’s guide. (This guide includes all of the Long Island races, not just Nassau County and Town of Oyster Bay, so be sure to check the ballot or see below to ensure you’re studying up on the right stuff!)
ANOTHER ELECTION? UGH. THE PRESIDENT IS NOT UP FOR RE-ELECTION, SO WHY AM I VOTING?
You’re voting because you actually want to make a difference and you KNOW that local elections are the best way to make a direct impact on your life! And because all the cool kids are doing it and you’re not strong enough to resist peer pressure. Sad...sad...you.
November 7, 2017, is what is referred to as an “off-year election” - a general election held in odd-numbered years. Most of these elections (yes, there is a whole country out there holding off-year elections - the world does not revolve around you), including ours, are held at the municipal (aka local) level. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about a little thing called the mayoral election in NYC. That’s a local election for the folks who live in the city. It just gets a ton more press because NYC is kind of a big deal. Out here in the ‘burbs, we’ve got our own local government bad asses vying for our votes. And while it probably makes no difference to your Aunt Cindy out in Wichita who wins this election, it can make a huge difference to you. Make no mistake, whoever you vote for will be making important decisions regularly about how Nassau County and Town of Oyster Bay (ahem - Sea Cliff falls into both) are run. This means a DIRECT IMPACT ON YOU!
DOES AN OFF-YEAR ELECTION REALLY MATTER?
Yes. Duh. Please see above - *eye roll*
All voting is important - obviously. Voting is THE ONLY WAY you can impact how government agencies are run. Everything from schools, to sanitation, to taxes, and permit law comes from decisions made at a government level. Yeah - big ‘ol Presidential elections generate a lot of interest and higher (although still SAD) voter turnout. Even sadder are the numbers that show up to the polls in local elections. So basically, a small sample of people are regularly making decisions that directly impact your life - simply by voting. So get out there are get your voice heard. Or, you know, stop whining.
BUT WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT OYSTER BAY? OR NASSAU COUNTY? WE LIVE IN SEA CLIFF.
News flash - you also live in Oyster Bay and Nassau County.
LONG ANSWER: Sea Cliff is an “Incorporated Village” located within the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) in Nassau County, NY. Within Nassau County, there are two cities (Long Beach and Glen Cove), three towns (Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay), 64 incorporated villages and over 100 unincorporated areas. Crazy, right? Interested in the specific (read: boring) differences between these “titles”? Boy are you gonna be sorry you asked…
County: A county is a municipal corporation, a subdivision of the state, created to perform state functions; a "regional government. All counties are divided into cities, towns and Indian reservations.
City: A city is a unique government entity with its own special charter. Cities are not sub-divided, except into neighborhoods which are informal geographic areas.
Town: A town is a municipal corporation and encompasses all territory within the state except that within cities or Indian reservations. Towns can be sub-divided into villages and hamlets.
Village: A village is a general purpose municipal corporation formed voluntarily by the residents of an area in one or more towns to provide themselves with municipal services. The pattern of village organization is similar to those of a city. A village is divided into neighborhoods, which are informal geographic areas.
Hamlet: A hamlet is an unincorporated area in one or more towns that is governed at-large by the town(s) it is in. A hamlet is divided into neighborhoods, which are informal geographic areas.
Postal Zone: A postal zone "City and "Town" is an administrative district established by the U.S. Postal Service to deliver the mail. Postal zone "City" and "Town" may or may not conform to municipal or community border. Thus, postal zone location does not always determine city, village or hamlet location.
Designated Place: A designated place is a term derived from the term "Census Designated Place" or CDP in censuses beginning with 1980. It replaced the designation (U) or unincorporated. A designated place is similar to that of a hamlet.
OK, OK. FINE. I’LL VOTE. SO WHO ARE WE VOTING FOR?
Here's a sample ballot. These people.
Take a deep breath because this is a doozy. All positions, including descriptions, along with the candidates running for those positions, are listed here. You’ll also notice that the candidates are accompanied by party listings. This is not because they are indecisive. It’s because we all know that people are *cough* lazy *cough* and find great ease in aligning themselves with a party first and just voting on down the line. So parties like to let you know who most closely embodies their ideals. The parties listed after candidates names, indicate the where to find them on the ballot. That way you can look down the ballot, find your party and just vote across the line. Just note that sometimes you’ll run up on a blank square because that party didn’t deem anyone worthy, so you should probably have a backup plan...just saying.
Nassau County Positions and Candidates
If you’re like us and were scratching your head over how Nassau County government works, while it’s not an exact correlation, we think it’s easier to just think of Nassau County as a mini U.S. of A. with three “branches” working together. The Executive branch is the County Executive, the Judicial Branch is the County court system (Family, Supreme, District Courts), and the Legislative Branch is the Nassau County Legislature (made up of one legislator per district). So let’s get to it.
This “boss of Nassau County” is responsible for law enforcement, planning, consumer protection, roads, parks and recreation facilities, preparation of the county budget, and all other services provided by the county. County Executives also get the neato privilege of appointing commissioners and directors of county departments and agencies like DPW, BOE, etc.. But it’s not all “master of the universe” here. While County Executives get to make some big decisions, they still have to get the thumbs up from their buddies in the Nassau County Legislature for these plans to become reality.
Candidates who really, really (no really!) want to be County Executive:
Laura Curran (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Jack M. Martins (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, REFORM)
Cassandra J. Lems (GREEN)
This fiscal watchdog has the very exciting job of fighting pirates, dating hot people, and going on hot balloon rides. Just kidding...comptrollers do other “really cool” things like monitoring the county's budget and financial operations, reviewing contracts, and auditing county agencies and contractors. Also, payroll and employee health benefit functions fall under County Comptroller purview because of course they do.
Candidates that love comptrolling and want to comptroll the dickens out of our county:
Jack E. Schnirman (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Steven L. Labriola (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, REFORM)
Laurence S. Hirsh (GREEN)
Three things should come to mind when you think of County Clerk - real estate, legal, and licensing. Using super powers like mad organization skills, wit, and let’s face it, probably a lot of patience, County Clerks keep record of real estate transactions, accept filings for federal, state, and county licenses and certificates, PLUS they serve as the clerk of the Supreme Court and County Court.
Clerkin’ is NOT Twerkin’ - just ask these folks:
Dean E. Bennett (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Maureen C. O’Connell (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, INDEPENDENT, REFORM)
COUNTY LEGISLATOR - 11TH DISTRICT
These folks are the muscle behind drafting and approving local laws that affect the county and its residents. Remember the County Executive? The Nassau County Legislature is made up of single representatives from each of the county's 19 districts that get to vote yay and nay on the big dog’s big plans. Nothing gets by without their say so.
Let me legislate you:
Delia M. DeRiggi Whitton, (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, INDEPENDENT, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Zefy Christopoulos, (REPUBLICAN)
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT (No not that one)
This is the Supreme Court of the State of New York - not the entire United States. New York Supreme Courts are (as their name suggests) the highest trial courts in New York. There are 62 Supreme Courts in New York State - one per County. Also - you’re gonna want to make sure you like who you vote for, since terms are 14 years and there are no terms limits. Judges only stop judging if they don’t run for reelection, aren’t re-elected, or if they are 70+ (um...forced retirement...we wish we had that). They also stop judging if they decide to be shepherds instead of judges but do we really need to go over every contingency? Focus...
Those who want to join The Supremes (Pick 4):
Linda Kevins (DEMOCRAT, CONSERVATIVE, INDEPENDENT)
William B. Rebolini (DEMOCRAT, CONSERVATIVE, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, INDEPENDENT)
Arthur Diamond (DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN)
Thomas Feinman (DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN)
Richard Hoffman (REPUBLICAN)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Richard Hoffman’s official campaign website. Are you Richard Hoffman? Do you know Richard Hoffman? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
Robert A. Lifson (REPUBLICAN)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Robert Lifson’s official campaign website. Are you Robert Lifson? Do you know Robert Lifson? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
Thomas Rademaker (CONSERVATIVE)
Daniel S. McLane (CONSERVATIVE)
Philip M. Boyle (INDEPENDENT)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Philip Boyle’s official campaign website. Are you Philip Boyle? Do you know Philip Boyle? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
Stuart Besen (INDEPENDENT)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Stuart Besen’s official campaign website. Are you Stuart Besen? Do you know Stuart Besen? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
COUNTY COURT JUDGE
Not quite as Supreme as the other court (but still like...totally supreme), this District Court is still a workhorse in the court system. It has authority over four categories of cases:
Civil matters seeking monetary damages up to $15,000
Small claims matters with monetary damages up to $5,000
They also hear criminal matters such as misdemeanors, violations and infractions, and have preliminary jurisdiction over felonies and traffic tickets where a crime has been charged.
Courting County Judgeship (see what we did there?)(Pick 2):
Joseph R. Conway (DEMOCRAT, GREEN, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Tammy S. Robbins (DEMOCRAT, GREEN, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY, REFORM)
Jerald S. Carter (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, INDEPENDENT)
Christopher G. Quinn (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, INDEPENDENT, REFORM)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Christopher Quinn’s official campaign website. Are you Christopher Quinn? Do you know Christopher Quinn? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
FAMILY COURT JUDGE
Family court is a super specialized court that handles cases involving, you guessed it, children and families. Legal issues include child protection, adoption, custody and visitation, domestic violence, guardianship, juvenile delinquency, paternity, persons in need of supervision (PINS), and child support.
Family Judge (the good kind) Nods (Pick 2)
Linda K. Mejias (DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN)
Eileen Daly-Sapraicone (DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN)
Shaun K. Hogan (CONSERVATIVE)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Shaun Hogan’s official campaign website. Are you Shaun Hogan? Do you know Shaun Hogan? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
Robert M. Nigro (CONSERVATIVE)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Robert Nigro’s official campaign website. Are you Robert Nigro? Do you know Robert Nigro? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
And now are you ready for the Town of Oyster Bay positions and candidates?
I THINK I FINALLY “GET” ALL THAT COUNTY STUFF, BUT NOW YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE IS TOWN STUFF TOO?
SHORT ANSWER: We aren’t “just” telling you...we told you earlier. Please keep up. If reading isn’t your thing, you hate detailed information, or you’re just lazy, check this org chart for how TOB government is structured (peep the top brass - that’s you my friend).
The central governing body of the TOB is the the Town Board who love legislating (i.e. making the rules - you know, laws, ordinances and resolutions) and is comprised of one Supervisor + six Council members that oversee heads of departments (parks, public safety, planning and development, etc). Together with the Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes (who is not up for election until 2019), these elected officials responsible for making sh*t run smoothly. See more about these folks below:
TOWN OF OYSTER BAY SUPERVISOR
The Town of Oyster Bay website refers to the Supervisor as “chief elected officer,” which sounds rad. As the head of the administrative branch, Town Supervisors are the head honchos in charge of “implementing, executing and enforcing all legislative actions” of the Town Board, which is a fancy way of saying they suggest rules, make rules, and make sure rules are being followed. They also make sure the Board has the resources and information needed to make aforementioned rules. So if there is a study that needs to be conducted before people decide if say, we can all just skip showering on Tuesdays, Supervisors are responsible for setting that all in motion. Supervisors also get to take the first crack at the annual Town budget (with the help from other departments that submit estimates up the chain) that then gets submitted to the Town Board.
So you want to Supervise?
Marc Herman (DEMOCRATS, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Joseph S. Saladino (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, INDEPENDENT)
John Mangelli (REFORM)
Robert O. Ripp (INDEPENDENT)
Jonathan C. Clarke (PREOGRESSIVE)
TOWN OF OYSTER BAY COUNCIL MEMBER (VOTE FOR 3)
These peeps, together with the Supervisor, make up the Town of Oyster Bay Town Board (I mean, we just told you that). They work with constituents to help identify and hone in on the needs of the people. Terms are for four years, with no more than three seats up every two years. And this year, one of Sea Cliff’s own residents, James Versocki, is running (not an endorsement, not NOT an endorsement, just a fact).
We want to council you so hard:
Robert K. Freier (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, INDEPENDENT, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
James W. Versocki (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Eva M. Pearson (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, INDEPENDENT, WOMEN’S EQUALITY PARTY)
Michele M. Johnson (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, INDEPENDENT)
Louis B. Imbroto (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, REFORM)
Thomas P. Hand (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE)
Charles A. Brisbane (REFORM)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Charles Brisbane’s official campaign website. Are you Charles Brisbane? Do you know Charles Brisbane? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
Michael Castellano (REFORM)
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Michael Castellano’s official campaign website. Are you Michael Castellano? Do you know Michael Castellano? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
Blaire P. Fellows
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Blaire Fellows’ official campaign website. Are you Blaire Fellows? Do you know Blaire Fellows? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
Steven A. Abreu
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Steven Abreu’s official campaign website. Are you Steven Abreu? Do you know Steven Abeu? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
NOTE: Sea Cliff Votes does not have a link to Michael Reich’s official campaign website. Are you Michael Reich? Do you know Michael Reich? If you have any info - email us and we’ll add it here.
TOWN OF OYSTER BAY CLERK
Another clerk! This time for the Town of Oyster Bay. Hot messes need not apply for this critical record keeping job. Town Clerks maintain all Town records and keep track of vital statistics. They also issues licenses and permits (hunting, fishing, parking...), as well as birth certificates, marriage licenses and death transcripts. Also, snatch up your passports while you’re here.
People who want a nice Clerk-Life Balance
Dean E. Hart, (DEMOCRAT, WORKING FAMILIES PARTY, REFORM)
James Altadonna, Jr., (REPUBLICAN, CONSERVATIVE, INDEPENDENT)
I READ ON FACEBOOK THAT THERE ARE BALLOT PROPOSALS TO VOTE ON. WHAT’S THAT?
A proposal that is put on a ballot. Was that not clear?
Even decision makers can’t make all the decisions. That’s where ballot proposals come in. These are measures that can include things like bond issues or proposed amendments to the NY State Constitution. In some cases, an individual or group submits a petition to place a question on the ballot. But whatever the case, it was determined that the people should have a chance to vote.
OH GOODY, SO WHAT BALLOT PROPOSALS DO YOU NEED MY EXPERT OPINION ON?
There are three ballot proposals.
PROPOSAL NUMBER ONE: Shall there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?
PROPOSAL NUMBER TWO: AN AMENDMENT Allowing the complete or partial forfeiture of a public officer’s pension if he or she is convicted of a certain type of felony.
PROPOSAL NUMBER THREE, AN AMENDMENT Authorizing the Use of Forest Preserve Land for Specified Purposes
Check the longer details on these ballot proposals here. We’ve also cut and pasted the official proposal abstracts here for people that hate clicking on new links, don’t want to search for the abstracts, or are on their phones in the *bathroom* just scrolling away aimlessly and didn’t even notice the links.
ABSTRACT OF PROPOSAL NUMBER ONE
The New York State Constitution requires that every 20 years the people decide if a Constitutional Convention should be held to consider amendments to the State Constitution.
The purpose of this Ballot Question is to allow the voters of New York State to determine whether a Constitutional Convention will be held in 2019.
If a majority voting on this Question votes NO, there will be no Constitutional Convention.
If a majority votes YES, three delegates from each state senatorial district and 15 atlarge statewide delegates will be elected in November 2018. The delegates will convene at the Capitol in April 2019. Amendments adopted by a majority of the delegates will be submitted to the voters for approval or rejection in a statewide referendum to be held at least six weeks after the Convention adjourns. The delegates will determine whether to submit proposed amendments as separate questions. Any amendments that the voters approve will go into effect on the January 1 following their approval.
If a majority votes in favor of a Constitutional Convention, then the delegates will receive for their services the same compensation as that payable to Members of the Assembly. The delegates also will be reimbursed for actual traveling expenses while the Convention is in session, to the extent that Members of the Assembly would be entitled reimbursement during a session of the Legislature.
The delegates will have the power to appoint the officers, employees, and assistants that they deem necessary and to fix the compensation of those officers, employees, and assistants. The delegates also will have the power to provide for the expenses of the Convention, including the printing of its documents, journal, and proceedings. The delegates will determine the rules of their proceedings, choose their officers, and be the judge of the election, returns, and qualifications of their members. A vacancy in an office of district delegate will be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates representing the district in which the vacancy occurs; a vacancy in the office of a delegate-at-large will be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates-at-large.
ABSTRACT OF PROPOSAL NUMBER TWO
New York’s Constitution now provides that the benefits of a public pension or retirement system cannot be reduced or impaired. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to allow a court to reduce or revoke the public pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer’s existing duties.
A court could determine, after notice to the public officer and a hearing, if a public officer convicted of such a felony would lose part or all of the pension. In reaching this determination, the court must consider factors including the seriousness of the public officer’s crime, the proportionality of a reduction or revocation to the crime, whether forfeiture would result in undue hardship or other inequity to dependent children, spouse, or other dependents, and any other factors provided by the Legislature. The Legislature must enact law that puts this proposal into effect, taking into account principles of fairness.
The proposed amendment would define “public officer” to mean the following:
An official filling an elected office within New York;
A person holding an office that is filled by appointment by the New York Governor, whether or not that appointment has to be confirmed by the Senate;
A county, city, town, or village administrator, manager or equivalent position;
The head of any state or local government department, division, board, commission, bureau, public benefit corporation, or public authority in New York who is vested with authority, direction, and control over that entity;
The chief fiscal officer or treasurer of a municipal corporation or political subdivision in New York;
A judge or justice of the Unified Court System; and
A legislative, executive, or judicial employee who directly assists in the formulation of legislation, rules, regulations, policy, or judicial decision-making and who is designated by law as a policy-maker.
If approved, the amendment will apply only to crimes committed on or after January 1, 2018.
ABSTRACT OF PROPOSAL NUMBER THREE
New York State’s Constitution protects the State’s forest preserve as wild forest land and generally prohibits the lease, sale, exchange, or taking of any forest preserve land. The proposed amendment will create two new exceptions to this broad protection of the forest preserve to make it easier for municipalities to undertake certain health and safety projects.
First, the proposed amendment will create a land account of up to 250 acres of forest preserve land. A town, village, or county can apply to the land account if it has no viable alternative to using forest preserve land for specified health and safety purposes. These purposes are (1) to address bridge hazards or safety on specified highways; (2) to eliminate the hazards of dangerous curves and grades on specified highways; (3) to relocate, reconstruct, and maintain highways; and (4) for water wells and necessary related accessories located within 530 feet of a specified highway, where needed to meet drinking water quality standards. The State will acquire 250 acres to add to the forest preserve to replace the land placed in the health and safety land account, subject to approval by the Legislature,
Second, the proposed amendment will allow bicycle paths and types of public utility lines to be located within the widths of specified highways that cross forest preserve land. The work on the bicycle paths and utility lines must minimize the removal of trees and vegetation. The proposed amendment will allow a stabilization device (such as a guy wire) for an existing utility pole to be located near the width of a highway when necessary to ensure public health and safety and when no other viable option exists.
The proposed amendment prohibits the construction of a new intrastate gas or oil pipeline that did not receive necessary state and local permits and approvals by June 1, 2016.
WHAT IF MY NAME IS NOT ON THE LIST WHEN I SHOW UP AT SEA CLIFF ELEMENTARY? I’M SURE I’M REGISTERED.
And know your voting rights! You have the right to vote in this election if:
- You are a registered voter.
- You are inside Sea Cliff Elementary no later than 9pm Election Day.
You also have a right to:
- Be assisted by any person of your choice if you need help to vote.
- Ask election workers how to vote. Don’t be shy!
- Vote even if the voting machine is broken. Ask for assistance.
- Vote by “affidavit ballot” if your name is missing from the list of voters at your polling site.
COULD MY REGISTRATION HAVE EXPIRED?
Nope - your registration has no expiration date. However, if you didn’t vote in the last two federal elections, or you moved without updating your address with the BOE, your registration may be considered “inactive” and your name may not appear in the voter roll at the poll site. Don’t panic! You can still vote by affidavit ballot.
WHAT IS AN AFFIDAVIT BALLOT?
It’s a paper ballot you can request if you’re not listed in the voter book but believe you are eligible to vote (maybe your paperwork just hasn’t been processed yet). Follow the instructions to fill out this ballot and the envelope and give it to a poll worker when you are done. After the election, the BOE will check its records. If you were eligible to vote, were at the correct poll site and filled out the ballot and envelope correctly, your vote will be counted. If not, you will receive a notice that your vote did not count.
Your affidavit envelope serves as a registration form for future elections if you were not eligible to vote and you filled it out correctly.
DO I NEED TO BRING MY ID WHEN I VOTE?
Usually, no. But you may have to show identification to vote if you are voting for the first time here in Sea Cliff. Acceptable forms of ID include valid photo ID or current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck or government documentation that shows name and address. If you cannot show ID, you have the right to vote by affidavit ballot.