Cecile Forte is Mark Lesko's challenger for the post of Brookhaven town supervisor, running on the Republican and Conservative party lines. We asked her to sum up five things she wants the voters to know about her campaign – and here they are, in her own words.
- "The most important thing to know is that I was an administrator for 21 years, responsible for 22,000 students, 1,000 full- and part-time faculty, and a multimillion dollar budget at Suffolk Community College. I also am a motivational speaker and I know how to work with people in terms of their expertise and experience and skill sets to get the kind of performance from them that good bosses do, and I've done that for many many years. My book, written 8 years ago, is called Wise Women Don't Have Hot Flashes, They Have Power Surges!"
- "My approach to job creation growns out of my experience with the planning board. I've worked for the planning board for 9 years. I know that if we welcome businesses and have a customer service attitude towards business that we can create jobs because we'll have more businesses in the Town of Brookhaven. Otherwise they will go to other towns, and that has already happened to us."
- "We have $3 milion in job-killing back-door taxes. These are taxes that affect homeowners as well as business people. Fees that have been charged at a time when we cannot afford them: If you want a site plan amended, if your children want to play on the ballfield, if you want to use your beaches and marinas, and if you want to have your dog found if you lose your dog. Fees that have been raised dramatically to the tune of $3 milion, and it's bad for business too. We have $3 milion in cost overruns for non-emergency overtime, and we have to reign that in. We have to budget for what we need."
- "I think that town government at this point in time is inefficient because it does not meet the people's needs, the needs of businesses, in a concerted effort to have a common sense approach to government. I think they lie especially within, and again I go back to business, with how we deal with permits, business, home improvements. People are constantly telling me that they have so much trouble when they have to do business with the town. They are not receiving the kind of service that they should be getting. We're not service oriented and that's where we need to be."
- "My campaign is devoted to the people of the town, to the residents of the town. I want them to live the life they want to have in Brookhaven, and I want the government to serve their needs. I don't want a government that is on their backs, but to stand side by side with them. As supervisor, I would be responsible for the quality of life in our town, and I want to make sure that quality of life is the highest it can be."