What does Mark Lesko want you to know about his candidacy for re-election as Brookhaven town supervisor? Well, Patch is letting each candidate tell the story in his or her own words. We asked the incumbent Democratic town supervisor five things he wants people to know about his campaign. Here's what he had to say:
- "I have frozen taxes for the past two years and propose freezing them again in my 2012 budget. Our residents cannot afford to shoulder the burden of any more property taxes during these difficult economic times. At the same time, I have cut spending by almost 30 percent and led the effort to pass a tax cap, debt cap, and spending cap. The independent bond rating agencies have affirmed our high bond ratings eight times since I have been in office. As Supervisor, I will continue to practice fiscal discipline."
- "I am proud to say that I have worked on both sides of the aisle to get work done for the residents of the Town of Brookhaven. As a former federal prosecutor I entered the political arena as an "outsider" and my goal was to hold the line on taxes and make sure government was working efficiently for residents. I appointed what is probably the most bi-partisan management team in the Towns history and worked with my Deputy Supervisor, Republican Kathleen Walsh, and the rest of my colleagues on the Town Board, to balance the budget, implement programs to create jobs, and ensure a high quality of life for residents."
- "I have implemented forward-thinking programs to create jobs and jumpstart our economy. The Accelerate Long Island program will connect research conducted at world-class institutions like Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Lab with entrepreneurs to create high-tech start-up companies. A new program recently introduced, "Jumpstart Brookhaven," will reduce fees to fast track projects that have Town approvals and can create thousands of jobs in 2012. The Town's Industrial Development Agency has created or retained over 2,100 jobs since 2009."
- "The Blight to Light program has been successful in redeveloping eyesores in our communities. Blight to Light provides incentives to the private sector to redevelop what I call "monuments to blight" in Brookhaven - properties that are vacant, abandoned, and graffiti-ridden. This year, the Plaza Theater in East Patchogue, which had been vacant since the 1980's, was demolished by the Town. The former UA Theater in Coram is set to be redeveloped into a beautiful new community center. The Ronkonkoma Hub has tremendous potential to become the most vibrant transit-oriented development on the East Coast and I am working with the Town of Islip to redevelop this area."
- "When I came into office, I formed the Quality of Life Task Force to enforce the Town code against serial offenders. As a result, tons of litter has been cleaned up in Brookhaven neighborhoods and suburban slumlords have been shut down. From 2008 to 2010, the fines levied on those who violate our Town code have increased by 255%. Brookhaven is a great place to live and the Quality of Life Task Force maintains the great character of our residential neighborhoods."