Supervisor candidate Bulzomi cites failure to communicate

Bill San Antonio

To Republican North Hempstead town supervisor candidate Anthony Bulzomi, the North Shore’s government entities don’t talk to each other often enough.

If they did, he said, they might be able to identify ways of consolidating services and cut spending, and if they cut spending they’d also be able to cut taxes.

“We need to sit down and say, what can we do?” said Bulzomi, a trustee on the Carle Place Board of Education, in an interview with Blank Slate Media Friday. “Where do we have to lose to gain?” 

If elected to unseat Democrat Judi Bosworth following November’s election, Bulzomi said he’d do the same thing at Town Hall, meeting with North Hempstead’s various departments and identifying ways of eliminating redundancies in the town’s spending and hiring practices.

Then, he said, he’d round up the town’s village boards, school boards, special district boards and representatives in the county Legislature, get them in a room together and discuss ways of making Nassau’s governments more efficient.

He also said he’d favor the outright consolidation of villages and even school districts, though not at the cost of communities losing their identities. 

“I’m a regular person, I’m not a politician,” said Bulzomi, a Westbury resident. “We need to work together for our constituents. We’ve become so far right and left that people have lost sight of who we serve.”

Bulzomi, who works for the Manhattan construction planning firm The Gordian Group, unsuccessfully sought the Town Council’s 1st district position in 2013 against Democrat Viviana Russell, of New Cassel. 

A volunteer to local party politics for more than 20 years, Bulzomi said his campaign for Town Council gained some momentum amongst constituents in Carle Place and parts of Westbury and New Cassel and he was approached shortly thereafter to run for town supervisor.

Bulzomi said his goal is to bring some “new blood” to a Town Hall that has been controlled by a Democratic town supervisor and council for the better part of three decades.

“Nobody should be in power for an extended period of time, in any capacity,” said Bulzomi, who is running on the Republican, Conservative and Reform party lines. “No good can come of it.”

Bulzomi said he’s been unable to assess Bosworth’s job performance in her first term in office because of “so many dynamics and things beyond her control,” specifically spending, due to “all the factors driving the number,” including union agreements whose details he said aren’t always made public.

“What I see,” he said, “she’s moving in the right direction. But a spoke can fall off the wheel at any time.”

Further reforms to the building department — a key election issue for Bosworth and her Republican challenger, Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, in 2013 — are still needed, Bulzomi said, citing neighbors and builders who have sought his advice in navigating the town’s construction process.

In one instance, Bulzomi said a neighbor who had recently moved into a home in Westbury was required to pay more than $9,000 in back fines because a fence that had already been installed was located on town property, and an air-conditioning unit violated building codes because it was not located far enough away from a neighboring property.

The fines, Bulzomi said, were paid, but the fence and air-conditioning unit remained in place.

“I can’t tell you, just in my own town, how many stories like that I’ve heard,” he said.

He added the building department should have had more trust in the homeowners and given them 30 days to rectify the issues before assessing the fines.

“If someone is intentionally breaking the law, you have to send a message to others,” he said, “but that’s not what was going on here. These people moved in, everything was already in place, they didn’t think there was anything they could do.”

He also said the town needs to increase its enforcement of illegal housing in New Cassel, with multiple families living in basement apartments.

“That would become a budgetary issue,” he said. “But it’s all about finding redundancies and figuring out who would pick up the menial tasks, who would do the services after you cut. I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and do that.”

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