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Election 2011: 5th Councilmanic District

Democratic challenger Claudia Borecky goes up against Republican incumbent Angie Cullin.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, incumbent Angie Cullin will go up against challenger Claudia Borecky for the position of 5th district council member.

The 5th district is comprised of Barnum Island, Bellmore, Lido Beach, Merrick and Point Lookout and parts of Freeport, North Bellmore, North Merrick, Seaford and Wantagh.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Click here to find your polling station.

Candidates appear in alphabetical order.

Claudia Borecky

  • Hometown: Merrick
  • Occupation: Nassau County Board of Elections

Borecky is president of the North and Central Merrick Civic Association. She sits on the board of the Merrick Historical Society and is a member of the Merrick American Legion Auxiliary, as well as the Merrick Kiwanis, Operation SPLASH and the Surfrider Foundation. In 2011, Borecky was the recipient of the Geraldine A. Ferraro Award for Courage and Grace.

Borecky currently works for the Nassau County Board of Elections. Before her work at the board of elections, she was the former Chief of Staff to Legislator Dave Denenberg.

Angie Cullin

  • Hometown: Freeport
  • Occupation: Councilmember, 5th District
  • Time in Office: 10 years (2001)

Cullin was re-elected to represent the Town of Hempstead's 5th Councilmanic District in November 2007, where she has served since her appointment in January 2001 and subsequent election in November 2003.

Cullin was the first woman to serve as receiver of taxes, having been appointed in April 1993 and subsequently elected to the position. She made history on Nov. 3, 1987 when she became the first woman in the history of the town to be elected to the town board. She served as a councilwoman since her appointment in January 1987 until being appointed Receiver of Taxes in 1993.

Prior to that, Cullin served as administrative assistant to the New York State Assembly for eight years.

Patch Question: Many areas in the Town of Hempstead are plagued by commercial vacancies. Is there a way to help fill these storefronts and is there any way to assist existing small businesses who may be struggling to stay afloat?

Claudia Borecky: The Town of Hempstead’s archaic codes stifle growth in our downtown commercial areas. We see nothing but strip mail after strip mall with a fast food restaurant and gas station in between. It may take as long as three years to build a small professional building in our downtown area, but a strip club is approved without blinking an eye. Hempstead’s own code does not allow for mixed-use development. In villages such as Rockville Centre and Garden City, small apartment buildings are built amidst mom and pop stores. Residents shop in their neighboring stores and develop a sense of pride in their community. Our young professional children have an affordable place to live and start a family.  Businesses thrive under those circumstances and you see very few empty storefronts.

Angie Cullin: Actually, Hempstead Town’s commercial areas have weathered an international economic crisis far better than most other places throughout the nation and across Long Island. Anyone who drives through local business districts on Long Island can clearly see that. Our township has helped local downtown business owners  to persevere and remain viable. In my district, we have partnered with the business community to revitalize downtowns in Bellmore, Merrick and Seaford. We have created attractive destinations with brick-paved walkways, Victorian street lamps, beautiful benches and plantings, as well as new storefront facades and coordinated signage. What’s more, we’ve added “village green” elements such as gazebos and veterans plazas, inviting residents and visitors to walk downtown areas.

Additionally, our town’s planning department administers a small business revolving loan fund to assist entrepreneurs to set up shop and grow. Further, our “one-stop” career center provides resources such as training and conference facilities for employees and employers.

Patch Question: Many officials throughout the town believe the proposed HUB development will take business away from local downtowns, which are already hurting in this down economy. What will be done to mitigate concerns?

Borecky: First of all, there is no proposed HUB development at this point. The town board killed its opportunity for growth by rezoning the HUB. It is partisan politics at its worst. The Town of Hempstead has no vision. My first act in office would be to embrace our regional planning advisory boards and develop a long and short-term economic development plan. As any businessman knows, if you don’t grow, you will go under. We are losing jobs and revenue because of Hempstead’s lack of vision or willingness to change. We are blessed with some of the greatest minds in the country  Hempstead’s Industrial Development Agency is short-sighted – allowing growth only in businesses that give to the Republican Party. That has to change. The Town of Islip’s Industrial Development Agency is providing incentives for bio-medical technologies to prosper in its town. The Town of Hempstead needs to do the same. Our children will have job opportunities available to them so that they will be able to come back home after college. And the new growth in revenue will lessen the amount that the county will need to raise from the homeowner’s property tax.

Smart growth in the HUB area will not take away from our local downtowns, but spread its wealth beyond its epicenter. 

Cullin: Those who understand economics know that growth is essential to survival. The addition of new commercial and other development creates synergies with existing businesses, helping them to thrive. What’s more, I don’t know of anyone who has presented visions for the HUB that would be direct competitors for local downtowns. Actually, many of the elements mentioned by developers would enhance and support local merchants. Convention centers, hotels, minor league baseball stadiums, a revitalized Coliseum, technology facilities, offices, educational facilities and housing would all complement businesses in local downtowns and add more residents to patronize area shops.

Finally, even if construction started at the property surrounding the Coliseum today, the construction would take time to complete, mitigating any concerns about the impact of new businesses on the current economy. Obviously, developers don’t build based on the current economic conditions. Rather, they build with a vision for the future.

Patch: What is your position on the Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals approving Billy Dean's cabaret license at 3500 Sunrise Hwy., Wantagh in early 2010 and then a year later deciding to have a re-hearing and revoking his application? What type of business would you like to see operate on that property?

Borecky: As president of the North and Central Merrick Civic Association, I stood in solidarity with our neighbors in Wantagh and Seaford in opposition to the strip club. Thanks to the perseverance of a united community, the town board came out and opposed Billy Dean’s cabaret license. But that was more than a year after a permanent cabaret license was awarded to Billy Dean, who testified at the hearing that he intended to build the same kind of establishment that he had in Bellmore – advertised as Long Island’s Premiere Strip Club. Angie Cullin represents, not only Wantagh, but Bellmore as well. As a civic leader, I know when a 7-11 comes into my community, let alone a strip club. As our most local representative, it is Cullin’s responsibility to know what comes into our community. We write legislation to protect our families from sex offenders and yet, allow an establishment to be built within feet from our children that attracts sex offenders. 

Because Cullin was asleep at the wheel, Billy Dean was awarded a permanent cabaret license. Because Cullin was asleep at the wheel, Billy Dean spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to build a strip club. Because Cullin was asleep at the wheel, it’s now in court. Cullin’s inaction has jeopardized an entire community and put our families at risk. And I’m afraid that because Cullin was asleep at the wheel, we will wake up with a strip club near our young families.

Cullin: Apparently, I strongly opposed the original board of appeals grant with regard to the property at 3500 Sunrise Hwy. in Wantagh. That’s precisely why Kate Murray and I called upon the board of appeals to rehear the case. I personally felt that the original hearing failed to provide for thorough and complete community input. I was pleased that the board listened to my testimony and that of Supervisor Murray and neighbors as they decided to deny the application for a cabaret at the site. The decision was right on the merits and right for Wantagh and Seaford neighbors.

While clearly a residential neighborhood was not the right place for the defeated cabaret, entrepreneurs are the proper people to determine development priorities within the local zoning framework, so long as they don’t adversely impact neighborhoods. Certainly, area residents have indicated support for a restaurant or similar use that could be harmonious with local homes and not overwhelm the area with traffic, noise or other undesirable effects.

Jon November 04, 2011 at 05:04 PM
For the record, 3500 Sunrise Highway was never planned and is still not planned to be a strip club. Apparently neither candidate has paid attention.
Patrick November 05, 2011 at 12:15 AM
That would be a pseudonym, John, you are as foolish as as all the rest. i am not a fake, unlike all the rest, Here I am, and Claudia Borecky is as fake as they come. She has nothing to do with the situation in Wantagh, she just connected her name to the cause. If Claudia Borecky actually had any backbone, she would tell everyone how hard she worked to get rid of Billy Dean's business in her neighborhood, but she can not do that because Billy Dean runs a business that does not violate any of the conditions of the permits that he holds. And that is fact. John, you fit in with all the rest. Are you Vinny? No, He has disappeared. Are you Kevin? No, he only asks for money to support his cause, or asks people to make unsubstianted complaints against a business in print. Angie Cullen has done nothing with reference to this situation other than to regurgitate others words, another fake. Here are some easy questions Claudia, and Angie: What has Billy Dean done wrong at the 3500 Sunrise site? What has made you so opposed to a business that has not even opened yet? Are you ok with the Democrats paying for a mialing by Kevin Milano and Vincent Ciro to the 5th district, which is not affected by the business at 3500 Sunrise, to smear Chris Browne, and not mention any of the other members of the BZA? Of course this is not political, Dave. How about answering these questions, Claudia and Angie?
Patrick November 05, 2011 at 01:04 AM
I'm asleep as the keyboard, I'm alseep at the keyboard, I'm asleep at the keyboard. Sound familiar? Claudia, state some facts. Stop politicing and actually do something. Caludia, what is you stance on the Cedar Creek Issue? Why when asked about business in the local area, do you constantly refer to the business at 3500 Sunrise (not opened yet) as a strip club that was approved without blinking an eye? It was approved through a process, that if you are elected, god forbid, you would be required to uphold. Please give everyone a bit of your plan to take cae of these issues.
Phillip Franco November 06, 2011 at 11:55 AM
I hope they both will be attending the peoples rally in front of Cedar Creek Park Today at 12:00pm that seeks to preserve and protect our Wantagh-Seaford community.
Patrick November 06, 2011 at 12:07 PM
Of course they will be there,election day is only 2 days away. It wouldn't surprise me if politicians outnumber residents.
Merrick7 November 06, 2011 at 07:32 PM
People do realize despite everything Angie Cullin has come through for our district. Her and Borecky are just people who attach themselves to the issues, but does not change improvements seen in our district. Merrick ave and Merrick Road have beautifications. Our district, esp. Wantagh, Merrick, Bellmore, North Merrick received the majority of the road improvement project. Lido Beach and Atlantic Beach received buik head, new clubhouse, dredging for sand and other improvements recently. Julian Lane Park was given vast improvements. Support for the cell tower ordinance requested by our district, and removal of the cabaret license at request of our district. Regardless of right or wrong Murray and Cullin did what our district residents requested of them. This is listening to your constituents. They have my vote
Patrick November 07, 2011 at 02:08 AM
So giving patronage jobs in the TOH is listening to your constituents? Removal of cabaret? Kate Murray should and will be voted down. These are the people whohave put us int eh position that we are in. The Lighthouse? Kate Murray was against it when the opposing party was in power, solely because of partisan politics. Then she was in favor of the project when her party is in power, but that was not enough. Kate Murray has run Charles Wong out of town, all because of her politics. Great job. The man wanted to pay for it himself, but she shot it down. Everyone can say. taxes, blah. blah, but that is the bottom line. It is to bad that we have to vote FOR someone, we should be able to vote against someone, and that person is Kate Murray. Angie Cullen does not rate a comment.
Merrick7 November 07, 2011 at 07:37 AM
look name me apolitician that does not give patronage jobs away in their government. I cannot think of one. What position has Kate Murray put you in exactly? The TOH has not caused a huge increase in taxes and has performed various improvements. The Lighthouse was and will not be our only private improvement project. It was too big and would have caused too much traffic. Hotels and biomedical development will come. Charles Wang, Computer Associates corrupt leader is not as squeaky clean as you make him out to be. Yes Wang was denied for political reasons. When Jay Jacobs, democratic party chairman for Nassau and Ny state spoke recently he told me, the Lighthouse was denied because of fear of NYC style democrats populating the region and he did not pay off the republicans. Very true. But it was not the ideal choice for the area just an over publicized one. The retail development would have taken away more from Garden City and Mineola well as there were infrastructure improvements he wanted Nassau to pay for (hidden tax increase). I also mentioned Angie Cullin as a rubber stamp as well agreeing she did not provide much more than photo ops, but neither does Borecky appearing at Reynolds Channel spills or Cabaret petitioning after both were organized by community protestors having little to do with her. Murray is politically powerful, but is controlled by all her constituents, not just the complainers for big projects like the Lighthouse
Merrick7 November 07, 2011 at 07:40 AM
Denenberg and Fuschillo provide the vast improvements to our region and Kate Murray is heavily tied to Bellmore and Merrick. Removing her could hurt us Gary Port cares for West Hempstead and wants Free Trade Zones near Kennedy. Mark Bonilla is from Bellmore. Just remember you throw these people out our district will get a lot less attention
Chris Wendt November 07, 2011 at 11:33 AM
Angie Cullin has a long record of working for us, attending to the smallest issues as well as the big issues confronting our town. I have met Claudia Borecky and found her to be personable and informed on some of the issues, but I already know the proven value of having Angie Cullin on the Town Council representing District #5. and I will definitely be voting to re-elect Angie Cullin tomorrow. Kate Murray and Mark Bonilla get my vote also.
Patrick November 08, 2011 at 12:48 AM
So patonage is ok by you? If Charles Wang was corrupt, he would have gone down as well. You seem to have your finger on the pulse of of everything. Jay Jacobs spoke directly to you and said what you have posted, that a fear of NYC style Democrats populating the region, and he did not PAY OFF the Republicans? I find it hard to believe that anyone in any political position would say to someone that there was a potential need to pay onyone off. Please tell everyone where and when this happened, so that we can confirm the details.
Patrick November 08, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Waste your vote. Angie Cullen couldn't answer a question without a cue card, proven by her statement at the hearing on May 18th, in which she stated, for the most part, I agree with everyone else. Claudia Borecky is useless. Being personable and kind of informed, doesn't cut the mustard. Attaching yourself to a hot button issue, and using that to make a campaign, is as fake as it gets. The electoral process should be changed to where you can vote against a candidate not necessarily for someone. No one would be elected, as everyone believes that the least of the worst is the best. A sorry state of affairs.
Chris Wendt November 08, 2011 at 01:17 AM
Re Patrick's querry: "So patonage is ok by you?" Patronage is the lubrication of many political systems on the planet. From Wikipedia, "Political patronage — on a low-level and when not entangled in financial means — is not inherently unseemly....the U.S. Constitution provides the president with the power to appoint individuals to government positions. He also may appoint personal advisers without congressional approval. Not surprisingly, these individuals tend to be supporters of the president. Similarly, at the state and local levels, governors and mayors retain appointments powers....Bearfield has argued that patronage be used for four general purposes: create or strengthen a political organization; achieve democratic or egalitarian goals; bridge political divisions and create coalitions; and to alter the existing patronage system." Also known as the spoils system (Wikipedia) "In the politics of the United States, a spoil system (also known as a patronage system) is a practice where a political party, after winning an election, gives government jobs to its voters as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party—as opposed to a system of awarding offices on the basis of some measure of merit independent of political activity. The term was derived from the phrase "to the victor belong the spoils" by New York Senator William L. Marcy, referring to the victory of the Jackson Democrats in the election of 1828."
Patrick November 08, 2011 at 01:28 AM
Chris, so patronage is ok by you?
Chris Wendt November 08, 2011 at 01:36 AM
Patrick, patronage is to the American political system what oxygen is breathing. I like breathing oxygen, and the American patronage system is hunky-dory with me.
Chris Wendt November 08, 2011 at 01:51 AM
Patrick, in the general day-to-day scheme of things, telling someone in polite conversation that a vote for their preferred candidate would be "wasting your vote" is really impolite and presumptuous. May I request that you refrain from those kind of coarse remarks?
Patrick November 08, 2011 at 01:58 AM
Good to know you are all in favor of people getting jobs that pay exorbitant salaries that they are not qualified for, just because they know someone, or have financially supported some candidate. You must have someone you know, maybe a family member, in one of these made up jobs that is a drain on all taxpayers. Your true colors have been shown. Are you expecting one these types of jobs from Angie Cullen? Or Kate Murray? Your statement could be the most rediculous of all. Anyone who supports that type of abuse or power, loses all credibility. You equate patronage to breathing, anyone who believes the same should suffocate. It is no ones right to be paid for nothing more than moral or financial support, and anyone who believes differently is mindless.
Chris Wendt November 08, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Pretty big leap from someone getting or awarding a patronage job...to having a sinecure, a do-nothing position. That is not what we are talking about. You really should work on polite discourse. Telling people with whose opinions you disagree that they should suffocate, or, that they are mindless for the beliefs they hold is, well, just rude. Would you agree? Or is there another explanation you would like to make? Perhaps an apology?
Patrick November 08, 2011 at 02:29 AM
Request away, that is my opinion, and I stand by it. Why is it presumptouos, or impolite. because you don't like it? You offered your voting preference up on this site, I strenously dsagree Any vote for Cullen, Borecky, Murray, Denenberg, and a number of others, in my opinion would be a waste of a vote. As I stated previously, if I had the abiliy to vote against these people rather than for someone else, I would. To vote for the least of the undesirables, is a sad state of affairs in the political process, and that is what we have here. We have candidates basing their platform on destroying a mans business, using constituants, not even in their district, to write letters to another district and paying for the mailing to lie about and smear the opponent. Chris, please get over yourself or take yourself out of the game. You put yourself out there, while I may be the only one verbalizing, I am far from the only one reading what you write, and seeing through the rhetoric, which is all that it is.
Patrick November 08, 2011 at 03:06 AM
No I do not agree. I never said anything about a do nothing position, or sinecure as your thesaurus says. I said unqualified, or did you disregard that part of the post? I just used your analogy of patronage to breathing, nothing more. You are the one who takes it that one step further, not me. You say "beliefs", but all I was referring to is the thought that anyone who believes it is ok to be paid for a job that they are not qualified to hold, is mindless, nothing more. Twist all you want. I apologize for nothing. The only one who owes anyone anything might be you, and that would be a reason for your ardent support of the people who actually do the things that I have referred to. You don't like me because of the way I portray things and speak frankly, with no pretense. If there were more people who spoke their minds and were less worried about soft-shoeing, we would have a much greater indicator how people actually felt. Less blowing smoke, more legitimacy. What do you think about that?
Chris Wendt November 08, 2011 at 10:10 AM
So, in your thinking, no one who ever got a patronage job was qualified for that job? There are thousands of people on Long Island alone who got hired through patronage. Who do you think does all of the work in our Villages, Towns and Counties? There is nothing about the patronage system that minimizes or detracts from qualifications to perform the work of the jobs awarded to the beneficiaries. Nothing. Now, if a person has no faith whatsoever in our political system, someone who thinks NONE of the candidates for office is qualified to be elected, a person who thinks that voting for either Cullin or her opponent is just wasting their vote, then that person would probably have little or no chance at ever landing a patronage job. You are entitled to think as you wish. You can even express yourself in a crusty or combative manner. But you know what, Patrick? You can't go an vote "against" anyone...unless you actually vote "for" their opponent. And that is a fact. Patrick, if I did not "like" you, meaning, if I disliked you, I would do what most people do, and just ignore your comments.
Merrick7 November 08, 2011 at 04:28 PM
patrick I will not justify or back up evidence of my conversation with the chairman. it was not a personal conversation, he did not say verbatim "pay off" his words were paraphrasing "did not play game with the TOH republicans." Also here is an article from newsday about corrupt Charles Wang http://www.newsday.com/business/judge-orders-ca-wang-case-closed-1.3303647 No people who are corrupt do not always get what they deserve. Real world most people do horrible things and have the money to settle and pay off. Sorry to disappoint, this includes Charles Wang. I am sorry you disagree with mine and others opinions and your cynnicism has forced your failure of belief in the political system. Patronage and payoffs are normal everywhere in the world. It is unfortunate, but the real world Patrick. I owe you no exact proof or evidence of anything this is a political blogging website. You do not like what is said by myself or Mr. Wendt, ignore it or take the comment with a grain of salt. Show decorum and research your comments if you require others to prove and back up their's. I will choose the latter and drop the topic and ignore you have a good day.
Patrick November 09, 2011 at 02:16 AM
Oh, sadly, you do owe everyone an explanation. Your words, verbatim, "When Jay Jacobs, democratic party chairman for Nassau and Ny state spoke recently he told me, the Lighthouse was denied because of fear of NYC style democrats populating the region and he did not pay off the republicans. Very true." That is what you said, correct? Of course it is, i cut and pasted it. Who did Charles Wang pay off? You print these things, of course you need to provide, as you say "exact proof" otherwise you are as unworhy of any type of credibility as the rest. You make difinitive comments, and then say "take them with a grain of salt", are you kidding? What does this mean "No people who are corrupt do not always get what they deserve"? Please do tell. Here is another gem, "Patronage and payoffs are normal everywhere in the world", and since you said this, you must believe it. Your say my cynnicism (sp), has forced my failure in the belief of the political system? It is my knowledge that has forced that. Your lack of grammatical expertise has confirmed it. You can take that with a grain of salt. And as everyone before you, you comment and then go away, that proves everything. Chris, another disciple? Choose decorum? Enough. Research? Wikipedia is not research. Spew rhetoric, standard.

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