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Malverne Special Election: Where the Candidates Stand on the Issues

Hear what D. Carol Hassett and Trustee Patricia Canzoneri-Callahan had to say about the hot topics in the village.

Polls open Tuesday morning at the , where residents can cast their vote for either , of the Common Sense Party, or , of the Malverne Independent Party, for a three-year term on the village board.

Still undecided? See what each candidate had to say about some of Malverne's most important issues.

Where They Disagree

  • Malverne Volunteer Ambulance Corps Contract

Since the is not a village department it is required to have a contract with the village of Malverne in order to provide service and lease the new headquarters the village built for the agency on Hempstead Avenue. On March 16, the members of the Malverne Volunteer Ambulance Corps overwhelmingly voted in favor of approving the new contract negotiated with the Village of Malverne and the new lease for use of a Village building as a headquarters for the MVAC, which calls for in-service performance requirements that will escalate throughout the term of the 10-year agreement. Pending final legal review, the signed agreements will be submitted to the Village for ratification later this month. 

Hassett, a long-time MVAC member and vice-chair of the board, says this situation was her "primary reason" for running for the board. She takes issue with certain sections of the contract drafted in mid-February, including a section that would raise the level of service MVAC is expected to provide. She says, "We are volunteers… we'd love to provide 100 percent coverage all the time but we can’t get close without the building and we are frightened that if we can’t make the commitment we can get thrown out.”

Canzoneri-Callahan said "we need high quality ambulance service 24/7," adding that when MVAC is not in service, Nassau County Police's Ambulance responds to any calls but its response time is slower and Malverne residents, who already pay for MVAC's service through their taxes, then also receive a bill from Nassau County. "I want to see [MVAC] in their new building so that they can improve service and keep our residents safe," Canzoneri-Callahan said, but explained that "state law requires us to  have a contract with them with meaningful performance standards to allow us to lease space to them." (On March 16, MVAC's membership approved a 10-year contract with the village, that escalates in-service performance requirements throughout the term of the contract. It is pending legal review at this time.)

  • Village Laws and Regulations

Hassett says Malverne residents are "over-regulated."  She told Patch, "We have too many regulations," citing restrictions that affect small businesses, rules regarding trees on residents' properties, when residents can put out their garbage and other laws that carry heavy fines. For example, Hassett told residents at the March 15 Candidates Night forum that in Malverne, residents could be penalized for having things such "stagnant water in [your] dog's dish" or "chalk or pencil-markings...dust, dirt or cracks in your driveway." She is for smaller government and less rules, adding, "The more regulations, the bigger the government becomes and the smaller the people become, and the more it costs the people in taxes."

Canzoneri-Callahan told Patch that she does not think village residents are over-regulated, saying that "laws and ordinances are in place to allow the village to be a beautiful place." In September, that gave the village more power to enforce its code in cases where homeowners have created conditions that "pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the public or to the property." The law came on the heels of a case where a homeowner had neglected their property so much so that it had become infested with raccoons. "The situation with the raccoons was awful," Canzoneri-Callahan said. "It was very appropriate that the village be allowed to protect residents that were neighbors to that property." She also thinks the village should have the right to stop residents from ripping down "completely healthy trees" on their property "simply because they don't want them."

Where They Agree

  • Tax Cap

Both candidates support the Malverne village board imposed by New York State to avoid paying any penalties if the village budget does exceed the cap due to a miscalculation or other error. (Apparently, the formula used to calculate the cap is very complicated.) That said, Hassett and Canzoneri-Callahan also stated that the board should not intentionally exceed the cap.

  • Townhouses in Malverne

While a formal proposal to build townhouses at theon Franklin Avenue has not been presented to the board, the developer has expressed an interest in presenting this idea.

Both Hassett and Canzoneri-Callahan said that if they were on the village board when a proposal to build townhouses on the property came before them they would want to study how such a development could impact the village of Malverne including resources such as water and fire and police protection.

"The development of that property is a critical piece. It's similar to when we thought Grossmann's Farm was going to be developed," Canzoneri-Callahan said, adding that whoever is on the board will need to have the skills to review this proposal and ensure that what is developed here is "consistent with the beautiful character that Malverne has become known for." She admitted there is "probably a need for housing for residents 55 and older in the community who may who want to stay in Malverne but don't want to keep up a private home."

"It would depend on the number of townhouses" that would be proposed, said Hassett, who expressed her concerns not only about water usage, fire and police protection and capacity of the local schools, but also the traffic conditions on Franklin Avenue. She said this roadway is already "very busy," and said the location of the development's egress would have to be considered too, adding, "How would they get in and out?"

Issues of Their Own

  • Trustees Donating Their Salaries, Adopting Term Limits

Hassett has pledged that if elected, she will donate three quarters of her salary to the Malverne Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and the , and she will not take the health benefits the village would provide to her, saving it $18K annually. "I believe that's better off in your pocket than in mine, " she said. "We need to talk about donating our salary...that way we don't stay too long. Term limits are another good thing to have."

  • Community Rec Center

Canzoneri-Callahan said that if elected, she would make it one of her goals to explore the idea of building a community recreation center on the land the village acquired through the sale of Grossmann's Farm. “I think it would be a phenomenal addition to our community, for our seniors, our youth and other groups to meet,” she said, adding that the center could also host birthday parties, which could generate revenue that would help to sustain it. She’d use her skills and experience as a certified public accountant to find ways this could be done affordably so it isn’t a burden to taxpayers, and would start by organizing a planning committee that would be comprised of community members from "all walks of life," something that her late husband, Deputy Mayor Jim Callahan, had started to do before his passing last year. 

To learn more about each candidate you can read their profiles by clicking on the links below or watch the 15-minute Candidates Night program hosted by the Malverne Civic Association and aired on Malverne TV.

Candidates' Biographies

Dr. Carol Hassett has lived in Malverne since 1972.  She raised her kids here with her husband, John, and is now a grandmother. She is a fully licensed psychologist and teacher with a Masters in Elementary Education and PhD in Psychology. She currently practices psychology and has taught as an adjunct professor at Hofstra University. Until she suffered an injury in a car accident she was an active volunteer in the Malverne Volunteer Ambulance Corps for more than 28 years and now serves as vice-chair of MVAC's board and on several of its committees, as well as on the Nassau County Medical Reserve Corps. She's also served for 26 years on the Malverne Public Library board. She is the past junior president of the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and first president of the Nassau County Ladies Auxiliary. She is also a regular parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Church, where she taught religious education for many years and earned the Saint Pius the X Award for her service. to read about her full interview with Patch.

Trustee Patricia Canzoneri-Callahan has been serving as a village trustee since July, when she was appointed by Mayor Patricia Norris McDonald to fill the board seat left vacant when her husband Jim Callahan passed away. She is a native of Malverne, and as a mother of four she is raising the fifth generation to grow up in the village. She is a certified public accountant and lawyer who holds a Master of Law degree in taxation from New York University School of Law. Additionally, she graduated Cum Laude from St. John’s Law School and Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. John’s College of Business Administration. Currently, she is a partner at a law firm that is involved with estate planning, trust and estate administration, real estate and income tax planning. As a certified public accountant, she has worked with well-known firms, such as Arthur Andersen and Deloitte & Touche. She also serves on the board of the Nassau County Sewer and Storm Water Finance Authority and had served on the St. Thomas the Apostle School Board until she was appointed to the village board. During the nine months she has been a Malverne trustee, she has served as fire commissioner, youth board liaison and a member of the traffic commission, and tree and beautification committee. to read about her interview with Patch.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on March 20 at the Malverne Fire House located on Broadway. But before you cast your actual ballot, vote in our poll below to tell us which candidate you will be supporting. (Don't worry, it's anonymous!)

Paula Doll Bandini March 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Thank you for expressing your choice, please make sure your vote counts - please let your voice be heard at the Malverne Firehouse. The polls are open and your vote matters!

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