I believe in an open, honest, transparent, and accessible government. And, if we want this nationally, it starts locally in Brookhaven. Residents cannot get through on the Town's phone number, have difficulty getting permits, and are put second to the needs of the campaign donors (see ethics reforms). When elected, I will put Brookhaven residents first and will work to make our way of life a great one. This looks like:
- Town Board meetings held when people can attend them (evenings and weekends).Additionally, have the occasional meeting somewhere else in the Town (Suffolk County occasionally holds legislative meetings in Riverhead);
- Openly publicize the annual organizational meeting, which sets the Town’s course for the year and affects our daily lives;
- public services that are free and readily accessible (i.e., no expediter required);
zoning and planning boards that are populated by residents, not those in the wheelhouse (the fact that these positions are available should be publicized, instead of kept quiet);
- a Town website that is navigable with easy access to Town Board meeting videos and minutes.
- Put Town services (such as applying for permits, getting parking stickers, etc) online and keep offices open late on designated days when residents know they can go after work;
- Remove some bureaucracy that is unnecessary in the Town to allow for streamlined services; this may be done by combining departments, dissolving others, and possibly also creating new departments;
- Send regular Town-wide and Council District-specific newsletters both by mail and electronically. These mailers should include information on what the Town does and how they can help residents, not just share photo opportunities;
- Hold mobile office hours and “Town Halls” around the district; and,
- Clean up Town Code and make the permitting process less onerous, this can be done by utilizing the knowledge of the Town’s permitting staff.
Any action that keeps the government open and accessible to the general public is what I will push for.