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Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte (Contributed photo)

From The Desk Of Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte: Stop The Partisan Bickering And Get On With The People’s Business

At the March 5, 2024, Town Board meeting I offered a resolution to install oyster gardens at Town Dock, in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, to help demonstrate to residents and organizations with docks how they can also get involved to help improve the water quality of Manhasset Bay. The resolution passed unanimously with bipartisan support. Yet despite their favorable votes, Supervisor Jennifer DeSena and Councilman Dennis Walsh then complained I did not do enough to work with the Supervisor and her administration. This was not the first time the two of them have publicly scolded me about how hard I work for the residents of District 6. But now is the time that I set the record straight about just how difficult it is to work with an administration more interested in partisan bickering than actually working together to conduct the people’s business.

A few examples of the working environment (or lack thereof) at Town Hall:
1. In January 2022, I emailed Supervisor DeSena a detailed list of twenty-six issues I was actively working on in District 6, and I invited her to discuss any of them with me at any time that was convenient for her. It’s now been over two years, some twenty-seven months, and I have yet to receive any acknowledgment from the Supervisor regarding any of those issues.

2. As elected officials, every Council Member may add items to the Town Board agenda using a program called Novus Agenda. Many items placed on the agenda are repeated and simply updated from past years. For this reason, it is helpful for Council Members and their Legislative Aides to be able to see past items when attempting to add new and similar items to the agenda. For months I have been asking the Supervisor and her administration to update Novus Agenda so that every Council Member and Aide have the ability to see past agenda items. For months this request has gone unanswered.

3. Each spring when boats are taken out of winter storage their protective shrink wrapping is removed. This plastic shrink wrapping is recyclable. Last year local boaters deposited over three tons of shrink wrap into dumpsters at Manorhaven Beach Park for recycling. I contacted the Supervisor and her office about coordinating the shrink wrap recycling effort again this year. While I am still waiting for a response, I am determined to move forward with this incredible program which was so successful last year.
4. Years ago residents were able to swim at Manorhaven Beach. I have asked the Supervisor to meet with me to explore the feasibility of reopening Manorhaven Beach for swimming. Then I asked her again. And again. And then again. Four meeting requests on this topic alone have gone completely unanswered.

5. Most recently, Supervisor DeSena and I were invited to an official meeting with the Port Washington Police District to discuss their recent purchase of the Knowles Funeral Home property for their new headquarters. I was shocked, though hardly surprised, to learn that Supervisor DeSena asked that I be disinvited from this important meeting affecting the district and residents I represent. When I asked Supervisor DeSena about this she responded that she is entitled to her own meeting without me present. Not only is this wrong, but it could also cost the taxpayers more money for the Police District’s attorney to be present for two meetings as opposed to one.

During public comment at nearly every Town Board meeting for the last year or so a resident has approached the microphone to say that their emails and phone calls to the Supervisor and her office have not been returned or addressed. Based on my own experiences trying to work with the Supervisor’s office I believe what these residents are saying is true. This is shameful and not how good government works.

Several times during Town Board meetings the Supervisor has publicly accused me of not working with or informing her about issues I am working on, when the reality is that she does not respond to my meeting requests and actively cuts me out of important meetings affecting my district. She can’t have it both ways and this petty political game she is playing needs to stop, for all our constituents’ sake. I will always remain willing to work with Supervisor DeSena on anything which improves the quality of life for the residents of District 6 and the Town of North Hempstead.

—Submitted by
Counciloman Mariann Dalimonte

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