This week I participated in my first General Meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature. It was both enlightening and exciting. As my colleagues and I debated the issues of great importance to the residents that we represent, I was truly humbled and honored to have been selected by the constituents of the 18th Legislative District as their representative. It was a wonderful and productive day!
Every day I continue to address the issues facing our communities. Last week, I attended the Public Safety Committee of the Legislature and received a comprehensive briefing about the Suffolk County Police Department’s changes in policies and structure. The new police Chief and Interim Commissioner are changing the focus of the department to require better accountability, intelligence lead policing and enhanced community service. There is a refreshing commitment to improved cooperation and communication between the Police Department and the Legislature. This can only help us in Huntington as we work to combat crime and the social problems that plague our neighborhoods.
Community and business leaders are working with me to work to connect the ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System with the local security camera system. This effort is a cheap and simple way to enhance the tools the police need to do their job. I am very encouraged and eager to work with this new administration and Inspector Brady going forward. I am confident that all hamlets in Huntington, including the Station, will continue to receive the resources it needs.
I am very concerned also about protecting and improving water quality for Suffolk residents, the water we drink and the waters we recreate, fish and boat in. As I promised last year, I have filed a resolution to secure $7 million dollars from the Quarter Cent Water Quality Protection Program to assist the Village of Northport in complying with DEC and EPA mandates to upgrade their Sewage Treatment Plant. This program was authorized by the voters in 2007 and will not place any additional burden on taxpayers. In addition, I have worked with Cablevision to record a public service announcement detailing some simple things residents can do to help protect the ground water. This PSA will air on over 50 channels and to very large audiences. I remain an active member of the Northport Water Quality and Crab Meadow Watershed Advisory Committees and have recently been asked to join the Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Water Quality Committee. The environment and water quality will continue to be a high priority of mine.
Finally, since taking office, I have met with many constituents, representatives from local non-profits, and community and religious leaders to learn all I can about the issues facing our residents. To continue that effort, I am planning a “listening tour” throughout my legislative district. Shortly, I will publicize the dates, times and locations of four community meetings that I have scheduled and invite members of the public to attend these meetings. As always, I welcome any and all comments and concerns and will do what I can to help make Suffolk a better place to live and raise a family.
As your Suffolk County Legislator, I have hit the ground running and will continue to be available to you and our community at any time. My office is still located on the grounds of the Vanderbilt Museum. We are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, with extended evening hours until 7 p.m. on Mondays. If those times are not convenient for you, please let me know as I am also available by appointment.
Once again, thank you again for your support. Please feel free to contact my office at (631)854-4500 to discuss any issues of concern.
William R. Spencer
Suffolk County Legislator
18th Legislative District