SEA CLIFF MAYOR KENNEDY ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR NYS
April 10, 2014 -- Sea Cliff Mayor Bruce Kennedy has announced that he will challenge incumbent Democrat Charles Lavine of Glen Cove in the contest to represent the New York State Assembly's 13th District in the upcoming November election. The Nassau County Republican Committee voted unanimously to nominate Mr. Kennedy as the party's candidate at its April 3 meeting, and on Monday, the Mayor's campaign committee filed papers with the Nassau County Board of Elections enabling him to raise funds.
Mr. Kennedy has served as Mayor of Sea Cliff since 2009 and prior to that served on the Village's Planning Board for four years, two as its chairman. He is the CEO of National Window Film, Inc., a company he founded in 1998, and the owner and operator of Gold Coast Window Fashions, located on Roslyn Avenue in Sea Cliff, since 2005.
Declaring, "We can do better," Mr. Kennedy said, in an interview with Northwordnews, that he likes and respects Assemblyman Lavine, but that after 10 years "the bloom is off the rose," and, "its time for a change." "Chuck went into office under the flag of fixing Albany, and Albany is still broken," he continued.
The Mayor, who described himself as a centrist, outlined a platform that addresses several issues currently facing New Yorkers, from the burdens imposed by Albany on local governments to the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards and the New York State assessments.
He said he supported "the Governor's directive to hold the line on taxes," but described the 2% property tax cap and the recently passed tax rebate legislation that incentivizes local governments to stay within the tax levy limit and to cut costs through consolidation, as "feel good measures that make residents think something good is happening in Albany," but that do not get to the heart of the problem facing taxpayers.
"Neither addresses what is driving costs," Mr. Kennedy said. "What is," he continued, "are unfunded mandates." He cited the state pension system as an example. "We can't continue guaranteeing defined benefits. We need to change the rules for anyone new to the system. If we don't, it will bankrupt the state and the entire country - our grand kids deserve better."
With regards to negotiating contracts with public employees unions, he said, "arbitration rules do not allow judges to take into consideration a municipality's ability to pay."
Discussing education, the Sea Cliff Mayor described the recent implementation of the Common Core learning standards as a "total disaster." "There's no creativity or alternative modes of thinking - no focus on science, arts, or vocational skills."
With the recent appointments to the New York State Board of Regents, the "legislature accepted the status quo - they're out of touch - they put every incumbent back in office, and another appointee with no track record. I know we can do better, " he said.
Mr. Kennedy also criticized the culture in Albany. "Voters, who feel powerless, have allowed a culture of corruption and immorality to remain in Albany - it's time for that to change." He added, "I will never compromise my principles in the name of politics."
The crescent shaped 13th Assembly District stretches along the eastern shore of Hempstead Harbor from Roslyn to Glen Cove, before turning eastward through the most northerly reaches of Locust Valley, Bayville, and Oyster Bay, then southward through Syosset and Plainview, before circling back westward through Jericho, Hicksville, New Cassel, and Westbury (see map to the right).
Assemblyman Lavine, a former Glen Cove Councilman, was first elected to represent the district in 2004.