Businessman Steven Rossetti is a Democratic candidate to succeed Suffolk County Legislator Jon Cooper, who can't run again for the seat in the 18th District because of term limits.
Rossetti has won the endorsements of Cooper and Legislators Lou D'Amaro and Steven Stern. The president of Revenue Stream, a Huntington business brokerage, cites a lengthy series of volunteer efforts to assist both individuals and help bring businesses to the area, including working as a volunteer with the IDA (Industrial Development Agency) and the Suffolk County economic development LDC which helped bring Canon headquarters to Melville. He talked with Huntington Patch this week about his goals.
Question: Why are you running?
Answer: I believe my skill set could help the people of this district. I've been in the private sector all my adult life, owned and run a company. It's managerial, understanding of budgets, it's working with people to get things done.
I'm a real person for real solutions If you know me, this is for real. I get things done. I'm excited to get up every morning. I could be the right person at the right time.
Question: What are some of the big issues facing residents of the 18th Legislative District?
Answer: At the top of the list is taxes and more efficient, less government, creating jobs and business and opportunities-- that 's been my life. And crime and the environment--the district is so dynamic, that I'm looking forward to continuing to solve the problems, as I have been from the sidelines.
The voters of this district are financially stressed with this economic downturn. It's time for the leaders to lead by example--cutting back salaries, not only school superintendents but also representatives in state and county government. I would pledge to try to get the legislature to agree to a 5 percent pay rollback. It might be a tough, tall order but I pledge, I will donate 5 percent of pay. I will ask everybody else to join in and do the same.
Question: What are your thoughts on some of the Huntington-specific issues such as zoning and housing?
Answer: Some of the plans are earning a very vocal NO to a change in density. These are the people who live and work there. If they don't want it, it shouldn't be there. But we should take advantage of our downtowns, mixed use, apartments atop stores, etc/ the people have to make their voices hear. It's their town, their village. There are projects going on with things being redeveloped. Hopefully they choose the right path. But zoning/housing are local, town issues. The county could provide assistance with roadwork and things like that.
Question: What else about Huntington Station, such as crime?
Answer: I believe it should be tackled by law enforcement professionals. I don't think having the Guardian Angels was a good label (for the community), it brings down value. I think we should be building up our police force, do more pro-active things in schools and streets… Shotspotters is reactive, we need more programs for young people. Shotspotters labels a community want to see it phased out when we get control of the community. It should have been done in a quiet manner and more from area to area as problems arise. We need to continue to take a hard stance in eradicating gang activity because it's creeping into all communities here in Huntington. I will do everything I can do to give police the staffing level, technologies and support they need.
On the environment: Even before I decided to run, I was concerned about it; there was harbor contamination, with nitrogen levels extremely high. We need to be working with governmentt agencies and civic associations in trying to fix this problem. Of course, we need to keep it (pollution) out of our harbors and drinking water, maybe even think about an environmental overlay to purchase open space to protect water supplies, to keep open space open. Those scrublands and vacant areas are great filters for the environment.
This is the second in a series of stories about candidates for the 18th Legislative District. Republican , a member of the Huntington school board, talked with Patch last week.