Huntington Democrats have selected Northport businessman Joe Schramm to run for Town Board this fall.
Schramm, 67, owns Schramm Marketing Group, which specializes in digital video, pay television, sports, not-for-profits, multicultural audiences, Major League Soccer and business conferences.
He is a member of the Northport school district’s futures committee and the police review committee, which is assessing residents’ views of the police department. The results and recommendations of the police review will be presented April 1.
“We got some really good responses, then opened to public and we had hundreds of responses online. What was great was opinion supported what we had from analytics. Everybody has a perspective and everybody need to respects other opinions,” he said of a survey conducted to collect views of the department. The review is part of a mandate from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who, in the wake of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis and subsequent unrest, ordered departments to develop a “plan that reinvents and modernizes police strategies and programs in their community based on community input.”
Schramm said, ” “We need to come to a consensus,” he said, “and that would be my approach to the Town Board. I would be honored to be a town councilman.”
Schramm said two issues stand out to him and he would like to tackle. He said empty store fronts and empty buildings in Melville need attention. “Let’s take a look at sustainability. I hate to see us tear down buildings and leave rubble everywhere. These empty store fronts and buildings are an opportunity.”
He’d also like to see more opportunities for bicycle use of town roads, including downtown.
“I’m a cyclist, I love to ride, but Huntington is not necessarily the safest place,” he said.
And, he added, “We have a good maritime industry. How do we maximize maritime businesses on waterfront?”
Attracting more TV production to Huntington is another goal. “It upsets me to know we’re part of the Long Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and they manage that but then immediately send them to the Hamptons. We have great, great opportunities to shoot and have empty buildings where we could complete production.”
Schramm said he is in a committed, long-term relationship with his partner, Steve, and said they were both active in their community.
The candidate grew up in Nassau County but has spent most of his time in Huntington, including 20 years in Northport.
The Democrats previously have announced that former Huntington school board president Jen Hebert will run for the board. One seat will be open, that vacated by Councilman Mark Cuthbertson who is running for the Suffolk County Legislature, while Town Councilman Ed Smyth is seeking re-election.