Residents Bring Concerns About LIPA, Early Voting

Two dozen concerned community members gathered at the South Huntington Public Library last week to discuss issues with elected officials.

New York State Sen. Jim Gaughran and New York State Assemblyman Steve Stern appeared at the South Huntington-Huntington Station Civic Association “State of the State” meeting for an open forum for residents to voice their opinions.

Some topics included early voting changes in New York State, the future of the plastic bag bans, issues with the Long Island Rail Road and the lawsuit with LIPA.“This lawsuit has been going on a very long time,” Gaughran said, noting that the Northport power plant was active when he moved to the area as a child in the 60s. “We’ve been dealing with the pollution from that power plant for decades.”

The lawsuit has been going on for years, but has been a topic of conversation in recent months with locals boycotting the plant and protesting against it. “The town is doing what they can to stop it,” he said. “It’s at a town level, but I’m hoping to help fight it this year.”

Gaughran went on to open discussions about the drinking water – another initiative he is supporting that will help build treatment filters – as well as issues that were brought up amongst community members regarding the 5G network towers that have been popping up around the town. The towers that have been put up are regulated federally, so Gaughran noted that it’s hard to combat at a local level, but hopes to discuss it with Rep. Tom Suozzi.

Angered residents also voiced their unhappiness with the LIRR, which was something that Gaughran personally wanted to handle. He is offering transit surveys that Long Islanders can fill out based on their station and problems they’ve encountered.

The meeting began with an update from a representative from the Suffolk County Police Department who said many points of the crime index have actually gone down since last year. Robberies, residential burglaries, commercial burglaries and larcenies declined, while vehicle deaths and assault arrests went up.

Community members also asked for Assemblyman Stern’s opinion of the concerns. “I always enjoy the opportunity to meet with my neighbors, the members of the South Huntington-Huntington Station Civic Association, who are dedicated to working to improve our community and to discuss the issues that concern all of us in Suffolk County,” he said.  “Community input is vital to understanding and solving challenges and keeping our community a great place to live.”

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