Deb McDermott Represents Change

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On March 21, the Village of Sea Cliff will hold elections for the mayor and for two open trustee seats. Three individuals are running for the trustee seats, one elected incumbent, one recently appointed incumbent and Deb McDermott. The recently appointed mayor, who will be on the ballot, is running unopposed. The incumbents who are looking for your vote claim to support the opposition to the Garvies Point Waterfront Project and claim that environmental issues are important to them. However, the record from the Waterfront Project’s meetings and public hearings tell a different story.

During the meetings and public hearings which have taken place over the past few months, these village trustees were not represented, did not submit an opposition to the developer’s latest applications and did not submit comments.

These village trustees did not submit comments to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation during their January comment review period for this project’s application for Tidal Wetland and Protection of Water Permits nor did they retain an expert to do so.

Deb McDermott, however, a plaintiff in the resident’s Waterfront litigation, has worked tirelessly on the Legislative Action Committee (LAC), forming a “super” LAC in 2014 so that our small community would be better represented as part of a larger coalition concerned with the same interests and goals. SuperLAC’s mission has been to obtain money guaranteed to our schools, but not fully received, pursuant to the 2007 Budget and Reform Act enacted to insure that every school would have the resources necessary for providing the opportunity for a sound basic education.

SuperLAC, under Deb’s tutelage, meets with our local state and federal congressional leaders in pursuit of LAC’s mission. Deb is a recognized leader of the opt-out movement whose boycott of standardized exams administered to grades 3-8 has had significant statewide impact in bringing attention to the pressure these tests place upon students and teachers while failing to produce any valuable or useful results for our educational system.

Deb’s voice for basic and fundamental guarantees has led to a following of a large, motivated and active group of voters which influences her authority and standing with these local politicians.

Deb coordinated a legislative action meeting where she invited all residents to come and meet their local government representatives so that they could personally voice their concerns. Deb is experienced in forming important coalitions and alliances to strengthen the influence of small local groups.

The incumbents were not present at the Long Island Water conference. We live in a coastal community—these issues are critical to our beautiful village. In September of 2014, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Community Risk and Resiliency Act to ensure that climate risk, sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding is considered when making decisions regarding major projects, such as Garvies Point, which concern Protection of Waters and Tidal Wetlands.

The incumbents failed to utilize this act in an effort to combat this project and the devastating impact which it will have upon sea-level rise, storm surge, and flooding upon our shores.

Change is needed and Deb McDermott is that change. Please remember to vote on Tuesday, March 21

—Amy Marion

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