Editorial: Viviana Russell for North Hempstead Town Council, 1st District

The Island Now

Viviana Russell is seeking her third term representing North Hempstead’s 1st Council District, which includes New Cassel/Westbury, Carle Place and the Villages of Westbury and Old Westbury.

Russell, the first African-American woman ever elected to the North Hempstead Town Board, worked at the town’s 311 Call Center and as a constituent liaison for state Assemblyman Charles Lavine.

And her experience in working with constituents is reflected in her strong service as a councilwoman and her strong grasp of issues in her district.

Her Republican opponent is Ursula Babino of Carle Place, who is the vice president of Custom Funding Corp., a Williston Park-based mortgage broker. She currently works as the village clerk in the Village of Saddle Rock.

Babino, who has also served as the vice president of the Carle Place Civic Association, has strong ties to her community as well as several organizations in Mineola and Williston Park.

She says the 1st District has not received the same level of services as other areas in the town and called for improvements to roadways, increased beautification efforts and improvements to parks and other town properties.

Russell said she supports improvements to town properties, but said the district has gotten its fair share and improvements have been made. She points to $195,000 in improvements made to Charles J. Fuschillo Park in Carle Place such as replacing the swing set, improving fencing and resurfacing athletic courts.

We believe Babino has the energy and motivation needed to represent the district well.

But we believe Russell offers that as well as her experience and a good working relationship with her fellow board members.

We endorse Viviana Russsell for North Hempstead’s 1st District.