William Ferraro is running for Brookhaven Town supervisor in this year’s election. He said he decided to run after learning that residents were unhappy and were not being listened to.
“There are so many people who feel their needs are not being met,” Ferraro, 36, of Selden said in an interview.
Ferraro is the founder of Brookhaven Action Network, where he fought against the term limit/extension referendum that passed in last year’s election. He said the process behind that initiative was an example of the town not adequately communicating with residents.
Ferraro supports the goal of closing the town landfill in 2024, but said more should be done to create a concrete plan for post-closure. He added that the reserve fund will not be enough to offset the costs of maintaining the property and the loss of town revenue. He suggests forming a regional partnership to study what the best options are to move forward, and include the public in those plans.
Ferraro said he would set up a plan to reduce waste over the next several years, moving toward a zero-waste town. He said the plan would incentivize people to reduce their waste and recycle. He wants to increase recycling pickups to every week for all waste, rather than switching between paper and plastic, which he said has frustrated people, causing them to throw things out instead. He also wants to bring back glass pickup and increase the number of locations where residents can drop off their glass recyclables.
“We will find a way to recycle it,” he said of his plan to improve the program.
In addition to restoring parts of the town’s old recycling program, Ferraro wants to improve the experience for residents, including creating an interactive recycling website which would help people understand the process, and what they can do with their waste.
Ferraro said he plans to improve communication and transparency between town government and the residents of Brookhaven. He wants to have regular town halls, change town meetings to more convenient times for working people and put those meetings on Facebook Live. He said he would make himself accessible to residents, even those who may disagree with him.
“I will give everybody an opportunity,” he said. “[I would] represent 100 percent of the residents.”
Ferraro said his planning strategy is to start with community input and build from there. He wants to look at housing opportunities and make sure affordable units are included, allowing young people and retirees to stay on Long Island.
“We have to have a full-scale approach to affordable living on Long Island,” Ferraro said.
The candidate said this election is an opportunity for change and to rethink what the town could look like over the next decade. He said he presents an alternative vision and can tackle the issues the town faces.
“I think it’s the most important election, at least in my lifetime,” Ferraro said.