James Gentile is running for Brookhaven Town Board in the 6th district. Gentile, of Mastic Beach, moved to the community over a year ago from Nassau County, but has worked here for almost two decades. He is an Air Force veteran and a lawyer of 17 years, now owning his own practice, Law Offices of James S. Gentile. He focuses on criminal, family and divorce law.
In walking the district, Gentile has heard from residents who want more quality-of-life issues addressed. He said there should be more sidewalks, especially around schools, more streetlights and bus shelters. He said these promote a safer, more accessible community.
Gentile also wants to address the abandoned properties around Mastic, Mastic Beach and Shirley. He supports the demolition of zombie structures, but said more could be done to manage the lot once it is empty. He said overgrown vegetation and other issues have been a problem for neighbors.
Gentile also wants to make communities like Mastic Beach more attractive to incoming businesses. He suggested working with National Grid and Verizon Fios to bring gas lines and fiber optic lines further east, creating new options for homeowners and businesses. He said he would call on those companies to invest in the community and “do the right thing.” Other ideas include new investments on Neighborhood Road and capitalizing on the availability of the shore.
“We need to have the right kind of growth with a guarantee that the voice of the community is heard,” Gentile said.
He also wants to see more auxiliary roads on the peninsula to alleviate the buildup on William Floyd Parkway. He said for safety and in emergency cases, more access points to the area would be beneficial. Gentile questioned if there has been enough preparation to close the landfill in 2024 — a move he supports, but is concerned that the income to supplement the loss hasn’t been figured out yet. He said there should be more concrete plans for when the landfill closes, and a look at the real cost of maintaining it when it does.
Gentile said his plans would fight for working and middle-class families, like cleaning up neighborhoods and providing services while not raising taxes. He also would like to look at lowering fees for different town services to lessen the burden on residents and encourage them to comply.
Gentile encourages people to get out and vote, and said he would bring change to the town board and the Mastic, Mastic Beach and Shirley communities. Vote for Gentile “if you’re unhappy, if you want changes,” he said. “Now’s the time.”