VOTER GUIDE

MEET THE CANDIDATES: ELECTION DAY NOVEMBER 2ND

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Receiver of Taxes for Town of Islip

Donovan Currey (D)

Donovan Currey was born on the island of Jamaica, but he dreamed of becoming an American citizen. After studying business at the University of Jamaica, he joined the Jamaican government, but his dream persisted. So, in 1988, he and his wife came to the United States. He worked hard and in 1996 became a citizen.
During the next 20 years, he continued to work hard. He built a successful management career from the ground up, specializing in quality control within the railroad industry. Trained in quality engineering, the technical methods he employs deliver outstanding safety results for transit systems. Among his many accomplishments, he improved quality and safety within the New York City subways. At present, he is responsible for quality management for the replacement of 11 hydraulic elevators in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens
Currey has used his decades of experience as a quality expert to analyze the way tax policy is administered in the Town of Islip. He is convinced the town must do a much better job assessing taxes. According to Currey, “The current system of grieving taxes is very costly for homeowners. If the office is run right, it should be unnecessary.”
Currey is active in his community and his church, the Holy Church of Christ in Central Islip. He has a leadership role in the Islip chapter of the NAACP. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business and Master of Science in accounting from the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Ariz.
Currey and his wife live in Brentwood, where they raised two daughters. They have one grandson.

Andy Wittman (R)

Andy Wittman is the owner and founder of “my NY Home Solution, LLC” (NYHS), a real estate investment company based out of Sayville.  Its internal projects focus on luxury, off-campus college housing, currently in the Syracuse and surrounding micro-markets.  NYHS also educates and consults with individuals who are looking to expand their investment portfolios through real estate, either active or passive.  Additionally, Wittman has consulted with various elected officials and municipalities throughout the United States regarding business growth and development as it relates to real estate.  Wittman also holds his NYS real estate sales person’s license and assists clients in all real estate transactions either residential and/or commercial.

He spent 12 years in the public sector, first as a fire and EMS dispatcher and then transferred to his greatest, most honorable profession to date, a firefighter with the FDNY.  His ascension to the FDNY was the culmination of a childhood goal and the continuation of his family’s fourth generation in the fire service.  Unfortunately, his career was cut short in 2012 due to a line-of-duty injury.

Current volunteer work and associations includes:

27-year member of the Bayport Fire Department,

Former VP of The Sayville Civic Association,

Business Member of the Sayville Chamber of Commerce,

Social Media Director for Rotary Club of Sayville,

Coach for Baymen Youth Soccer,

Town of Islip Economic Development Commission,

Long Island Real Estate Investment Association (LIREIA),

National Association of Realtors (NAR),

New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR)

Lector at St. Lawrence the Martyr RC Church

Islip Town Volunteer Fire Fighters Association – former Treasurer & current delegate

NYS Director for The American Catalyst,

Republican Committeeman for Election District #81 of Suffolk County, NY

Wittman lives in Sayville with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children, Catherine (11), Andrew IV (9) and Guiseppi (5).

 

WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION TO HOLD AN ELECTED OFFICE THAT IS ADMINISTRATIVE AND NON-POLICY MAKING IN ITS ROLE?

CURREY

“As an elected official, you are in the position to advocate the Town of Islip for what you think is best for the citizens of the Town,” said Currey.

“One of the main things I will be working on if I am so fortunate to be elected is the problem seniors have to go through to get their tax reduction,” said Currey.

Currently, seniors (aged 65 and older) in Town of Islip have to apply annually for a property tax break. “Unless the ownership changes, I do not see why you should have to apply every year,” said Currey.

The rate of reduction varies greatly in the Town of Islip and Currey has said, “that is also an issue” and that he would advocate for more equitable reductions across the Town of Islip’s constituency.

WITTMAN

“It is absolutely administrative and what I like about that is because it’s non-policy, it’s apolitical, and in our society we see how polarized things have become,” said Wittman.

Starting from high school, where Wittman worked on the Rick Lazio campaign, Wittman noted a stark change in how political canvassing has devolved into allegiance to either Republican or Democrat. “Now instead of ‘who is he’ ‘what is he for’ it’s just, ‘is he a Republican or Democrat’ and then the door slams in your face.”

Believing that “elected official is nothing more than a civil servant, their job is to serve the public,” Wittman has volunteered for civic positions since junior high school. In recent years, he has continued with the Sayville Rotary, managing their social media and as vice president of the Sayville Civic Association.

“That’s is a community-minded position. Being so apolitical, it should not be polarized in any way… [it will] bridge that gap and take politics out of a position… it’s the closest to an elected dog catcher—there’s no Democratic or Republican way of catching a dog. Just like there’s no Democrat or Republican way of receiving and distributing your taxes.”

Wittman cites a disconnect to government for people growing from apathy, frustration, or red tape, and said he wanted to “engage people to be involved in government, not politics.”

HOW DOES YOUR BACKGROUND PREPARE OR QUALIFY YOU FOR THE ROLE OF RECEIVER OF TAXES?

CURREY

“My education and work history, I believe, has prepared me for the receiver of taxes office,” said Currey.

“As a project quality manager, I work for a private company that contracts to the MTA with contracts ranging from $5 million to half a billion,” said Currey.

WITTMAN

“I am bringing a level of public experience, 27 years, and as a small-business owner I have been involved in learning and knowing how to run a business and an office, staff, employees,” said Wittman.

Working in real estate for 15 years, Wittman also cited his “good working knowledge of Suffolk County Tax Act and New York State property tax law.”

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