A Message from Legislator Sarah Anker:
I wanted to take a moment to dispel some misinformation that my opponent has been circulating for his own personal gain. Mr. Pollakusky has, on numerous occasions, misrepresented facts and distorted information to advance his own political motives. As your Suffolk County Legislator, I have and will continue to make it my priority to put community before politics.
The Financial State of the County
My opponent has made many statements claiming that Suffolk County is in the worst financial shape in decades. This is simply false. When I first entered office in 2011, Suffolk County had declared a fiscal emergency and was projecting a $500 million deficit over three years. While the county is still dealing with fiscal challenges, we continue to be proactive in reducing our debt by consolidating county services, combining departments to streamline government, supporting shared services with other municipalities, privatizing health care centers, and liquating county-held assets and land parcels. Suffolk County is also focusing on growing the economy by supporting our local businesses and revitalizing our communities, including Downtown Rocky Point, Middle Island, the Coram Plaza, and the Ronkonkoma Hub.
In addition to the actions Suffolk County has taken as a whole to address the budget shortfalls, I have personally supported freezing the General Fund Property Tax. For the last 6 years, I have voted to freeze my salary and the salary of the other legislators, and I have not supported county fee hikes, even when it meant standing up to members of my own political party. Being your elected official is about representing your best interest, not about party politics. I voted against the mortgage recording fee, the plastic bag fee, the cremation fee, the security alarm fee, and the increase in county park fees. Increasing fees for taxpayers is only a band-aid for the county’s deficit. Instead of increasing fees, we reduce county spending, generate revenue, and grow our economy.
Heroin and Opioid Crisis in Suffolk County
One of my opponent’s main talking points has been that the county is not doing enough to address the heroin and opiate addiction crisis. Once again, he has made these statements to advance his own political gain.
Since entering office, I have worked to address the drug addiction crisis in a proactive manner. I am currently partnering with the Sheriff’s Department to utilize asset forfeiture funds to pay for family counseling services provided through a pilot program hosted by the North Shore Youth Council. I support Suffolk County’s lawsuit against the pharmaceutical companies to hold them accountable for perpetuating the opiate epidemic nation-wide and I have partnered with the Suffolk County Police Department to provide “Shed the Meds” programs throughout the community and “The Ugly Truth” drug education presentations in our schools. Partnering with Suffolk County law enforcement, we are identifying drug dealers in our community at unprecedented rates through the SCPD’s new Special Operations Unit.
In addition, I currently chair Suffolk County’s Heroin and Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel, which was unanimously approved by the Legislature in September. I have also joined the efforts of Nassau County’s Heroin Advisory Counsel. Suffolk County partners with advocates and treatment organizations to address the ongoing crisis in our communities. However, a coordinated and continuous approach is needed to implement sustainable change. My goal is to focus on preventative education, enhancement of law enforcement efforts, and aiding in treatment and rehabilitation.
The Red Light Camera Program
Mr. Pollakusky has routinely spoken out against an investigation into the Red Light Camera Program which would provide much-needed insight into improvements that could be made to the program overall.
The Red Light Camera Program was instituted to reduce accidents on our roadways and provide a safer traffic environment. Overall, the program has significantly reduced right-angle accidents, which result in the greatest number of severe injuries and fatalities. However, a recent report shows an increase in rear-end accidents at several intersections where red light cameras are located. As a result, I have sponsored legislation to have a third-party external investigation of the program to provide understanding as to why these types of accidents have increased. If the investigation of the program shows that the cameras are not working to make our streets safer, I will no longer support the program.
Historic Indian Rock
My opponent has been circulating a myth that I am looking to use taxpayer money to purchase a rock. Unfortunately, Mr. Pollakusky is twisting facts in an attempt to mislead residents. In fact, this issue came about when residents on Sam’s Path in Rocky Point informed of their concerns with a blighted property that has sat abandoned for over ten years. This zombie home was creating health and safety issues, and the community requested my assistance in revitalizing the property.
The property, which sits a few blocks from the historical Hallock House, also contains one of the largest rock formations in Suffolk County. According to the historical society, the rock is likely how Rocky Point got its name. After speaking with the Rocky Point Historical Society and the Rocky Point Civic Association, I introduced the current property owner with the Peconic Land Trust, a private not-for-profit, to acquire the property for public access and revitalization. They are currently in contract to buy the property and are seeking donations for the purchase. The Town of Brookhaven is currently in the process of demolishing the vacant house. For more information, please click here.
I’ve worked hard for you as your Legislator and it personally offends me that my political opponent seeks to distort my good record, credibility, and integrity because he doesn’t have anything positive to say about his own record. Instead of wasting my time responding to malicious political attacks. I’d rather spend my time working for you, as I have been for the past six years. As your Legislator, I will always make it my priority to put the community first and focus on the issues that matter most. If you have any issues or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at LegislatorAnker6@gmail.com.