Interview with County Legislature Candidate Jim Martin
Jim Martin is running against 4 time incumbent Lou D’Amaro for the 17th Legislative District. Martin has been endorsed by the Republicans.
Martin said he started to become more civic minded in 1995 during the first Wall Whitman Mall expansion.
Martin’s roots in community activism originated more than 15 years ago with a local Melville civic group, which opposed the expansion of the Walt Whitman Mall and overdevelopment of the surrounding sod farms. Since that time, his diverse interests, and those of his family, have enabled him to learn the needs of the community and its members, and have only increased his desire to serve and give back.
Jim is also one of the founders of the South Huntington Soccer Club and sits on the local St. Elizabeth CYO soccer board, and together these encompass more than 1,000 players in the Huntington Station/Melville/South Huntington area. Through his involvement with these organizations, he saw a need to help families within the clubs, and coordinated numerous charitable tournaments to benefit them.
He is an active member of the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Melville and serves as a member of the Pastoral Council and chairman of the parish Stewardship Committee.
Jim serves on the advisory board of a regional children’s charity, Friends of Karen, a not-for-profit group dedicated to providing emotional, financial and advocacy support to children with life-threatening illnesses, as well as their families.
Jim’s diverse heritage has afforded him the opportunity to be a member of the New York State Hispanic Steering Committee and Hispanic Coalition where he helps coordinate candidate searches and support efforts across Long Island. He currently volunteers with the Huntington Republican Committee, and is the Chair of Technology & Communications Committee.
He is a graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in business focusing on operations and management. Throughout his professional career as a procurement and supply chain professional, Jim has worked for organizations, such as AIG, American Express, and the News Corporation/20th Century Fox. Presently he is procurement at Broadridge, a Long Island-based company. He also uses his professional experience and knowledge to volunteer with the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and the ISM-New York, organizations that provide education and training for his professional counterparts across the New York metropolitan area.
From the time he first took an interest in activism, he started to pay closer attention to the trend to over develop and change the character of Huntington. After all, he moved to Huntington for the same reasons that so many others did. He wanted the open space and quality of life that Suffolk county offered but it was as far east as he was willing to go.
He has been involved in the political process, observing and learning. He considered running in the 2011 elections but felt he still had more to learn. “I wasn’t quite ready a few years ago”. I wanted to watch the process, and gather as much information as possible, so if I did make a successful run I would be ready to make informed decisions.
In 2011, he screened for the town board and County legislature.
He believes that most Huntingtonians want to live in a suburban community. That is why most of us live here, he explained. He has empathy for the many individuals who endure a long commute for the privilege of living in Huntington. People work very hard to live here and they are watching what they love about this town slip away. He said he was very disturbed by the number of people he has met while campaigning who said they want to leave Long Island. They feel the future is bleak here. Jim loves this town and still believes that things can be turned around.
“He feels we can improve things by stopping over-development. We need to stop supporting projects that further increase the traffic”, he explained.
We need to address the crime issues in our communities. Crime in Huntington Station needs to be addressed. ShotSpotter has not worked and was a huge waste of money.
The 2nd precinct in not given the resources it needs to fight crime. We can not rely solely on the police to keep our neighborhoods safe. The town of Huntington is not doing its job in code enforcement.
There is not fiscal discipline in the legislature. We are operating with a huge deficit and the legislature is focusing on banning energy drinks instead of addressing the serious issues.
There is too much borrowing and we are relying on one shot deals to carry us through.
We were ill prepared when Sandy hit last year and I am concerned that things are still not being addressed. Having Petrone make robo calls saying LIPA sucks doesn’t help anyone.
Jim feels strongly about term limits. He believes that when it is your time to serve you must give all you have to offer and then move on. If you can’t accomplish something after a few terms, then you never will.
Term Limits are being overlooked, trampled in fact, by my opponent. Term limits were overwhelmingly approved in 1993 clearly illustrating the “will of the people”. Within the last year, we’ve seen two instances of the will of the people being ignored. The DA’s move to exceed term limits, and most recently the maneuver to eliminate the Treasurer’s position and fold it into the Comptrollers office who will soon be term limited himself. And the new position would conveniently be handled by the Comptroller who would get a reset on his term limited position. And my opponent supports these moves. Simply put, its repugnant. Its a demonstration of his contempt for the little power citizens have to ensure they see renewal in elected leadership. So the question is, how long will it be before he tries to remove term limits for legislators?