Cornelius Kelly

Cornelius Kelly, the Republican challenger for the 2nd Suffolk County Legislative District says, “I’m not a politician; I am just someone from the private sector who wants to get involved. I will fight to end the county’s housing of the homeless sex offenders in our district, fight for a more efficient government and fight to get our district its fair share of county resources.”

When asked about his vision for the county moving forward, he replied, “The county does provide its residents some critical services and essential safeguards. But the county has grown into a behemoth and I believe we need folks from the private sector to come in and apply common sense solutions to the issues facing our county. The county government is going to have to do more with less, and I am prepared to make the tough decisions necessary.”

I asked Kelly about his theory on future county budget cuts. His answer was, “finding the fraud and waste.” He continued, “This year we are spending $1 million to refurbish the mosaic at the Vanderbilt Museum. We are spending $800,000 to improve pedestrian safety for a golf course pro shop. The county helps fund a charity whose director takes $641,000 in personal compensation. I will stand up to the special interests and cut the waste and fraud.”

Kelly said his proudest accomplishments are his family, his wife and three children. So then I asked the big question: Why it is important that you defeat Jay Schneiderman? He replied, “Currently we are represented by Legislator Schneiderman, who doesn’t caucus with the Democrats or with the Republicans. This leaves our district to fend for itself. As a member of the Suffolk Legislature you need to form a strong, lasting coalition in order to get your initiatives passed, and that’s something my opponent has not been able to accomplish. During my opponent’s tenure in office, Suffolk County began housing 100% of its homeless sex offender population in our district, a practice that continues today—they get bused in from all over the county. If elected I will form a strong coalition and cut the funding which is used to provide these sex offenders with taxpayer-funded housing.” [expand]

Kelly continued,” My opponent has failed at many of his initiatives, including getting the East End its fair share of county sales tax revenue. I come from the private sector, and in the private sector when you fail you get fired. Our district has one of the highest unemployment rates in the county. The Suffolk County Department of Labor will come to our area and set up job fairs—there are eight job fairs set up in other parts of the county during the last quarter of 2011 alone. The Suffolk County Department of Labor hasn’t had a job fair in our district during my opponent’s eight years in office. Where is our advocate? I’m not talking about an expansion of the government; I’m talking about utilizing existing resources that we are already paying for in our taxes. We need someone who is going to fight for us. Every election cycle my opponent talks about the need to get spending under control, but he votes in favor of every bill to increase spending and borrowing…I was born and raised in our district, and my wife and I are raising our three children here. I come from the business community, and during my career I have performed balance sheet analysis of billions of dollars worth of assets.”

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