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Climate Change

The crisis of climate change is already manifesting in myriad ways, from extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy to the heat wave this summer that brought Islip’s heat index to over 110 degrees. Due to its geography, Long Island will be increasingly susceptible to the impact of climate change over time. Obviously, we cannot turn back the climate clock by ourselves, but, just as obviously, there are things the Town of Islip must do to address this crisis that the current administration is failing at. Our town needs leadership dedicated to both preparing for increasingly extreme weather events and alleviating as much already existing damage as possible through enacting smart policy.
This is why my team and I are happy to unveil our Green Islip Plan:
On my first day in office, I will end the use of nitrogen fertilizer on all town property. Our team will also initiate a composting program that will reduce the jarring amount of nitrogen polluting the Great South Bay. This, in conjunction with our Native Tree Planting Program, will have a significant, long-term effect on the cleanliness and health of the Bay. I will also encourage shellfish agriculture in order to bolster a once-thriving industry while simultaneously and naturally filtering the Bay waters. Our ecosystem has been shattered but we can repair it.
I will advocate to end the county’s use of methoprene pesticide on county-owned land within the Town of Islip. This will begin to ameliorate the damage done to local insect populations. As part of repairing and revamping the town parks and green spaces, I will ensure that we plant more native flowers and plants to help bees and other native pollinating species thrive.
When the town purchases new vehicles to replace its fleet, we will have a preference towards electric vehicles where possible. We will utilize state grants where possible. Our goal is to eventually electrify the entire town’s fleet. This will reduce air pollution caused by the town, making for a healthier community with fewer Air Quality Alerts.
We will encourage homeowners to switch to solar by streamlining the permit process. When the town performs inspections for solar permits, the inspector will not issue code violations for other, unrelated issues at the property. The town will also evaluate opportunities for installing solar panel arrays at suitable town-owned parking areas and town buildings, and expand such arrays wherever practical. A solar panel array generating clean energy is a far better use of space than our current situation, where unkempt plots of land owned by the town are left to deteriorate.
We will require apartment complexes and housing developments to provide recycling dumpsters in addition to garbage dumpsters. This is a simple, nearly-effortless initiative. The failure of Islip to have previously enacted this is a stunning, though unfortunately predictable oversight.
We will do an energy audit and adopt a benchmarking program of all municipal buildings and large private buildings to determine how we can best move them towards renewable energy sources.
We will revamp our building code based on the Home Energy Rating System for new residential construction and major renovations. We will also set ambitious energy-efficient goals for commercial and industrial building zones.
We will pursue the goals of New York State’s Climate Smart Communities Program which will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the impact of climate change, and save taxpayer money. The Town of Islip has already missed out on $250,000 in State grants through their inaction and ineptitude.
As with any bold policy, consideration must be given to the taxpayer and alleviating their tax burden. Moving to green energy isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s also the fiscally responsible thing to do. By using less and cheaper energy, the town will use less taxpayer money to conduct regular operations. By strengthening our coastline and increasing storm surge resiliency, we will save money down the line - it’s cheaper, safer, and more responsible to help prevent a disaster rather than to pay to clean up the mess afterward.
Transitioning our town-owned property and buildings to run on renewable energy will also stimulate growth and create jobs in the green economy, good-paying union jobs that will help strengthen our middle class and keep the next generation here in Islip.
Other towns on Long Island serve as incredible examples in setting and reaching similar goals. In 2014, East Hampton set the goal of using 100% renewable energy and they’re on track to achieve that in 2020. We will follow the examples of East Hampton and other communities and work assiduously to make Islip a community that is 100% powered by renewable energy sources by 2025.
We realize these goals are ambitious, but we also realize their necessity. With perseverance, foresight, smart planning, and compassion, together, we will build a healthier, cleaner, and better Islip.


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