Democratic town council hopeful Howard Knispel wants to bring a new plan of action to the town board, mainly a master plan.
“You look at the county, you look at most towns, they all have master plans, which is basically a plan as to where the town is going to be in 10 years, five years, 20 years. It sets goals … Smithtown doesn’t even have one,” he said.
Knispel also wants to change how the board manages the issues the town faces, acting proactively instead of reactively.
The Democrat questioned if the town acts on some of the major issues at all, citing Tropical Storm Irene as a time where he believes the town did nothing.
“You look at Brookhaven, you look at Islip, you look at Babylon … they changed their website, they had emergency numbers, they had an emergency response team that handled those types of issues. Smithtown did nothing, they were missing in action,” he said.
Knispel said he could bring revitalization to the town, something he feels the current town council has failed to do.
“We have a $99 million budget for 2011 for the Town of Smithtown with a $22 million surplus. Why can’t we use some of that surplus?” he said. “It should be returned to the taxpayers or be used to generate more income, to be doing something to attract businesses to downtown.”
Knispel said the town needs a plan to attract new businesses to the town, which would help in the revitalization process. Aside from forming a plan to bring new business to the town, Knispel said he wants to make Main Street in Smithtown a destination, a place people would want to walk around and explore versus a place where people shop and leave.
While a Democrat in a largely Republican township, Knispel still has faith he could see a majority vote on Nov. 8.
"There are always difficulties when you are a member of a minority party … I speak to a lot of people who are fed up with the current government, they’re fed up with the town board ignoring a lot of the issues they have, and I think it’s because they feel that they are going to get elected because they are Republicans and they get elected as Republicans simply because of their party affiliation."
“You need an outsider to be on the town board,” he added.
Why does Knispel believe you should vote for him?
“I bring not just a fresh look at things but a different look, a look from the south part of town, a look from the Democratic side of the aisle, a look from a different perspective in terms of where I’d like to see the town go,” he said.