Joseph Hagelmann (Democratic, Working Family): Candidate
SUFFOLK COUNTY—Joseph Hagelmann is running for the Suffolk County Legislature in the 10th Legislative District. He said he’d like to see some positive changes made that would move the county forward in a way that would provide more jobs and a cleaner environment.
Although he has been an active member of the election process for a number of years, this is the first time he is actually running for public office.
“I always worked behind the scenes,” said Hagelmann in a telephone interview. “Now, I stepped up to the plate.”
The candidate, a retired union carpenter, has remained active in the carpenter’s union and has been a Democratic committeeman for 48 years. He also served as the Islip Town Democrat Party leader for 14 years. Hagelmann said he was asked by his party to run, and he felt it would be a good time to offer his own perspective on important changes he’d like to see take place.
Two of the major issues he’d like to address are the need for jobs and the importance of cleaning up our waterways. He said a plan that would bring sewers to low-lying areas would accomplish both of those goals.
“We have major water problems [in Suffolk County],” Hagelmann said, noting that areas on both the South Shore as well as in Hauppauge and Ronkonkoma experience flooding that is related to the lack of sewers in those areas.
“If we had sewers, we wouldn’t have this problem,” he noted. “I’d push the sewer line from the Bergen Point [West Babylon Wastewater Treatment Plant] all the way out to the Shinnecock Canal,” adding that his plan includes connections that would run to areas north as well.
“That [project] would bring jobs and clean up the bay where we’re losing the clamming and fishing industry. We are so far behind the times,” he remarked.
Hagelmann said that if elected, he’d encourage the county to work with New York State to improve Sunrise Highway in Oakdale at an intersection commonly referred to as “Malfunction Junction,” where Sunrise crosses over to Montauk Highway.
“There needs to be a bridge over that [intersection],” he said. “Everyday people add an hour of travel time [to their commute] on that road,” he said.
Hagelmann said another traffic nightmare is the roads impacted by railroad crossings.
“We have to start talking about raising the LIRR and [putting bridges over the intersections],” he said.
Hagelmann said the suggested roadwork would not only ease congestion, it would also create jobs.
“I want to create work to stimulate the economy,” he remarked, adding that another roadway of major concern is the Sagtikos Parkway. And that situation could be made worse by the proposed Heartland development in the former Pilgrim State Hospital site that is located adjacent to the parkway. He suggests possibly making it a commercial road.
“That would take the [commercial] traffic off of the ancillary roads such as Commack Road. We can’t expect other communities to take the brunt of the traffic.”
The candidate said a plan to improve roadwork and installing sewers needs to be addressed before Heartland could even be considered. “If you can handle traffic, then you’ll be able to handle the development, but not before that.”
Hagelmann, who has been endorsed by the Federation of Labor, is employed as a clerk at Suffolk County Board of Elections. A father and grandfather, he has been married to his wife Sue for 33 years. They reside in Ronkonkoma.
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