As Long Beach residents hit the polls Tuesday to vote in the City Council and County Legislator elections, a common theme among some who cast their ballots at East School was the desire for some kind of change, if not on certain issues, then among the city's political leadership.
The Rosensweigs, a couple that lives on Shore Road, were motivated by two issues: the refurbishment of the boardwalk and the Quiksilver surf competition.
"The boardwalk, of course, is a big concern," Esther Rosensweig said. "We have a bench on the boardwalk and in the last year, it's been broken. I've called repeatedly and was told not to worry, it would be repaired. I was just there and it is still broken."
Her husband, Ira, cast his vote with matters surrounding the September's professional surf competition uppermost in his mind.
"The way they handled the Quiksilver competition and festival wasn't right," he said of the city officials. "They weren't straight forward and out in the open with it. We've been to council meetings and we would just like more transparency."
While some constituents turned City Manager Charles Theofan’s post-Hurricane Irene decision to cancel the festival portion of the Quiksilver competition into a rallying cry to vote the Republican incumbents out office, some voters wouldn’t allow this issue to sway their vote.
“I wish they would have went forward with it, but it’s not a black and white issue,” Dennis Donahue said. “I understand their side of it. People in town were devastated by Irene, so it would have been weird to have a big party on the other side of town.”
Like Esther Rosensweig, Margie, a six-year resident of Long Beach, thought the boardwalk was a top issue.
"There's been a lot of talk about the repairing of the boardwalk, which is in dire need of something," said Margie, who declined to reveal her last name, after she cast her vote. "I think it's really important somebody addresses that this year."
Brandon Gordon, who revealed that he supported the Democrats, believes that taxes and the potential loss of city services are a primary issue for Long Beach’s future.
"It's really important now for young people to be able to afford to live here," Gordon said. "If you're going to tax us without giving us services, something has to give."
Andrew Fuchs, a 24-year resident, felt both city officials and the local Nassau County legislator needed to focus on brining jobs back to the city and preventing further losses.
"It's all about the economy right now,” Fuchs said. “Jobs and job creation.”
Andrew Mahoney had a different take on Tuesday's election than most voters. Pleased with the incumbent candidates and the city's current standing, he commented on what he saw as extravagant campaign strategies by local officials and unnecessary party divisiveness.
"I think there's a ridiculous amount of partisan politics for a small city,” he said. “We're not talking about abortion or national issues. We need to keep the streets clean and keep taxes down. As long as the candidates are doing a good job; the party doesn't matter to me."