Teresa Haft wants to bring new energy to Smithtown as a member of the town council.
“I’m running for council to bring new ideas in, to bring new energy to the town council. What I hope to do is work with all the different departments … to try and create an image for Smithtown and a plan going into the future,” she said.
How does Haft plan on doing this?
“Smithtown For You,” a plan to create an image for the town by bringing together all the town’s departments, incorporating family safety, bringing in new businesses, and having a stronger focus on the environment.
In short, Haft said she wants to market all the assets the town has to offer.
Haft said her biggest concern for the town is the environment, and has witnessed first-hand litter and other environmental problems with her children that the town could do more to solve.
“I have kids that pay soccer and we go to the soccer parks all the time and there are slews of empty water bottles and Gatorade bottles and I want to pick them all up and recycling them, [but] there’s nothing promoting recycling in those public forums. I would like to change that, I would like to see some growth, some innovative ideas in trying to involve the public in doing that,” she said.
Another issue Haft said needs to be further addressed is safety on Main Street. While measures have been taken to improve Main Street from Route 111 to Lawrence Avenue, Haft said more needs to be done, specifically with law enforcement and education.
“I live right here in town so I’m always walking and right now it’s nerve-racking trying to cross the street,” she said. “We have some plans that have come about recently to change that and try to make it safer but I also feel we need to educate and we need enforcement. The speed is an issue at times … we need to have some sort of enforcement, some way of slowing the traffic down, making them aware of the crosswalks.”
Admitting running on a Democratic ticket in a primarily Republican township is a daunting task, Haft said she’s received support from some devout Republicans and Conservatives.
“The majority of the population here is Republican but I have to say that talking with people, I have a lot of friends that are Republican and Conservatives and they’re excited at the opportunity of there being new energy and new ideas coming in and are backing me," she said.