Gillen said she has campaigned on ethics reform and said she would, if elected, repeal a recently passed $125,000 outside income cap for members of the Hempstead Town Board. She said she wants “greater disclosure” for the town and would hold more town board meetings in the evenings, rather than in the mornings. She said she would also conduct the public comment portion of the meeting in the beginning, instead of at the end, so residents don’t have to wait hours for the meeting to finish before they can speak. Gillen also said she would archive video of the meetings online; they are currently only live-streamed. She said she has concerns about alleged nepotism and cronyism in the town and would “carefully monitor” the contract procurement system and hire an inspector general. After months of infighting among members of the town board, including among its Republicans, “right now it seems like our town government has become completely dysfunctional,” she said. “This should be a grave concern to everybody in the Town of Hempstead.”
Gillen, 48, is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. She is an attorney in the Uniondale firm of Westerman Ball Ederer Miller Zucker & Sharfstein LLP and specializes in commercial litigation. She is a member of the Nassau County Bar Association. She ran unsuccessfully for Nassau County clerk in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University and received her law degree from New York University. Gillen grew up in Baldwin and moved to Rockville Centre in 2003. She previously went on a volunteer mission to Calcutta with the Missionaries of Charity. She is married and has four children.