Gonzalez said that, if elected, he’d work to lower town taxes as well as fees such as the Bay Shore parking meters. “When you see our taxes, it’s just ridiculous. I could get there and really do a deep dive into this budget because I think our community needs to understand where the waste is, where the money is,” he said. He also wants to help small businesses overcome bureaucratic obstacles. “It takes forever for a small business owner to open a new business here because there is so much red tape,” he said. Gonzalez has been a critic of the town’s handling of the contaminated debris found dumped at Brentwood’s Roberto Clemente Park, and he is skeptical of the town’s promise to reopen the park’s pool by next summer. He said he would bring accountability to the board and better represent communities he says have been overlooked. “Not only Brentwood, but Central Islip has been neglected for years,” he said.
Gonzalez, 56, of Brentwood is running on the Democratic, Working Families and Women’s Equality lines. A union leader, he grew up in Brooklyn and has lived in Brentwood since 2002. He is the president of IBEW Local 1430 and attended the AFL-CIO certification program at Cornell University in 2013. He is also studying to become a chaplain and is a member of the Latin/African American Chaplain Association. Gonzalez is on the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and a member of the Brentwood Knights of Columbus and the Lions Club. He ran unsuccessfully in 2012 for state Assembly against Phil Ramos in the Democratic primary. He is married with two children.