Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.

Duncan Is Lone Candidate To Address LWV

The incumbent has served in this position for 15 years.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli got his start in politics at 18 when elected to the Mineola School Board in the 1970s. The point was made to James Duncan, the incumbent Port Washington police commissioner, as he met voters Tuesday night at Weber Middle School.

Duncan, 66, was attending the meet-the-candidates-night sponsored by the League of Women Voters. He has served as police commissioner for the past 15 years. His opponent, a community college student, is 18.

Duncan, however, was the sole candidate present at the League of Women Voters event. As LWV member Judy Jacobson told the audience, Faulk was “ill and could not attend.”

LWV policy, she said, dictates that when a candidate cancels close to an agreed-upon date, the debate is “conducted with an empty chair.”

Before taking questions from the audience of this lightly attended event, Duncan spoke of his background. A Purple Heart recipient, he is also a retired Nassau County police officer, having served on the force for 23 years. He is a member of the, where he has served for 49 years. And he is a local business owner.

Duncan also told the audience that he and his wife Elaine have been married for 42 years. Their three grown children – one is an attorney, one is a doctor, and one has a Masters degree in psychology – all attended Port Washington public schools.

Questions from the audience included one from Amy Bass, who asked why so many police cars go through town, flashing lights and blaring sirens, as though Port were a “heavy crime area.”

In a “heavily traveled town,” Duncan said, there are “numerous auto accidents” to which police respond.

Duncan added that police also assist with ambulance calls. “If we get there and we save a life, it was worth it,” he said.

Tom Rice asked about future plans for . In response, Duncan said that on Thursday evening, the district will hold a meeting at headquarters and introduce the community to its civilian building committee, which consists of local architects, attorneys and “building specialists,” along with officers. The committee will likely begin meeting regularly beginning January 2012, and start to set goals, he said.

“We’re certainly looking to possibly stay where we are,” he said, though he added that ultimately the building might be torn down.

Rice also asked about Duncan’s position on the program. In response, Duncan said that while all three commissioners met with Residents for A More Beautiful Port Washington about the project, and expressed concerns, not all of those concerns have been addressed yet.

“We did tell them that impeding of any of our roadways or anything like that would not be acceptable,” he said. “If that came to fruition, we’d have to strongly object.”

The election will be held on Dec. 13 at the . Polls will be open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

About the author