Desmond Ryan—or Des, as he’s known in the political circles of Albany, D.C., and the rest of the solar system, for all we know—is an outspoken advocate for the best of Long Island, not just its betterment. Elected officials have learned to ignore his counsel at their peril. Of course, it helps that he’s carrying water for several of the most influential developers in our region, but nobody is more willing to take on the battle against short-sighted NIMBYism. He’s a proponent of growth and economic development, two key factors without which LI will perish. And that’s no bull. Ryan isn’t one to mince words, and given his long tenure at the nexus of politics and policy, he has the experience to make a difference and the influence to get the job done. Oh, he may be more comfortable working behind the scenes when it suits him, but he’s not afraid to stand up and speak out when silence is not an option.