Confidence and trust in government appears to continue to erode because of political infighting, and the perception of waste, fraud, and limited transparency. This is why my office has taken small yet significant steps to attempt to restore some trust through transparency.
Recently the Comptroller's Facebook page made available all 2013 Nassau County contracts with vendors as well as all the bills paid by the county. In keeping with my office’s prudent standards of controlling costs and promoting innovation, we used the latest social media tools to make this information available to the greatest number of residents. Not a single taxpayer dollar has been spent for this important public service.
I was reminiscing with my family the other evening, recounting a particular first day of class at Main Street School in Farmingdale. A pretty red-headed Science teacher deemed that from this day on, I was to be known as ‘Ron Salon’ because it sounded better. No argument here; we Solans have been called Sloan, Solan, Slogan—you name it. Thank you, Mrs. Noreen Rogers as well as the other fine teachers in Farmingdale... the place where I spent my ‘Wonder Years’.
Elementary school was very interesting in the 1960’s. My third grade class experienced the JFK assassination in 1963 and went on a class trip to the New York World’s Fair in 1964.
I found it disconcerting that an article titled “Concussions: Stop The Invisible Injury,” which talked about “concussion prevention,” “fostering an atmosphere of safety first,” “the athlete’s health is first priority,” “protecting an athlete’s future,” “the lifelong impact this injury can have on an athlete,” and “parents can reinforce a safe sports environment by not promoting or encouraging moves that might compromise an athlete’s safety,” never once suggested the advisability of simply not allowing one’s young child to endanger his growing brain by playing (tackle) football, playing other helmet-required sports like hockey, becoming a boxer or playing a brain-rattling (from “heading” the ball) sport like soccer.
In an effort to share all that Farmingdale has to offer, the village has teamed up with members of the Chamber of Commerce to hold the first-ever Winter Wonderland Expo and “Taste of Farmingdale” Open House.
We decided to work with the local business community to try and bring together both merchants and residents in the community. And it is definitely shaping up to be a Winter Wonderland, as the ideas keep flying in from everyone involved with organizing the festivities.
As executive director of Long Island Wins, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting immigrants from all backgrounds, each with a personal immigration story. One of our goals is to use those stories to highlight the contributions that immigrants make to our Long Island communities.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Dowling, an Irish immigrant and the president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the largest system in New York State and one of the largest in the country.
North Shore-LIJ has a service area that includes over seven million residents in downstate New York, and it’s the largest employer of immigrants on Long Island, from entry-level workers all the way up to the highest reaches of leadership.
We had another amazing year: Ending strong with 172 members, a high attendance at all of our monthly events, awesome member involvement, and my dream of adding members to the parades becoming a reality. I couldn’t be happier.
We ended 2013 with a very successful holiday party at the Carlyle on the Green and a tree lighting ceremony at the Village Green. Our Dec. 19 networking at CaraCara Mexican Grill was very successful with over 40 people in attendance. These events always put me in the holiday mood.
Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address presented an ambitious agenda for the upcoming legislative session, and many of the proposals present positive steps for Long Island. New York’s property taxes continue to rank among the highest in the nation, and I agree with the governor that addressing this issue is absolutely critical. I also look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that our education system is righted after the disastrous implementation of the Common Core Curriculum. Our children and grandchildren are our future, and a quality education is a must if they are to be the leaders of tomorrow.
While I wait for the additional details that will come in the governor’s budget proposal, I remain confident that there will be many positive ideas we can use to build a stronger more prosperous New York.
— Assemblyman Dave McDonough (R,C,I-Merrick)
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the very first “From the Mayor’s Desk,” a new column in The Farmingdale Observer. We have much to announce and share in the Village of Farmingdale, in the year ahead, so stay tuned for new and exciting topics.
Let me begin the new year with some of the village’s accomplishments of the past year and where they stand.
Village of Farmingdale Mayor Ralph Ekstrand Answers Residents’ Most Frequent Questions
Q: “The firehouse doors look new, were they replaced?”
A: The Village received grant money from Nassau County. The grant was secured through our Nassau County Legislator Joe Belisi. Joe is retiring and a list of his accomplishments for the Village will be read at Village Hall on Joe Belisi day December 2nd.
I feel for Lois A. Schaffer on the tragic loss of her daughter and am truly sorry that her admirable quest to stir people to demand what she calls “legislative movement” is so unlikely to achieve success. The fact that more than one whole year, four seasons, 12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days have passed since the slaughter of 20 Newtown children last year, with no “legislative movement” from our national legislature makes it clear that we’re more likely to see “laxative movement” from its 535 members than any legislative movement. Collectively, these 535 men and women are a disgrace to civilization. I can’t help wondering if the Senate or House of Representatives would have passed any meaningful gun legislation if, somehow, the 20 children killed on “12-14” were 20 of their own children. Or, since between them, these 535 men and women probably have more than 1,000 children; if Adam Lanza had somehow managed to shoot every one of those “children” (even if now of adult age) to death with his assault rifle, would that have “moved” them to action? I’m not even sure that would have done the trick; although I’m sure they would have paid some lip service to the idea of some gun control, and would have made some impressive-sounding, passionate, stirring speeches, oratory and rhetoric. They may not be able to walk-the-walk of genuine legislators, but they sure can talk-the-talk.
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