Written by Vilma Sceusa, email@example.com Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00
Three Garden City Property Owners’ Associations ran run-off elections on Tuesday, Jan. 29 due to unprecedented challenges by two residents and a current trustee.
Garden City operates under a non-political form of government called the Community Agreement, with origins dating back to 1919. The mayor and board of trustees, as well as members of various boards and commissions, are village residents who are nominated by four POAs (Western, Estates, Central and Eastern) and serve without compensation. This is a typically unchallenged process, though the last two years have resulted in challenges and run-off elections.
Village Clerk Brian Ridgway advised that three simultaneous run-off elections and one made by a sitting trustee was unusual. Ridgway is election officer for village elections annually held in March. This year’s election, for the slate of run-off winners, will be held on March 19.
This year residents residing in the West headed to the polls, for a run-off election, to vote for their mayoral candidate while Estates and Eastern residents voted for their trustee.
Resident Greg Blair challenged trustee John DeMaro, the Estates POA’s nominee, while Francine Ryan ran against Dennis Donnelly, the Eastern POA’s candidate. Sitting trustee Larry Quinn challenged John Watras for mayor. Watras was unanimously nominated by the Western POA.
Residents at polling locations had mixed reactions to the run-off elections.
Voter Maureen Moynihan, of the Western section, found the run-offs an opportunity to come together and be supportive.
“It’s a positive sign for residents to have a desire for these positions and the run-offs allow us to make our own decision.”
Western resident Joan Collins described the run-offs as “democracy in action” and conceded that the village’s Community Agreement is unique.
“It’s good to rock the boat,” shared Collins. “I know both of the Western candidates to be of high character. They are good citizens with different approaches who are committed to volunteerism.”
However, fellow resident, Michael O’Conor felt the run-offs went against the spirit of the way the governing process was set up.
“The POA candidates are tremendously well qualified and a challenge is inappropriate,” added O’Conor.
Jonathan Kashimer, co-commissioner of the Western POA, said the overall feeling of the election was quite positive, describing the polling center as a lively atmosphere.
“I’m proud of the community involvement and excited about our residents’ participation in the process.”
Volunteers, including board of education members Tom Pinou and Barbara Trapasso, came out to lend a hand and support the property associations’ efforts.
Estates resident Barbara McElroy relayed that any opportunity for an open election is healthy but decried the “old guard” system.
“It’s time for the Community Agreement to be challenged for the farce that it is,” said McElroy.
Perhaps that comment holds a grain of truth among residents. The facts are that out of 16,000 registered voters in the village, 1,529 voted in the three run-offs resulting in a 9.5 percent turnout.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
On Sunday, Nov. 3, a walk-a-thon was held to benefit Camp Anchor, a year-round recreation program for citizens with both mental and physical handicaps. The walk-a-thon was coordinated by Garden City resident and Kellenberg Senior Christina DiMasso, and Kellenberg Junior Brendan Callahan, who both work at the camp. “I did this because Camp Anchor has been so great for my brother, Thomas, who struggles with autism,” Callahan said. “I have also grown so much through volunteering there these past three summers.”
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
For some people, giving back provides an inherent reward through the simple satisfaction of helping others. Garden City resident Gregory Burke is one of those people. A known philanthropist and supporter of various important causes, Burke’s gift to Winthrop-University Hospital is no exception to his generosity.
Recently, Burke presented Kevin T. Curran, member of Winthrop’s Board of Directors, with a $25,000 gift in support of the hospital’s new Research and Academic Center. The center, scheduled to be completed in late 2014, will focus on the research of diabetes, obesity and the cardiometabolic complications that arise from those conditions, as well as other pressing national and local health issues, including reducing premature births and treating conditions related to aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
The 36th Annual Garden City Turkey Trot was held on a sunny but cold and windy Thanksgiving day. The frigid temperatures were no match for the more than 5,000 runners who ran in Long Island’s largest Thanksgiving day road race. The Turkey Trot consists of three races—a Challenger Division Race for courageous special needs athletes, a 1.4-mile Fun Run and a challenging 5-mile race.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 12:19
Knowing they were facing off against a very physical team which had made the States for the last two consecutive years, the Garden City Wings Varsity Ice Hockey teammates discussed strategies in the locker room at the Bethpage Ice Arena. Alex Feinstein’s past netminding experiences for the Sailors would prove valuable to them as he drew upon his insight in how to compete against them effectively. Playing with the Garden City Wings team, together they crushed the Oceanside Sailors 7-2, earning their first Varsity win of the season in Nassau County High School Hockey League. Feinsten faced 30 shots while his teammates unloaded 24 on the opposing goalie.