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Topping The Tax Cap?

Massapequa Park will hold a public hearing next week to discuss the possibility of exceeding the tax cap when the budget is adopted in April.

In order to exceed the tax cap, a municipality must first pass a law, enabling it to do so. It is quite common for municipalities to pass such a law in case it is necessary to do so, even though the tax cap ceiling is not superseded. However, Mayor James Altadonna seemed to indicate that the village might indeed be doing so.

In speaking about the possibility at a recent board meeting, Altadonna said that the costs incurred due to Hurricane Sandy would likely make it necessary for Massapequa Park to exceed the cap. He later spoke with the Massapequan Observer, and said that Colleran Park sustained damages during the storm, which must be repaired.

Unlike school districts, which are required to get a 60 percent supermajority vote in order to enact a budget which exceeds the tax cap, a municipality such as Massapequa Park only needs at least 60 percent approval from its governing body. For Massapequa Park, this would require at least three of the five board members to approve a budget increase that exceeds the tax cap.

In other news, the mayor said that plans are advancing towards bringing a triage center to the village. Altaddonna has been lobbying for an emergency room facility in which triage patients could be treated and stabilized before being sent home or to another facility for further care. He says that with the closure of Brunswick and Massapequa hospitals, there needs to be an emergency treatment center in the village so that emergency responders have a closer facility to bring triage patients to when time is critical. Currently, the closest facility to the village is St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bethpage.

The mayor said that a letter has been sent out regarding property where the proposed facility would be located. Altadonna said the property is on Sunrise Highway, but did not disclose an exact location.

“I’m pretty positive that we’re making some progress,” he said.

Additionally, in response to a question from a resident, the mayor discussed the possibility of the village launching its own police force. He said that because of the reduction in police officers, the village is not sufficiently being served. He further said that whenever an incident occurs at the Sunrise Mall, including minor infractions such as petit larceny, a Seventh Precinct officer assigned to the village is called away to attend to it. Altadonna emphasized that he has no issues with the officers of the Seventh Precinct, but said there is simply not enough of them to patrol the village adequately.

In response to a question about what launching a police force what cost, Altadonna said that village officials would look at that aspect very carefully before a determination is made. The mayor said that the village currently pays Nassau County to have police officers patrol the village, and it would have to be determined how the costs of a village police force would compare.

Another resident suggested that the village launch a public safety unit instead of a police force.

However, Altadonna downplayed that suggestion as the village would have to pay for the costs of such a unit and would then still have to pay Nassau County to have police officers patrol the area.

At the beginning of the meeting, a presentation was made to a group of seniors  from the Massapequa Park Senior Center, affectionately known as the “Brady Bunch.” The group does volunteer work throughout the village and sends care packages as one of its charitable endeavors.

“Thank you for reaffirming that Massapequa and Massapequa Park care about other people and care about our country,” Altadonna told the group.

News

Residents needed to run

The Garden City East Nominating Committee is seeking residents of the East who are interested in being interviewed for the positions of village mayor, village trustee and school board trustee. These positions are subject to election by all village residents. The village mayoral and trustee terms are for two years beginning on April 6, 2015 and the school board trustee term is for three years beginning on July 1, 2015.

Any resident of the East who is interested in being considered for one of these positions must submit a letter of intent and a resume. This submission should note the position being sought; include their name, contact information, a statement explaining their reason for interest in the position, a summary of their professional background and other qualifications, including, although not required, current or prior involvement in village or school board positions or initiatives.

Donald Barrick, Life’s WORC Board Chairman announced that Janet Koch has been hired as the new Executive Director of Life’s WORC, a Garden City-based 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. Koch assumes this leadership responsibility as Peter Smergut retires after 20 years in this position. After a thorough and extensive executive search process, the Life’s WORC Board is confident Koch has the vision and skills consistent with the needs of the organization. She will assume her position as executive director on Monday, Nov. 3.


Sports

High School Jazz Class Added To Dance Conservatory

Dance Conservatory Director Felicia Lovaglio has decided to add a jazz class for students in 9th through 12th grades who are residents of the Incorporated Village of Garden City. This 55-minute class will be held on Saturdays at 4 p.m. beginning on Saturday, Nov. 8. The cost of this 20-week class will be $200. Preregistration is necessary by visiting the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave.

Adult Dance Performance Group Now Registering

The recreation and parks department offers an adult dance group that works on jazz and contemporary moves and leads up to a performance in a Dance Company Showcase. Whether you are a beginner dance student or someone who danced as a child and would like to try again, this program will help you achieve your goals. Classes will be held on Saturday mornings beginning Saturday, Nov. 8. Each class is 55 minutes long and the session will run through May. The cost of this program will be $220.  

Reminder

With the fall sports season upon us, the department of recreation and parks would like to remind all residents that pets are not allowed in any neighborhood parks, Community Park, or St. Paul’s fields. Non compliance with this rule will result in the issuance of appearance tickets.

Register For The Online Registration Option

Garden City’s Department of Recreation and Parks will offer the option of online registration with credit card payment beginning with its winter programs in early December.

In order for a family to use the online registration option, the family will first need to visit the recreation and parks office at 108 Rockaway Ave. to verify residency and their family information and receive their password.  A list of instructions as to how to use the website will be included.


Calendar

 Murder, Madness & Poe

Thursday, October 30

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, November 3

Manhasset Comes To Garden City

Through November 25



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com