It was no surprise that every seat was taken in the high school library as residents gathered for the Garden City Board of Education meeting. After countless hours of discussions, comments and debates, the board of education adopted its revised 2010-11 budget proposal of $97,988, 490. With a reduction of $286,766, the budget-to-budget increase over the current year is 2.91 percent (reduced from 3.21 percent) and the tax levy increase is 4.18 percent with STAR (reduced from 4.52).
It was a beautiful day to honor our fallen heroes at the Garden City Memorial Day Parade on May 31. A memorial church service was held at 9 a.m. at the Cathedral of Incarnation, followed by the Parade of Honor, which kicked off at 10 a.m. between Cherry Valley Avenue and Tenth Street before the crowds joined together for a ceremony at Garden City Middle School. Spectators of ages galore gathered to watch the parade with their families, friends and even dogs on the streets and scattered lawns, dressed in appropriate red, white and blue while waving American stick flags.
Garden City residents may have to wait a little longer to view the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on the demolition of St. Paul’s School. At the most recent village board meeting, Mayor Robert J. Rothschild announced that the board is requesting additional work on the project from AKRF, an environmental and planning consultant.
The mayor announced that neither the board of trustees nor staff has received a completed DEIS yet and that it is expected to be in their hands within a few weeks. “We anticipate receiving it from special legal counsel and the environmental planning consultants by the June 17 board of trustees meeting,” the mayor explained.
Most residents of Long Island realize that their firefighters/EMTs get up all hours of the night, in all kinds of weather to respond to the emergency needs of their communities. But, there is so much more that these dedicated men and women do that is not as well known. Among these activities is the commitment by the fire departments of Nassau County over the past five years to Operation Wounded Warrior (OWW). In December each year, members of these departments in convoys of emergency vehicles (The Long Red Line) visit the medical facilities at Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg, Walter Reed, and Bethesda providing needed items to our wounded men and women. Items include donated handmade gifts and recreation electronics. Get Well cards play a big role as well. (View details including a video at ncff-oww.com)
“While I am disappointed with the budget vote results,” commented Garden City’s Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen about the May 18 failure of the district’s 2010-2011 school budget vote, “I respect and appreciate the views expressed by the community.”
Get ready to horse around as the first annual Northeast Equine Expo comes to town. Expected to draw nearly 30,000 people to the Long Island communities of Elmont and Floral Park, the expo will be the kick-off event for the final leg of the Triple Crown Belmont Stakes Race on Memorial Day weekend, May 29-30.
Expo president and founder Jessica Walsh, a Massachusetts native, first visited the majestic Belmont Park with her grandfather when she was a young child. An avid horse enthusiast, she came up with the idea of creating an equine expo after realizing that New York had yet to host one that incorporated all equestrian disciplines. Through a lot of perseverance and determination, Walsh enlisted a passionate team of staff members to go about the daunting task of organizing the big event. “It’s turned from a dream into a reality and I want to share it with everyone and inspire them,” she said.
If you haven’t heard by now, some residents are none too pleased with Verizon or the Village of Garden City. In fact, a disgruntled group of homeowners vented their frustrations at the most recent village board meeting. The residents, who live on 13th Avenue in Mineola, insist the noise and odor emanating from the nearby Verizon Wireless facility is deteriorating their quality of life.
Up until now, it seemed that most of the people who are being affected by the building lived solely in Mineola. Dina Silva spoke on behalf of her Portugese-speaking father, Rui Salsinha, to explain her parents are the only Garden City residents who live on the block bordering the Verizon facility, which is located on Herricks Road. For months, the residents have complained that the generator tests have caused an increase in noise and black smoke from the building.
During a budget public hearing on May 11, School Board President Colleen Foley announced that the Garden City Board of Education and the adminstrators’ bargaining unit have reached a two-year agreement for a zero percent salary increase for 2010/2011, and a two percent salary increase for 2011/2012.
Among the administrators represented by the bargaining unit are principals, assistant principals, directors, and coordinators. Foley stated there will also be a zero percent increase for administrative positions in the central office or “cabinet staff,” which includes the assistant superintendent of business, the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, the assistant superintendent of personnel, administrative assistant of business, transportation supervisor, the assistant transportation supervisor, the director of facilities, informational technology officer, accountant, treasurer, food service director and public information coordinator. Additionally, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Feirsen has agreed to a zero percent increase next year.
It was definitely not ‘business as usual’ as Garden City residents vented their frustrations at a Town Hall meeting on May 4 in the high school auditorium. The forum, hosted by the four Property Owners’ Associations, gave members of the community one last chance to discuss the 2010-11 school budget proposals before the final vote on Tuesday, May 18.
A little rain could not spoil the victory party for Town Supervisor Kate Murray, local mayors, government officials and community activists who gathered together at the Floral Park Train Station on May 3. The event celebrated the MTA’s recent announcement that it has excluded the LIRR Third Track project from its 2010-2014 Capital Improvement Plan. Murray said the MTA recently voted that the long-disputed proposal for a third LIRR track would not be included in their five-year plan. The news was a major coup for local communities who have been rallying against the project for more than five years.
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