On Valentine’s Day evening, the Garden City Board of Education convened for its regular meeting and second budget work session in the high school library. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen presented his second round of budget proposals regarding the non-instructional areas of the school budget.
During his presentation, Feirsen noted that this session was the second step in the budget review process and the expenditures discussed are merely recommendations to the board of education from the administration.
The Garden City School District’s proposed 2012-2013 overall budget is $104,976,751, which represents a budget-to-budget increase of $3,859,693 or 3.82 percent. The projected tax levy increase (with STAR) is 4.25 percent and the maximum allowable tax levy is 4.3 percent.
Garden City Police Commissioner Ernest Cipullo asked the Village Board of Trustees at last Thursday’s 2012-13 capital/operating budget session for a significant bump in funding to cover overtime pay due to the erratic and incalculable nature of police work.
“As I said at the last budget session, the police business is very unpredictable,” Cipullo said. “We can’t really tell you what’s going to happen next week. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen in the next five minutes. Accordingly, we were operating most of the last year with six officers out on long-term injury, three vacant positions, and one civilian dispatcher position, so you’re talking about 10 people out of the chart. We had to cover that with overtime on many occasions. I hate to tell you, but the overtime that we budgeted last year- based on those vacancies or injuries — we’re at half-a-year and our overtime budget is pretty much gone.”
Cipullo noted that approximately 94 percent of the police operating budget is comprised of personnel costs, as mandated by an arbitrator’s decision.
If you are one of the many Long Islanders paying property taxes this year, the upcoming school budget season promises to be a challenging one in the era of the tax levy cap. Superintendent Dr. Robert Feirsen of Garden City School District held the first in a series of presentations of the 2012/2013 school budget at the Board of Education work session on Tuesday, Feb. 7. The proposal includes an overall budget of $104,976,751 with a budget-to-budget increase of $3,859,693 or 3.82 percent. The projected tax levy (with STAR) is 4.25 percent.
Feirsen opened the meeting explaining that Garden city has a tradition of presenting its budget in great detail, “much greater detail and over many more meetings than many other school districts.” He also reminded residents that the evening’s review contains only recommendations to the Garden City Board of Education and is the first step in a multistep process, which will include both comments from the community and board discussions.
Ever since Hurricane Irene wrecked havoc on Garden City last summer, the roof and clock tower of St. Paul’s Boys School’s main building have remained in a state of disrepair. After the village board voted against approving the allocation of funds to pay for damages, it was Garden City residents who intervened and generously offered to perform the labor and donate funds for repair costs.
During the Feb. 2 board meeting, Vincent Muldoon, owner of Old World Quality Corp., announced that he would be willing to perform the repairs on St. Paul’s pro bono. Muldoon wanted to further clarify what he said to residents at a recent Eastern Property Owners’ Association meeting.
“I’m a resident of the village for a long time and I’m willing to help out in any way I can and I would give up all my own time, the overhead and carry the cost of my company but obviously employees and materials has to be paid for,” he explained.
United States Senator Charles E. Schumer was given a warm welcome when he visited the Village of Floral Park Fire Department Headquarters on Monday, Jan. 27. Schumer revealed to a small crowd that more than 70 Nassau County fire departments and seven volunteer ambulance corps are facing major budget hikes in order to meet the year-end deadlines to upgrade existing radio equipment due to federal mandates.
Schumer had only the highest of praise for the volunteer firefighters who came from cities across Nassau County, including Stewart Manor, Garden City, Bellerose, New Hyde Park, Great Neck, Island Park, Valley Stream, East Williston, Port Washington, Bayville, Freeport, Wantagh, and Oceanside, Lakeview.
“As you know I care a lot about our firefighters; they are great people. Nassau County volunteer fire departments are among the best in the country,” Schumer said, adding, “They risk their lives, they don’t get paid to make us safe. It’s a great thing and everyone here in this county is blessed by the quality of the fire departments.”
As Nassau County school districts wade knee-deep in budget numbers, more fiscal challenges may lie ahead after a ruling to repeal the ‘county guarantee’ was upheld by the Hon. Thomas A. Adams, Acting Nassau County Supreme Court Justice and Court of Claims judge, on Jan. 4.
At the first regular Garden City Board of Education meeting of the year, Counsel Bonnie Gorham of Guercio & Guercio clarified for audience members that the newly passed local law, known as the county guarantee, will shift the responsibility of costs of back tax certiorari settlements from the county to school districts.
“As the board will recall, back in October of 2010, the Nassau County Legislature passed a local law repealing the county guarantee, which had very significant implications for both local government and school districts,” Gorham explained at the board meeting on Jan. 18,
Temple Grandin has never let labels define who she is and what she can accomplish. In 1950, at the age of 2 when she couldn’t speak, she was diagnosed with autism and labeled as brain damaged. It was recommended that she be institutionalized.
Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is an international speaker, author of several books on autism and animal welfare and was the focus of an HBO film titled Temple Grandin, which was nominated for 15 Emmy Awards and earned five. She has been listed as Time’s 100 most influential people in the world under the category of heroes. Grandin has a Ph.D in animal science from the University of Illinois and has designed one third of all livestock handling facilities in the United States and many other countries. She is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and a frequent lecturer on autism.
Have you heard one too many knocks on your door in recent weeks? Several Garden City residents voiced concerns about the increase in solicitors coming to their homes at the Jan. 12 village board meeting at Village Hall.
The village’s door-to-door solicitation law states that “permits are required for door-to-door solicitation. Homeowners can file notices of objection at Village Hall requesting that salespeople or other solicitors not visit their houses. Permits are not required for religious, political or news distributions. However, the list of residents who request not to be visited must be complied with,” according to the village’s website.
During a period of public commentary at the meeting, 16-year resident Bob Bolebruch said the amount of solicitors allowed in Garden City needs to be cut down. “I find it amazing that in Garden City we constantly have these people coming to our doors. I give to the fire department, I give to the police department and for this board to continue to approve organizations to come to our homes if they are not from Garden City, this has got to stop some place,” he said.
Garden City residents in the East and Estates Sections will have a chance to vote in a run-off election for village board trustee on Jan. 31 as challenges were announced during their respective resident electors’ meeting last week.
At the Eastern Property Owners’ Association Electors meeting, former village board trustee and resident Jon Segerdahl announced he is challenging incumbent trustee Nicholas Episcopia and resident Michele Harrington announced she is challenging Estates candidate Brian Daughney. Deputy Mayor John Watras of the Western section and Trustee Andrew Cavanaugh of Central section were not challenged.
Talking to Richard Brodsky, you’d never know anything had ever been wrong. At 59 years young, the passionate activist and lifelong marathon runner recently returned from Kisumu, Kenya, to run in the World AIDS marathon for victims of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
For more than 14 years, the Atlantic Beach resident has defied the odds and triumphed over adversity to educate and inspire others to raise awareness and funds for victims of AIDS and HIV through the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation.
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