Memorial Day is almost here and it is shaping up to be a special time in Garden City. After more than a year of discussions and planning, the village will unveil its upgraded veterans’ memorial to honor the brave men and women who have served our country in wartime. In February, the village board unanimously approved expenditures not to exceed $20,000 for the complete installation of a new and improved monument located at the Village Gazebo on Seventh Street.
At the May 5 village board meeting, Trustee Dennis Donnelly, the chairperson of the Village Board’s War Memorial Committee, announced that construction was currently in progress and almost complete. “The lighting was put in today and the cement pavers have been put in; the first of the marble and the new plaques arrive next week,” Donnelly said.
The people have spoken and a Garden City village landmark has been saved. On April 27, Garden City residents flocked in droves to St. Paul’s Fieldhouse to cast their votes on the $3.75 million bond referendum to demolish St. Paul’s Main Building and Ellis Hall. The overwhelming majority voted to defeat the bond, with 1,120 yes votes and 3,290 no votes, according to Village Clerk Brian Ridgway.
After a car bomb exploded near Zeenabdeen’s home in Iraq, it caused a live wire from a pole to snake across his face, leaving him critically injured and scarred. Local American military personnel assisted in bringing the child to the U.S. for medical attention and the boy’s uncle sought the assistance of Elissa Montani and her charity, Global Medical Relief Fund, which is providing transportation and other resources for the boy’s health, safety and well-being while he is staying on Long Island.
In Garden City, crowds gathered to watch the 56th Annual Easter Sunday Vintage Car Parade on April 24 at 1 p.m., which stepped off on Franklin Avenue at 10th Street with antique, classic, and special interest cars participating in the lineup.
Garden City residents who walk or drive down Franklin Avenue will notice that four of the pedestrian crosswalks will soon get a new look. After the village board approved the replacement last year, the Department of Public Works has finally begun working on the project this week.
According to the village website, the work is being performed in two phases. Phase 1 will consist of night work, which started April 25. The work will take place from Seventh Street to 11th Street at the intersections of Franklin Avenue. Working hours will be between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, with some flexibility in either direction based on the work scheduled. Phase number 1 will last for seven work nights.
In time for April showers and May flowers, Garden City merchants now have the opportunity to fully blossom this spring. The Chamber of Commerce has recently proposed implementing its pilot program to allow village merchants to display flowers and plants on their retail properties.
With only a week to go before the Village of Garden City holds a bond referendum vote to approve funds to demolish St. Paul’s main building and Ellis Hall, there could be one last ray of hope to save the village landmark from the wrecking ball.
There’s a new mayor in town and his name is Donald Brudie. The 44th mayor of the Village of Garden City was officially sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Bucaria on Monday, April 4 during the village’s organizational night. Subsequently, Village Justice Allen Mathers administered the oath of office to Trustees Dennis Donnelly, Laurence Quinn and Andrew Cavanaugh, as well as newly-elected Trustee John DeMaro.
Friends, family, and residents packed Village Hall to witness the swearing-in ceremonies and the night was prefaced by an invocation read by Rev. Joseph Schlafer of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church.
In the last school budget work session of the year, Garden City Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen gave an overview of his final recommendations to his proposed 2011-12 school budget on April 6. Among the refinements presented to the Board of Education was the restoration of the class size guideline to 25 students at the elementary level and the lowering of the tax levy to 2.58 percent.
The proposed overall budget total remains the same at $101,117,058, with a budget-to-budget increase of $3,128,568 or 3.19 percent. Feirsen announced that the projected tax levy increase (with STAR) has been amended to 2.58 percent down from 2.71 percent. “That reflects $117,000 or so of additional state aid that we received since we last met with the board. So we applied all of that money to lowering the tax levy,” Feirsen said.
Superintendent of Garden City Schools Dr. Robert Feirsen wrapped up the final school budget presentations during the last board of education meeting in March. During the budget discussion, Feirsen proposed the restoration of the Junior Varsity Golf Team at the high school and said he will heed the board’s suggestion to reconsider his recommendation to increase class size at the elementary school level.
As in all the previous work sessions, Dr. Feirsen explained that every Long Island school district presents their budgets a little bit differently. He maintained that questions and comments from the board and community are an important and valuable part of the democratic process and said nothing is set in stone. “We do in this district a very thorough analysis… Nothing here is a fait accompli,” he explained. “We start working on the budget at pretty much the beginning of the school year,” Feirsen said.
Among the superintendent’s newest amendments was eliminating his previous recommendation to the board to drop a head coach for the JV Golf Team after questions and concerns arose from the community. “As I say this is an open process and we’re open to that process. When the facts change, we change our minds. The facts have changed,” he said.
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