On Jan. 26 of this year, NIFA declared a control period in Nassau, assuming direct authority over the county’s budget. After that declaration, County Executive Edward P. Mangano led a legal effort to fight the takeover, which resulted in a court-ordered stay of the takeover until a 29-page legal decision from New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Diamond allowed the control period, and the county subsequently announced this week that it was dropping any further action. As a result of that decision, Mangano was forced to submit a new budget that eliminated what NIFA found to be a $176 million deficit. In order to do this without raising taxes, the county executive submitted plans to NIFA on March 22 that included major layoffs, cuts in services and pay furloughs. On March 18, the county executive requested a “wage freeze” or suspension of any pay increases to county employees. This required NIFA’s consent and would save over $10 million.
The season for budget discussions is upon us and these talks are well under way in Glen Cove schools. A large number of parents, students, faculty and community members came to show support at the Glen Cove Board of Education meeting held Monday night at Robert M. Finley Middle School in response to a list sent out to parents of potential items that could be cut from next year’s budget. Vice President Gail Nedbor-Gross was absent from the meeting.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a retired dispatcher for the Glen Cove Fire Department has been sentenced to one to three years in jail for stealing more than $196,000 over a six-year period from the department’s general fund, which he controlled for 20 years, by writing himself hundreds of checks and forging the department’s treasurer’s signature on more than 100 of them.
“I can’t get no satisfaction from the judge,” sang Chuck Berry in a lyric that may well articulate emotions around Nassau headquarters this week after an injunction County Executive Edward P. Mangano was seeking against NIFA’s takeover was denied in New York State Supreme Court and plans for major budget cuts began in order to fill what NIFA views as a deficit.
State Supreme Court Justice Arthur M. Diamond issued a 30-page decision dated March 11, 2011 in favor of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), dismissing Nassau’s efforts to prove that the control period enacted on Jan. 26 of this year was unconstitutional.
By Melissa Argueta, Rich Forestano, and Christy Hinko
As if the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter didn’t need any more bad press, a video was anonymously posted on Sunday, March 13 on YouTube. The 17-year-old footage depicts then-kennel foreman Pat Horan watching shelter workers slip a catch-pole around the neck of a kitten and lift it into the air, as they allegedly prepare it to be euthanized.
One worker is seen making obscene and lewd gestures, even mocking the killing of the animal, while Horan is seen laughing and giving the middle finger to the person filming the video. As the kitten squirms wildly, someone off-camera cheers, “Kill the kitty; kill the kitty.”
It has been one year since Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice created Long Island’s first-ever Animal Cruelty Unit, and during that time, prosecutions of these crimes have more than quadrupled, Rice announced at a press conference on March 2 at the Animal Lovers League in Glen Cove. In addition, she stated that the Animal Cruelty hotline – 516-571-ACHL (2245) – has received over 700 complaints of suspected abuse. Staffed by specially trained prosecutors and investigators, Rice explained that the Animal Cruelty Unit operates with one goal: to protect vulnerable pets and animals.
The Glen Cove Board of Education met this week at Robert M. Finley Middle School in Glen Cove to discuss the budget for the 2011-12 school year. This was the first of several budget review workshops scheduled over the course of the next four weeks before the board will adopt a budget on April 11.
The board appointed Dr. Joseph A. Laria, who has been interim superintendent for this school year, to the permanent status as superintendent of schools. The appointment was announced at last week’s meeting and made official on Monday night.
Glen Cove School District Board President Ida McQuair opened Monday night’s meeting at Robert M. Finley Middle School by announcing that the search for superintendent has been concluded and they have decided to hire Dr. Joseph A. Laria, who has been the interim superintendent for the current school year. He will hold the position for the next three school years.
“The hiring of Dr. Laria will be very beneficial for the district, as he requires no health insurance or pension plan,” Ms. McQuair stated enthusiastically.
Sashes were presented to Grand Marshal Andy Stafford, and Aides Jim Burke and Carol McTigue by Parade Chairman Robert Lynch.
“I am so proud to stand here today with these two great people,” said Stafford of his two aides, Burke and McTigue, after he received his sash. “I have known both of them for so long and they are great people.”
Nassau County’s government and the state watchdog agency NIFA entered the next step in their battle for ultimate financial authority over the county, as New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur M. Diamond ruled to put NIFA’s “control period” on hold while the court considers Nassau’s arguments against the legality of the takeover. Nassau County attorneys, under County Executive Edward P. Mangano’s lead, have submitted to the court that the takeover was executed in violation of the law and was facilitated by an unfair change in NIFA’s policies.
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