At the last Glen Cove Board of Education meeting, held on Oct. 5, Superintendent Dr. Laurence Aronstein announced that the NY State audit was ready to be released and would be posted on the school district web site the next day. He went on to tell those present how good the report was, and I quote, “There were no findings of fraud, or malfeasance, incompetence or anything else. The report basically says that we’re doing a very good job.”
Nothing could be further from the truth! That report, with information analyzed only from July 1, 2007 to Oct. 31, 2008, paints a horrible picture of mismanagement, ineptitude and violation of New York State Law. Among other things, the report states that: “The board did not comply with Education Law regarding fiscal oversight training for board members. Two of the seven board members did not obtain the required six-hour training on financial oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities. Additionally, a third board member did not obtain training within the first year of his election, although he completed the required training 29 months later.”
“The board members’ decision to not comply with the law and obtain the training resulted in their failure to properly fulfill all of their financial oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities, placing the district at an increased risk of waste, misuse or theft of its cash assets.” Newsday reported that our current board member, Richard Tortorici, is one of the violators. As of last week, he still had not complied with the law, nearly a year after the report’s end.
The report goes on to say: “District officials have not established adequate controls over payments in lieu of health insurance and did not segregate payroll duties to effectively safeguard district assets.”
“In addition, district officials did not adequately segregate key duties related to payroll processing.”
“District officials did not always adhere to the district’s purchasing policies. . .” And on and on it goes.
This report is for only one year of Dr. Aronstein’s four years here. If this is a good report to Dr. Aronstein, then he is truly in La La Land, so out of touch is he with reality, and has been for years. This district is no place for him. He should resign or be removed from his position immediately as should Board Member Tortorici.
I stopped in at the Glen Cove Alliance headquarters at 24 Village Square on Thursday night. On a wall was a delightful photographic display, Glen Cove Through the Generations, that included a photo dated 1905 of a group of men putting in the lines to bring electricity to our city, and some photos of Morgan Park Beach from the 1940s, including a local bathing beauty. The faces and images of a bygone era were an evocative depiction of my city’s history and an indication of longtime family roots.
Politics aside, I urge everyone to stop in and see this very enjoyable display every Wednesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. You might find yourself or a grandparent on the wall!
It has been my experience as an owner of real estate that taxes in Glen Cove have increased less in 15 years than my properties in Suffolk County and/or Florida.
I pray every day that someone will come up with a better way than raising taxes on homeowners. Raising revenue for municipal services has to be met with other more creative measures. Possibly, leasing city buildings, wall space with advertising revenue - Nike ads, Pepsi billboards - something other than another tax on home ownership.
My experience with Ralph Suozzi has been that he is an honest man who truly loves his city. I believe our taxes would be higher if Ralph was not our mayor. I believe he has been good for the city and has put the city first in all matters before him. He has not had an easy job in a most trying economic time. It is always easy to complain. Harder to do the job.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many for the success of this year’s Glen Cove High School’s Homecoming Weekend. It could not have been done without all of those who helped make it possible. Thank you to Mr. Stein for donating the helium tank and Mr. Budraitis for photographing Pep Rally and the Homecoming football game. Thanks to Mrs. Rubin, Mr. Leahy, Mrs. Loria, Mrs. Cappiello, and Mrs. Basra for making our beautiful balloon arch. A huge thanks to Mrs. Anderson for helping coordinate the parade that led to the high school on Friday evening. Many thanks to Mr. Martinez and Mr. Spy and the Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department for providing their grills and hot food for the football and soccer night games.
The PTAs, Booster Club, custodial staff, grounds crew and security encouraged our students to make it one of the best Homecomings ever and helped in countless ways. Our Student Senate and Pep Squad participants never tired and continually strive to be more creative every year. Our coaches are always willing to give a hand and did a phenomenal job with our teams and squads. Thanks to the board of education for renting the lights that enabled us to have a night Homecoming game. A tremendous thank you to all those who donated their time, blood, sweat and tears to make Homecoming 2009 the best yet!!! Thank you Glen Cove!!!
In the upcoming mayoral and Glen Cove City Council elections, I would like to give my full support to the Glen Cove Voters team consisting of Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and Glen Cove City Council Members Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Nick DiLeo, Sean Dwyer, Mike Famiglietti, Tony Jimenez and Tim Tenke. Under their leadership Glen Cove has taken a turn in the right direction. There is a level of open and honest government that was absent from Glen Cove several years ago.
It is very difficult for many of us to forget those few short years ago when there were intense feelings of mistrust and deceit in the city. Those that caused those feelings are gone and a calmness has now blanketed Glen Cove. This team of good, honest people has brought this about. There will always be some arguments, disputes and intense disagreements, but someone would be hard pressed to find a lack of trust or good character in these people.I hope more people have the opportunity at some point to get to know all of them and witness the commitment they have to Glen Cove. For myself it has been impressive to see and I am going to work to see it continue. My first step is to ask all of you to come out on election day in full support of Ralph Suozzi and this great team of city council members by pulling all seven levers on the Glen Cove Voters line.
Let me tell you what prompts this gesture. Last week I paid a short visit to my daughter in Sea Cliff. While there, I walked to a nearby market for a few items (there is no such thing). Trudging home, balancing two respectably-sized plastic bags and a cane, I was beginning to wonder if I could make it. Out of the blue, a red convertible pulled curbside and offered me a lift home, wherever that might be. I hopped in as only a desperate, old lady can and arrived in style at the front door.
So honk away, my friends.
Isabel Sefton, Meadow Lakes
With regard to a recent letter by Mr. Capobianco, wherein he referred to concerns made by another resident about the waterfront as “fear mongering,” I disagree.
As a community, we must question the validity of statements made by RexCorp and others who would benefit short term from the development.
When residents were not involved in the planning process, we woke up to the Avalon, referred to by one of the task force presenters as the most unattractive Avalon project he has ever seen.
If previous administrations had allowed public scrutiny of the proposed waterfront development, prior to signing a deal with the developers, perhaps we would not be in this predicament. However, because of their actions, we have good reason to question the truthfulness of the information being presented to us.
Everyone has the right to present “food for thought” without being labeled “fear monger” or judged as misinformed.
There are too few people who are passionate enough, either pro or con, about the waterfront project to take the time to go to city council and planning board meetings, or to find the time to write a letter and share their thoughts. Let’s not discourage them from doing so.
With the passing of Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer has arrived and the start of the new school year is upon us. While we had an extraordinarily wet summer this year, there were still a lot of great times to be had in Glen Cove. Thanks and congratulations to the Morgan Park Summer Music Festival in recognition of their 50 years of wonderful music-filled summer evenings at Morgan Park. Thanks to the Downtown Sounds and Farmer’s Market sponsored by local businesses and the Business Improvement District. Thanks to the sponsors and the committee of this year’s inaugural Gold Coast Jazz Festival and our annual July 4 Fireworks display. Thanks to the Youth Board and its year-round programs but especially for the summer youth workers. Thanks to Parks and Recreation for its year round programs but especially for its wonderful camp program. Thanks to Beautification for keeping our Adopt-A-Spots and public spaces looking better than ever. Thanks to St. Rocco’s Church for another wonderful feast, St. Patrick’s Church for another fun-filled family carnival and the Fire Department for the Downtown Cruise Nights every Thursday. Thanks to the entire Golf Course team for creating and maintaining one of the finest public courses around. Thanks to the Anglers Club for the Snapper Derby and the Police Dept. for National Night Out. Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters of Senior Day. A special thank you to all of the full-time, part-time, seasonal employees and volunteers who keep our city running year round. Thank you to all of the businesses and charitable organizations which support our community and its residents through their generosity. Congratulations to the Glen Cove Comanchees and their coaches who are now the 2009 New York State Metro Babe Ruth Champions. Finally, thank you to all of the veterans and their families for maintaining our nation’s liberty and for their service to our country.
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