I have lived in Glen Cove for 59 years. Being here as long as I have and seeing what has been done to me and all the other taxpayers makes me angry, frustrated and sad at the same time. Promises are always made and as soon as a title is placed on someone, all is forgotten. For me, especially, being alone, it is very difficult to manage. I worry how to pay tax bills and oil bills, which have a tax now too. It is very disheartening. Name only cannot change anything. Raising taxes, as they say, to balance the budget is just a lie. I believe that money is for someone else’s gain. Our current administration has done nothing but punish us all and most likely has forced some homeowners to sell and leave the city. We need structure and leadership. I hope people will carefully think before pushing buttons this Election Day. Let us all start enjoying our homes and not be in fear of losing them.
I’m sure people have been reading the articles in Newsday about the high property taxes on Long Island, and especially the school taxes, which I read amount to 65 percent of the taxes paid.
I believe that the schools are over-administrated and the administrators are overpaid. Teachers are also overpaid and have great benefits. Neither is ever happy with what they receive but point to other districts that may have some better benefits and demand the same.
I have visited both the Glen Cove Voters website and the Glen Cove Alliance website. I find it interesting that less than four weeks before the election, on the Glen Cove Voters site, if you click the heading “Accomplishments,” you are told “Coming Soon.”
It’s been four years, Mr. Mayor and council members. When are your accomplishments coming?
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
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