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The Governor Was Gracious

Great Neck mayors spend time with Governor Cuomo

“When I once again met Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Executive Mansion, I told him that while I can’t agree with all of his proposals, I do agree with many,” Village of Great Neck Mayor Ralph Kreitzman told the Great Neck Record.” The governor’s response? He thanked Mayor Kreitzman for his honestly. 

Mayor Kreitzman and Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender traveled to Albany recently for the New York State Conference of Mayors’ winter legislative meeting. Both mayors serve on the Nassau County Village Officials Association executive board and Mayor Kreitzman is the board president. Mayor Kreitzman also serves on the NYCOM executive board.

Mayor Celender found the governor “very approachable … taking the time to speak to the mayors … thanking them for serving their communities … thanking them for making the trip.” When she met the governor, Mayor Celender “ thanked him for his leadership and historic New York Safe Act passage and signage into law.” Mayor Celender added: “I thanked him for all his hard work on this and many other issues that are important to the people of New York.”

The two-day meetings came on the heels of the February blizzard. Mayors arrived on Sunday, Feb. 10 and were invited to breakfast with Governor Cuomo the next morning. While the governor addressed the mayors as a group last year, this year Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy spoke to the group. 

This winter’s legislative meeting included briefings on the governor’s proposed budget. And in addition to the formal meetings and briefings, Mayor Celender noted that she benefited from ideas and information from other mayors, as they discussed the blizzard. “I was looking for feedback from mayors on how their localities fared with their snow removal and wanted to gain insight of some Best Management Practices (BMPs),” she said. “We’re looking to minimize salt and sand mixtures and I heard how local department of public works are utilizing other methods.”

The session was a short two days and private conversations with the governor were short as well. However, Mayor Kreitzman did say that, as last time, Governor Cuomo took the time to discuss a mutual friend who was ill.

And now, just weeks later, as Governor Cuomo prepared to propose legislation regarding gas shortages during major storms, an aide phoned Mayor Kreitzman for input.

A few words, a few ideas and local mayors have the opportunity to “talk to the governor” and let their “local” voices be heard.