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Budgets, Red Lights, Parking Garage Among Council Topics

A large audience attended the Hicksville Community Council meeting on Thursday, March 3 to listen to and ask questions of our local elected officials. First to speak was Rose Marie Walker, Nassau County legislator, explaining how the county has gotten into the financial fix it’s in, how it’s trying to correct areas of immediate concern and plan for the future. Michael Montesano, NYS assemblyman, who had just that evening returned from Albany, spoke about matters most pressing at the state level, which, of course, include the governor’s proposed budget and cuts. Montesano said that these are hard times and all New Yorkers need to be prepared for some hard decisions. Montesano explained that consideration must be given equally to the downstate and upstate counties and residents and their needs. Rebecca Alesia and Anthony Macagnone, members of the Town of Oyster Bay Town Board, filled in with news about the hard winter and the excellent job the town’s Highway Department did with snow removal; the nearly completed parking garage; and assurance that the town is working in cooperation with the county and state to get things accomplished.

Questions posed to Walker concerned red light cameras and coming additions and whether or not they were reaping the monetary rewards expected. Although they haven’t yet proven to be financially rewarding, the number of accidents has definitely shown a decrease, she reported. On a state level, the question of school consolidation was raised, but according to Montesano, that might work in the upstate districts but didn’t seem feasible for downstate districts.

The parking garage drew the most questions from the audience for town representatives. Bonnie Keyer asked that work be done on the drainage problems in that area before the official opening. A question was asked whether it would be possible to have school and property payments automatically deducted similarly to auto and other monthly payments. This will be passed along to Receiver of Taxes James Stefanich for consideration.

All speakers were gracious and offered assistance and encouraged the public to contact them at these numbers: Assemblyman Montesano can be reached at his Hicksville office at 937-3571; Legislator Walker at 571-6217 and town representatives Alesia at 624-6302 and Macagnone at 624-6618.

Andrew Lockwood, J.D., a college finance consultant, will be the guest speaker at the Community Council meeting on May 5. Lockwood will focus on “How to Pay ‘Wholesale’ for College.” The council encourages all parents and grandparents to attend, or anyone interested in a higher education. Joining Lockwood will be Superintendent of Schools Maureen Bright and Carol Ahrens, director of the Hicksville Public Library, both presenting their 2011 budgets in advance of the elections scheduled on Tuesday, May 17. Candidates for school and library boards will also be in attendance for questions and answers.

The Hicksville Community Council is an organization that provides topics of interest to all residents of Hicksville. The annual dinner/installation takes place at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Thursday, April 7. Tickets are available for just $40 per person and can be purchased by visiting the website hicksvillecommunitycouncil.org. If you like history, check out a new feature with old photos that need identification. If you can provide that information, be sure to let the Community Council know at the next meeting. Meetings are held at the William Bennett Community Center, 28 West Carl St. at 7 p.m. Refreshments are served and all are welcome to attend. Bring a friend or neighbor!