Written by Wendy Kreitzman Friday, 21 March 2014 00:00
Judi Bosworth indicated in an interview with the New Hyde Park Illustrated News that the town is awaiting results of the financial and operational audit of the town’s Clinton G. Martin Park District.
Nassau County is conducting the audit. The investigation stems from 2011, when Comptroller George Maragos asked to analyze the park district’s records citing misappropriated funds alleged by district residents.
In February 2013, a State Supreme Court appellate decision ruled the county could do the audit. The town appealed, arguing the audit was unconstitutional, but was denied.
“The audit is taking place,” Bosworth said during an interview with the New Hyde Park Illustrated News. Bosworth lives in a special park district. “I believe the records that have been asked for have been given to the comptroller. I guess we’re all waiting for the results.
I can understand the concerns the North New Hyde Park community had.”
Bosworth hit the ground running after she was sworn in New Year’s Day and underwent a “trial by snow” as it snowed and snowed again.
Bosworth embraced a new challenge, as she had to make sure the 600 miles of roads in North Hempstead were clear and safe. “The town staff is extraordinary, they all pulled together,” she said. The very first day, Bosworth began to meet with staff members and began to develop strategies to remove snow quickly. The parks department “worked almost non-stop,” she said.
And then, of course, the snowstorms brought about another problem: potholes. The public is urged to call the town at 311 whenever they spot one and Bosworth said that her policy is to repair a pothole within 48 hours of a report coming in. For those few whose call to 311 ends up as a call to New York City’s 311, those calls should instead be made to 869-6311 in order to reach North Hempstead.
As for money needed for pre-storm and post-storm issues, Bosworth did note that “money spent on storms will impact the way we look at the budget.”
As Boworth stepped into her new job, she was well aware of the criticisms regarding the town’s building department and permits and she put remediation plans as a top priority. Bosworth immediately hired an applicant advocate, Lauren Summa, whose job is to look
into building department permits and help move them along. In addition, mobile building department offices have been set up. “And we are doing a top-to-bottom analysis,” Bosworth said, adding that she will make very sure that the corruption discovered years ago will not crop up again. She also said that she wants to be sure that the building department is “an advocate, not an adversary... we are here to be sure that people are all treated with respect.”
Bosworth has pushed making the town board meetings more accessible to residents. Since taking office, she has pushed for the meetings to be streamed live via computer, tablet, or cell phone. Town residents can go to the town’s website and click the icon for live streaming. The live video of the proceedings kicked off at the February’s Town meeting and 79 people tuned in. Bosworth also moved public comment time at town meetings to the top of the agenda instead of at the end.
And there is more to come, as Bosworth looks ahead. She plans to build on the works her two immediate predecessors, May Newburger and Jon Kaiman, especially noting the 311 phone number and Project Independence (for senior citizens). Stating that “the seniors are the ones who built this town,” and noting the importance of senior citizen projects, Bosworth emphasized her desire for more programs for young families.
With a very full first few months and a very full agenda ahead for the years ahead, Bosworth has a lot to do. But as she told the Illustrated News, “It’s an honor to do this job.”