When I write these columns, I find it helpful to think about the friends and neighbors that I’ve met throughout our district. I envision this column as sitting together over a weekly cup of coffee and having a healthy, steady exchange about what’s happening in Albany. To be sure, so much of what I have carried upstate about good governance was born of these everyday sessions. Sharing this particular week’s column is indeed a pleasure.
It’s been a month since the end of the 2011 Legislative Session in Albany and it has already been recognized as “historic,” standing as one of the “most productive in New York’s history.”
According to Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello, “The legislature unanimously approved the 2011 Nassau County Capital Plan. Capital projects include maintenance and rehabilitation of county roads, preservation and redevelopment of county parks, enhancement of technology to improve government efficiency, and much more throughout the county and in our neighborhood.”
Nicolello said, “This year’s program is two-pronged and includes the Sewer and Storm Water Plan which will provide for vital upgrades and improvements to the county’s ailing sewer infrastructure, as well as the General Capital Plan which advance projects that will include enhancements to County facilities, rehabilitation of roadways and parks, drainage improvements and numerous other necessary maintenance projects.
(This letter was sent to County Executive Edward Mangano and the County Legislature.)
The League of Women Voters of Nassau County strongly objects to the August 1 scheduling of a Nassau County referendum on the proposal to permit the county to borrow up to an additional $400 million for a proposed “Nassau County Hub Area Development” construction project, which would include a new Nassau Coliseum and minor league ballpark. Our reasons include the following:
The cost of doing this as a special election, projected to be approximately $2 million, is not necessary and would come at a time when Nassau County is already experiencing serious financial difficulties. Though the cost would be picked up if the vote is “Yes,” if it is “No,” the voters would have to bear this unnecessary burden. This risk can easily be avoided by scheduling the vote on the same day and on the same ballots as those for the general election in the fall. Most bond issue votes have been done that way in the past.
The proposed coliseum project is critical to Nassau County’s economic revival. It will create jobs immediately: 1,500 construction jobs and more than 3,000 permanent jobs. It will help Nassau County get back on its feet economically by generating development in the area and injecting much needed cash into the County’s coffers.
With almost 3 million Long Islanders living above their water supply, the concern for groundwater contamination is real.
Flushing unwanted prescription drugs and medications was once the acceptable, and even recommended, method of disposal. However, in recent years, it has been found that this practice is dangerous to the environment. To ensure the safety of our environment and groundwater systems, the Long Island Water Conference wants to remind you not to flush unwanted or expired medications.
(This letter was sent to Senator Jack Martins and to this paper for publication.)
Yesterday evening, hundreds of residents of the Herricks and New Hyde Park area along with folks outside the area lined up at Park Circle in anticipation of the annual July 4th fireworks display.
Much to our dismay, all we saw were droves of Nassau County’s Finest cruising around and through the park making sure the festivities didn’t go off. When we asked why the heavy police presence and why the fireworks show would not be permitted, we were told that because one person wrote a letter complaining about the fireworks display last year there would be no further shows permitted.
It’s been quite busy throughout the village as the warm weather has settled in. Our village employees spent a productive two weeks preparing the Roger Fay Williston Park Pool for this year’s season. This group did an excellent job as the facility looks quite impressive. From water quality to landscaping, the group didn’t miss a beat.
As many of you know, we have been imploring Town of North Hempstead (TNH) Supervisor Kaiman to review the financial practices of the Town with regard to our special taxing district, New Hyde Park Park District (NHPPD). Unlike other park districts who are governed by independent commissioners, we are governed by TNH Board members. The problem essentially began with the TNH building a “recreation” center on NHPPD’s property - in 1989 NHPPD entered a land rental lease arrangement with the TNH, itself.
In an effort to provide schools with mandate relief, Senator Jack M. Martins introduced a bill in the Senate that would allow boards of education to reduce the number of seats provided for student transportation if the seats aren’t being used by students. The measure was passed by the Senate on Friday and is expected to save school districts millions of dollars.
“The School Bus Mandate Relief Act” (S.4434) was introduced by Senator Martins in response to a call by school districts for relief when it comes to state mandates. The bill allows the board of education of a school district to reduce the number of seats if there is a documented history of the actual number of riders in each of the preceding three years, showing a consistent pattern of eligible pupils not using the transportation provided by the district.
Astonishingly, Supervisor Kaiman admitted to taxpayers that he has no real “numbers” for purchasing, rehabilitating or operating the facility. Kaiman suggested that even if he had numbers, there’s no guarantee this town-owned and operated facility would be revenue neutral, and therefore, shortfalls would have to be passed on to ALL taxpayers in the Town of North Hempstead.
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