How great it is for the Herricks School District to have our friend Jim Gounaris decide to run for the Herricks School Board. We have known Jim for 25 years. In all that time he has proven to be one of the most unselfish and caring individuals we have ever met.
We have enormous respect for the job Herricks teachers do on behalf of the children of this community. We also respect the fact that the teachers have an existing contract which they are under no obligation to re-open. We had, however, hoped that they would be willing to do so given the serious economic challenges facing the community and the school district.
The Herricks Teachers’ Association and representatives for the Board of Education met on March 15 and March 17. We are pleased to have reached agreements for three of the five HTA contracts. Unfortunately, we were not able to agree on terms for the Teacher and Teaching Assistant contracts.
We are all aware of the fiscal problems facing Nassau County and NIFA’s intervention in the county’s finances, our County Executive Mangano is fighting to find alternative ways to save a lot of money and make NIFA happy. Right now, there are many key issues on the table that will in all probability, negatively affect many of us in New Hyde Park/Garden City Park/Herricks areas and we must all be ready to step up and make our voices heard loud and clear.
The one issue that we can have no debate on is the closing of our Police Precincts and the second issue is the removal of our POP Officers.
(The following letter was sent to the members of the Herricks School Board and printed here at the request of the writer.)
I received an email yesterday concerning the possible ending of the Language Immersion Program. I felt compelled to contact all of you and tell you why I believe the Immersion Program should be kept intact.
Over the past few weeks I have been involved with budget issues on almost daily basis. While I’ve faced a number of challenges over the course of the first year of my term, the most difficult, to date, is the formulation of the annual village budget. This is a daunting task. However, the village staff, most notably Village Clerk, Julie Kain and the Village Board have been working diligently over the past few months on this year’s budget. The process actually began this past November and the Board has been working on various aspects of the budget since that time. A number of financial factors, of which the board has little or no control over, makes it an extremely difficult task to hold the line on taxes. While keeping in mind future capital needs, the Board, as a whole, is committed to reviewing every aspect of the budget in great detail.
The New York State Senate passed legislation, sponsored by Senator George Maziarz to create a new, permanent program called “Recharge NY,” that would provide low-cost power to help businesses create and retain jobs.
“This bill is another step toward spurring economic growth. The key to revitalizing our economy is to create jobs. This is a business-friendly measure that will have a positive effect on all of our stakeholders. I applaud Senator Maziarz and the Governor for their leadership on it,” said Senator Jack M. Martins, who supported the bill.
Six months ago we heard that the New York State Budget Department was quietly trying to re-write the State Aid formula for certain special education expenses in order to shift certain costs from the State budget to local districts. This was apparently being done without the knowledge of State legislators.
When Governor Cuomo announced his budget proposal, including proposed State Aid to school districts, he did not mention any proposed changes in the funding of certain special education programs. Accordingly, Newsday and every other paper in New York only ran charts showing proposed cuts in State Aid. That was over a month ago.
It is important to remind all of our residents that the Williston Park Village elections are once again upon us, and, as American citizens, we have the privilege of voting for the candidate of our choice.
Last year Mayor Paul Ehrbar appointed Barbara Alagna to fill the trustee seat vacated when trustee Swenson-Dowd was appointed Associate Justice.
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