Kudos to last week’s letter written by Jim Lowe. Mr. Lowe expressed the outrage and anger of many parents and students with the canceling of the late bus in the Sewanhaka school district.
I was quite frankly shocked and annoyed as I read the Sewanhaka Central High School Budget as presented for 2009-2010. I had heard from several concerned parties that this budget called for the elimination of the “late bus program” The late bus program allows many children that participate in after school activities to do so by providing a safe and secure way to return home from school. As a point of reference, the district has in the past provided this service to all children in the district regardless of whether they attend public or private school up to a certain distance. Of course this service is not free for those that attend private schools. It is paid by the tax dollars that are collected each and every year. Those families that send their children to private school outside the district have been able to take some consolation from the fact that while they are required to pay taxes that support a public school system they do not use, they at least enjoyed bus service to and from their school.
Unemployment is still rising. Businesses continue to fail. Municipal governments require assistance to avoid further slashing of vital social programs. Nassau County needs help from Albany to avoid layoffs and the closing of many of our offices, parks and facilities.
Our problems continue to mount. To make matters worse, now the New York State Senate has become embroiled in a power struggle in Albany.
Our Gazebo concerts have been very generously supported by local businesses. I thank them for their donations. Our concert last week was again held in Village Hall due to the weather. Gene Benedetto entertained with a few tunes and then decided to reschedule for a hopefully sunny evening. The dates will be announced. Thank you to PETER ANDREWS for sponsoring this concert and for handing out beautiful frames for all guests. Please remember to patronize our local businesses.
A recent article in The Wall Street Journal addressed the shortcomings of many business plans. One major shortcoming, a shortcoming more prevalent among companies with a new technology, is a plan based on the assumption that what that company has is the best in the business and that that fact is sufficient to overcome all challenges. The author of the article said that one should avoid companies with such plans because (1) they probably did not have “world beaten” technology and (b) anyone who assumed that that alone was a plan had not come to grips with the challenges of the market place.
We don’t know when the district actually began operating its own school. There was a school by 1842 (there is a reference to it in a state report), and maps from the 1850s show a schoolhouse in the location of the former Administration Building. But the early years are murky, and it’s not easy to pick a specific moment when the Herricks schools were definitively created.
Soon after they showed up here in the middle of the 17th century, Europeans established schools that lightly dotted the countryside. The Dutch had encouraged publicly-funded schools, and liquor taxes were used to pay a schoolmaster at Hempstead as early as 1658. After the English booted the Dutch out once and for all, most local schools were sponsored by churches, or by interested families willing to pay a subscription fee. However, there was no formal public school system as we know it until many years after the Revolution.
The results of the 2009 statewide results are in. Based on combined mean ELA and Math scores the top 10 districts in New York were as follows:
Harry S. Truman once said, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”
It sounds like the mantra adopted by some of our state legislators who quickly jumped on the consolidation bandwagon by introducing insignificant legislation merely to placate special interest groups and garner media attention.
In the world of Albany politics, that produces record spending, unfunded mandates, and massive tax and fee increases year after year, a state senator or assembly member can dance on the head of a legislative pin to enable themselves to talk out of both sides of their mouths as they run away from their constitutional duties and responsibilities.
For instance, a state legislator sitting on a committee can vote “yes” or “no” or “without recommendation” in moving a bill forward from a committee to the floor of the Senate or Assembly. As we all know, the word “yes” means yes and the word “no” means no. These kinds of words with absolute meaning do not play well in Albany. Therefore, Albany insiders have created a third way of voting called “without recommendation.”
I am writing concerning a very troubling issue. It is the attempt by the New York State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, to push the State Assembly and Senate into adopting a law which is intended to and will make it easier to dissolve a village such as ours.
Mr. Cuomo has introduced what he calls “landmark legislation” entitled the “New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act.” This law is purely and simply an attempt to eliminate villages, fire districts and other local forms of government and to establish Big Government in New York State.
Our village form of government was created in order to provide the most responsive and economic method of administering public affairs for our residents. It is based upon the principle of subsidiarity, which stands for the proposition that governmental decisions are best made by those people closest to the issues and closest to the people affected by them. That is the very model for state government. As we move from village to town to county to state we realize that government becomes more and more unresponsive to our local needs.
We all recently experienced the benefit of the village form of government when New York State and the MTA tried to cram a third track on the LIRR down our throats. What derailed that project? Villages. The villages along the main line protected the quality of life of our citizens when Big Government wanted to have its way in spite of local concerns. The village form of government works.
We have read about some special districts where, unfortunately, financial and other abuses took place. But the checks and balances and auditing contained in the village form of government protect us against those abuses. They don’t exist in villages. So why are villages targeted for elimination?
Villages control local zoning regulations in order to protect, promote and preserve the quality of life for their residents. But these regulations sometimes prevent massive, Big-government sponsored projects from being plunked down in communities. The Big-government agenda – expanded mass transit at any price, mandatory affordable housing, monopolies on solid waste disposal (and the consequent higher costs), sprawling developments – will be advanced in our communities unless our village form of government is there to protect us.
So that’s one of the reasons for getting rid of villages. They are an annoyance to Big Government.
The other reason is money. Since villages collect and manage their own taxes, these monies do not fall into the hands of Big Government which wants to control these funds. The people in Big Government think that they can better spend and watch over your tax dollars than can the neighbors you elect at the local level to do that job. They can’t. Just look what they’ve done to our state, county and nation.
I am calling upon all residents of New Hyde Park to join with the Village Trustees and me in opposing Mr. Cuomo’s proposal. Please contact our State Senator and our State Assemblyman and tell them to promise to vote NO when the Cuomo proposal comes before them. We need a commitment from them. They can be reached as follows:Senator Craig M. Johnson
Let us together commit to fight Mr. Cuomo’s attack upon the village form of government. Let us together pledge to do everything within our power to keep New Hyde Park the wonderful community which we have all built.
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