Written by Williston Park Mayor Paul Ehrbar Friday, 25 March 2011 00:00
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 Village has not received word on the outstanding Johnson grant totaling $100,000. I remain in contact with State Senator Martins on this issue and know he is working hard to help secure these promised funds. While the matter is pending I remain optimistic that Senator Martins will be successful in this endeavor. If his efforts do not produce the desired results, it won’t be from a lack of effort on his part.
As the weather slowly begins to warm, the Beautification Committee is getting ready to resume its beautification activities. I’d like to thank all those who have donated to this worthwhile cause. Once the group establishes this year’s schedule I will pass along the information for current members and for those who would like to join the group. For the record, once begun, the committee meets , for the most part, every other Sunday at 8 a.m. The group is normally finished by 9 a.m. A lot is accomplished in a short time each time out, due to the leadership and direction of former Trustee Gene McCarthy. Although there is work involved each session, it’s an enjoyable hour spent with neighbors and friends. Anyone who is interested in joining the group, please Call Colleen Carboine at 746-2193 or Doreen Ehrbar @ 747-8219
Over the past few weeks I have been approached by residents asking about the renting of Cross Street school to a private school. The concern of most, has been the potential of increased traffic in the areas immediately surrounding the facility. I’ve spoken to and met with various Mineola School District Officials since an announcement was made regarding the school rental. A continuation of discussions is expected. I also plan on discussing this situation at our next Village board meeting scheduled for March 21. Mineola school officials will be invited to be present so as to answer questions from Williston Park residents regarding this matter.
My current term as a Herricks School Board Member expires on June 30, 2011. To continue in this role would require me to run in the upcoming election. Over the past year, in my position as Mayor of Williston Park, I have faced a number of scheduling conflicts, mostly with my Board liaison responsibilities. In light of this fact, I’ve decided not to seek another term with the Herricks School Board. I have enjoyed working in this challenging position but feel the best interests of Herricks can be better served by my moving on.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported me during my second “ tour of duty”. Many decisions made over the past two years were difficult but well thought out and discussed at length with my fellow board members. While many may not have agreed with all decisions made, I can attest to the fact that your Board of Education made decisions that we believed were the best for the district. I believe that the district is fortunate to have the remaining dedicated members willing to serve. All four have much to offer to the district and they will continue to provide excellent direction to the Herricks School District. I wish to acknowledge the Herricks staff, from our administrators to our part-time employees and all those in between. Throughout my term I have worked with numerous members of our staff and found them to be a dedicated group of individuals. Although interaction with the student body has been limited, I remain thoroughly impressed with their achievements, on all levels. I will miss our senior groups but will stop by to say hello, when able to do so.
My family and I have been involved in the Herricks School District, in various capacities since 1977. While I will end my career as School Board member, I will continue to remain involved in the Herricks community. Once again thank you to all for your support and for giving me the opportunity to serve.