The members of the Nassau County Legislature can all agree on what Section 113 and Section 114 of the county charter mean; however, as residents at the first hearing on the 2011 county redistricting proposal (put forth by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt and the Republicans who currently control the legislature) learned very quickly, Section 112 is a very different beast. Much of the discussion at the Monday, May 2 hearing involved questions of interpretation of the county charter- or, if it was a question of interpretation at all.
Sections 113 and 114 require a redistricting commission to be established one year and eight months prior to the 2013 election, with the final plan to be adopted in 2013. Section112, which deals with the subject of redistricting according to census data, is the justification for the Republicans’ controversial plan to redraw the district lines this year, subject to revision in 2013. While Democrats have criticized the plan as a transparent power-grab by Schmitt and his party, County Attorney John Ciampoli stated that the presence of Section 112 makes the redistricting immediately necessary for legal reasons.
Calling the May 9 redistricting hearing “contentious” would be a gross understatement. While many of the residents and elected officials who took the podium criticized the plan logically and eloquently, there was a lot of screaming and yelling in the chamber. While the audience in the chamber was diverse in every respect, many members of the minority groups whose current alleged under-representation the redistricting plan is supposedly intended to correct, were present to tell Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt-in no uncertain terms-that he does not speak for them.
Minority Leader Diane Yatauro also did not mince words: “This hearing is nothing but a farce...I can tell you how most of this self-serving ‘Republican Protection Plan’ will play out today, over the next week. Here’s what will happen: We know that Peter Schmitt will claim to be the great protector of the minority community…” (the rest of this sentence was inaudible due to audience laughter). “Just as they were spending millions of dollars to defend the NIFA fight, but to no avail, as the Republicans were shot down in court, we’re expecting the same action. And that’s where this will end up again- in court,” Yatauro said.
On Tuesday, May 17 the Island Trees School District will hold its budget vote and elections from noon to 9 p.m. at Michael F. Stokes School at 101 Owl Place in Levittown. A “Meet the Candidates” event is planned for Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. in the Island Trees High School Auditorium and the final public budget presentation will be made at the Town Hall meeting planned for Tuesday, May 10 in the Administration building.
The Division Avenue High School Cafeteria renovation project that has been delayed for months might soon have a resolution.
Board of Education President Michael Pappas announced at the Wednesday, April 13 Budget Planning Session that the board will hire an architect on Tuesday, May 10 to begin the initial phases of the undertaking. Initial blueprints are slated to be submitted for state approval on Wednesday, June 8, but there is yet to be a timetable for the estimated project completion date.
There’s a new garden in town. If you’re in the vicinity of the East Village Green, check out the southwest corner of the park near the Jerusalem Avenue pool. The Levittown Community installed the garden as a community service and part of its 5th Annual Earth Day event. The beautification included clean up and replacement of dead bushes with grasses near the pool entrance
Due to the daunting fiscal situation faced by our nation, many Americans are looking to new and creative ways to generate income.
On Saturday, April 23, Levittown hosted “Welcome to a Future Suburbia: Open House 2011.”
Inspired by the service-oriented mentality of New York, the movement is one in which suburban homeowners supplement their income and develop a new vocation by offering homemade services and facilities to the public.
“Boots on the Ground.” That’s what stood out when anyone read Paul Wigdzinski’s email announcing he was coming home on break. For most alumni it would be an odd way to say you are on break from college and coming home to visit. However, Wigdzinski is not your ordinary alumni.
As a captain and All County member of the Island Trees Lacrosse team, Wigdzinski had many choices where to continue his lacrosse career. He decided to accept an invitation to play at the United States Military Academy at West Point. After playing lacrosse for five years and spending countless hours in class and training over the summers, 1st Lt Paul Wigdzinski graduated from West Point in 2008.
The 40’x 60’ Patriot Flag, the dream of San Diego firefighter Mitch Mendler to promote his “World Memorial” proudly flew this past Saturday, April 2 opposite Wantagh Fire Department Station 1 on Park Avenue.
The flag visited the area thanks to the efforts of Wantagh Commissioner Craig Craft who had met Mendler previously and felt that it would be appropriate to honor the five New York firefighters (Levittown Chief of Department Ron Kerwin, Merrick Ex-Chief Ronnie Gies, Bellmore Lieutenant Kevin Prior, Bellmore Firefighter Adam Rand, and Wantagh Firefighter Lee Fehling,) who perished on September 11.
On Saturday, April 23, busloads of visitors are expected to descend upon Levittown for the unveiling of nine style renovations of local homes.
“Open House by Droog” led by Diller Scofidio + Renfro is a movement to encourage suburban homeowners to transform a portion of their homes to reflect their career or a service that could be offered to the community. The art installation will essentially teach homeowners how to extend their own services to supplement their income and develop a new vocation by offering services at home to the public.
The Levittown Board of Education originally planned to adopt the 2011-12 school district budget on Wednesday, April 6, but instead used the date as a planning session to review further additional expenditure reductions.
After several months of heavy deliberations, the board is now prepared to adopt the finalized version of the budget on Wednesday, April 13 or the following week. Since the event was a planning session and not a hearing, no portion of the meeting was set aside for public comments.
The board was projecting $4.3 million in expenditure reductions as recently as March 18, but found that an additional $8.5 million could be saved. A total of $12.8 million in cuts are expected to be phased in over the next five years, which prevents what would have been double-digit tax increases.
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