The good news is that Long Island Republicans are coming back into control of the Senate and will have the ability to stop bad legislation, as well as having the leverage to force more State money (our fair share) to our schools, towns, and villages. We saw this when our school districts received record State school aid during the last five years.
Earlier this week, I voted against A.8501, the New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act. This bill, which was introduced less than two weeks prior to our voting on it, was rushed through the Assembly with little regard for public input or opinion. In all actuality, there was very little debate on a bill, which could have serious consequences for millions of New Yorkers, particularly on Long Island.
A.8501 was a revision of the statutory procedure for consolidation and dissolution of local government entities. In place of the current statutory structure, which contains various differing requirements throughout Town Law and Village Law, this bill would enact uniform procedures and requirements applicable to all local government entities. Additionally, the legislation also applies to a wide range of “local government entities,” including towns, villages, districts, special improvement districts or other improvement districts, library districts and other special districts created by law. Exempt under this bill were school districts, city districts and special purpose districts created by counties under the County Law.
“If people didn’t have to pay taxes to maintain public schools,” I recently advanced to a friend, in one of those mental exercises I’m apt to indulge, “then they’d have enough money to send their kids to a private school. There would then be a proliferation of private schools and the competition would drive down the costs of tuition. Supply and demand.”
My friend, a former member of the board of education in his community, was highly skeptical. He pointed out the skyrocketing costs of tuition in private academies. He cited one academy, used by a few Hollywood celebrities, in which kindergarten tuition is $32,000 a semester. I’m not, however, talking about where people who attend the Academy Awards matriculate their kids. There was a time when private schools were available to working class people. Back in the 1950s and 60s, for example, my father was a blue collar worker with an eighth grade education and a growing family (six kids by 1965). He raised his family in a working class Brooklyn neighborhood, saved up his money for a Levittown house, and sent four of his kids to St. Savior’s School.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of the people who helped me win a seat on the Levittown Board of Education.
This month the Levittown Dollars for Scholars organization will be giving out the scholarship awards to seven seniors at both MacArthur High School and Division Avenue high school at their awards ceremony.
(Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the Levittown School Board and is being printed at the author’s request.)
We were very dismayed to learn that the transportation proposition passed.
By the passage of the transportation proposition you lowered the tax on each homeowner by pennies while devaluing homes by hundreds of dollars, made the situation unsafe for the children, added to congestion around the schools and lowered the reputation of the Levittown Public School system.
The Town of Hempstead is pleased to announce its 12th Annual Calendar Photograph Contest. Each year the town produces a calendar, which is delivered to every resident.
What makes our calendar unique is that it includes photographs that are all taken by town residents. Friends and neighbors are asked to submit their own original photographs that depict a seasonal Town of Hempstead event, park, neighborhood or other inspiring subject matter. The pictures must be taken within our township.
Originally designated as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service to our great nation. There are varying stories in American lore of exactly how the holiday began. Over two dozen cities and towns around America claim to be the original birthplace of Memorial Day. There is even some evidence that the ritual of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers began with women’s groups of the Confederate south during the Civil War. New Yorkers will be proud to learn that the debate was settled in May of 1966 when then-President Lyndon Johnson declared the birthplace of Memorial Day as Waterloo, NY. Most historians agree that the holiday began in many separate places largely during the American Civil War when communities planned and organized dates to honor the fallen soldiers by decorating their graves.
I am proud to inform the residents of Levittown that through close coordination and cooperation with the Levittown Fire Department my office has been able to secure nearly $50,000 in grant funding to provide firefighters with four new thermal imaging cameras. The cameras allow our firefighters to detect different levels and sources of heat within a burning building, helping them to identify hotspots as well as victims who may be in need of assistance. These life-saving pieces of equipment will better prepare our brave volunteers to do their jobs more effectively and safely.
Christine Holt and Kim McDonough are running for the Island Trees school board and I hope that our community elects them. They are two women who have dedicated their lives to serving the best interests of our students. They have volunteered countless hours in the PTA and other committees and activities in the district. They do this without any personal agendas. They do it for the right reasons: Our students, schools and community.
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