Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano is proposing to consolidate administrative functions of the Sixth and the Second Police Precincts and move the Sixth Precinct headquarters to the Second Precinct location in Woodbury. The county executive says that the plan would save over $20 million and would not diminish police service. However, many local public officials are firm in their view that residents would suffer. Additionally, there is still the question as to whether or not Mr. Mangano can order this consolidation without approval of the Nassau County Legislature.
In a lengthy conversation with Anton Community Newspapers, Mr. Mangano said that he is working to decrease the county’s $286 million deficit. So far, he said he has reduced this deficit by $39 million, but “more needs to be done … it’s time to fix structural problems … and we can save by consolidating management and duplicities.” The goal is to “maintain services and reduce costs.”
A full-time job that is “billed” as a part-time position, the Assembly work, both up in Albany and here in her home district, keep the assemblywoman busy 24/7. Most important, she emphasized, is reaching out to her constituents. Two staff members are available at her district office in Great Neck. “Their job is to be sure they are accessible and available to constituents,” Schimel said. “People need a lot in these times, with canceled flood insurance, people needing jobs … we get calls on anything related to government.” And they are there to help.
It became official last week that the MTA plans to cut its funding to Long Island Bus, a move that will effectively eliminate all bus service to over 100,000 Nassau County residents who rely on it daily. A war of words between Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano and the MTA has now escalated to a legal battle, with the county filing suit over the controversial MTA employer payroll tax.
“I will not stand by and allow the MTA to eliminate service to the people of Nassau County,” announced Mangano. “This is the first of many steps we will take to fight the MTA on behalf of the 30 million riders who rely on bus service to get to their jobs, visit their doctors and live their lives.”
On July 26, a special session of the Nassau County Legislature was held to vote on the one dollar per hour salary raise promised to home health care workers employed by agencies that have contracts with the county, as per Nassau’s Living Wage Law. After debating a bill to put off the raise, legislators voted to leave the increase intact as scheduled for August.
In 2006, the Living Wage Law was unanimously passed by the Legislature. The law provided for a phased-in salary increase from $9.50 per hour to $12.50. The last one dollar increment had been scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 1, however, there has been much opposition from health care employers, who claim that the increase in cost will be unmanageable for them, and will result in layoffs.
The roughly 102,000 Nassau County residents who rely on the bus daily to get where they need to be may have a serious problem if the MTA goes ahead with a proposal to eliminate the $40 million it has been funding annually to keep Long Island Bus’s service going. As the transit authority struggles to fix its own huge deficit, it has ended up at odds with Nassau County, threatening cuts for which there would be no easy solution. The county is either facing the elimination of all service or has to explore a solution such as the privatization of the system.
The Nassau County Department of Health reported the first confirmed case of West Nile virus in a Nassau County resident this year. The individual is a 66-year-old woman who lives in New Hyde Park. She became ill on July 5 with symptoms including headache, weakness, fever and blurry vision and is now resting at home, the Department of Health said. This is the first human case of West Nile virus in Nassau County and in New York State in 2010.
The Department of Health announced last week that mosquitoes from seven different locations in Nassau County tested positive for West Nile virus.
The first of the samples of Culex pipiens-restuans mosquitoes was collected from a Bethpage location on June 30, testing positive for the virus.
Number 17 on the agenda at the Town of North Hempstead board meeting on July 13 was a resolution authorizing the appointment of a commissioner to the Manhasset Park District. Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Maria-Christina Poons accepted applications from residents for the open position, made available following the retirement of former Commissioner Patricia J. Roberts.
Kaiman explained that the Town of North Hempstead fills positions in special districts—does not rely on the district itself to do it. Thus the town opened the position to the entire community, and received five applications.
At a legislative hearing Monday, two sides passionately presented arguments for and against $1 pay raises that are scheduled for Aug. 1 for home health care workers employed by the 35 agencies that have contracts with Nassau County through the Department of Social Services. The money paying the contracts actually comes from New York State funds, but the health care agencies said many difficulties also coming from the state are making it hard for them to function. The August pay increase would therefore cause layoffs and a shortage of home health care in the county, they argued.
There were threatening gusts of wind just before curtain time last Monday, July 12, at the gazebo on the Mary Jane Davies Green. But the crowd paid little attention as they arranged themselves on lawn chairs, benches and blankets to enjoy the 20-piece authentic swing band with artistic director Steve Shaiman. Mary Mahaffey, program coordinator for the Town of North Hempstead, commented, “The 2010 season promises to be the best ever and I hope everyone comes out and enjoys it.” Earlier, Mahaffey explained local talent is excellent, that the town is privileged to select from exceptional Long Island-based musicians.
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