Written by Ronald Scaglia Friday, 30 November 2012 00:00
If you want to keep up with Massapequa Village news, you soon may be able to if you have a Twitter account. At the public work session, prior to the board meeting on Nov. 19, the mayor and the trustees discussed ways of staying in touch with residents in the event of another disaster such as Hurricane Sandy. Mayor James Altadonna suggested that the village have a Twitter account.
During the aftermath of the recent storm, many were left without power and therefore did not have access to their landline phones or the Internet. For many, their only link to get needed information was through smart phones. However, because of the power outages, which also affected cell towers, many only experienced intermittent cellular service, making it difficult to get information before cell service would cut out. Altadonna proposed a Twitter account as a possible solution. He explained that a “tweet,” which is limited to 140 characters, would serve the purpose of getting out a message in a short amount of time which followers could then pick up when their cell service is working.
“I think tweets are better because it goes directly to their phones so we can get the word out,” said Altadonna when the board completed possible means of communication during a crisis.
Deputy Mayor Jeff Pravato also suggested that the village officials make use of walkie talkies to stay in communication with each other during another crisis. During the storm and the days following it, while board members were out in the community trying to assist, they found it difficult to stay in contact with one another because of the disruption in cell service. Pravato suggested radio communication to avoid this issue in the future.
In other news, the board congratulated the 2012 Juniors Williamsport Tournament Team who won both the District 31 Championship and the Section 6 Championship. Altadonna praised the players, but, as he always does when congratulating youth athletic teams, also specifically thanked the players and coaches for their sacrifices. The mayor remarked that parents and coaches often have to give up a significant amount of time as well as money so that the kids may compete in their favorite sport and pursue their dreams.
Former board trustee and current Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Joe Pinto is a coach of the championship team. He also addressed the players and the village board.
“We’d like to thank Mayor Altadonna and entire village board for acknowledging their accomplishment,” said Pinto. “This was the first time we have won a championship in this division since 1997. It was a great run. They showed great fight in them. We heave a great group of guys. Little League programs in this area are strong.”
The board also awarded the village’s taxi franchise to Checker Cab Company for another year. Checker Cab was first awarded the franchise in 2010. It was the only company to apply for it this year.
The board also listened to a resident who lodged a complaint about an alleged illegal apartment in the house next to him. According to the resident, his neighbor has been doing construction and bringing appliances into the home and a real estate agent has listed the apartment on Trulia. Village Administrator Peggy Caltabiano confirmed that she has contacted that real estate agent. Altadonna responded by instructing Caltabiano to issue a summons to the agent.
“People work very hard to live here and abide by the rules,” said Altadonna. “There’s a few who don’t and think they can get away with it. I appreciate your bringing it to our attention. We are aware of it and we will work on it.”
The mayor also confirmed that the village is working to replace two dump trucks that were ruined during the storm. The estimated cost to replace the trucks is $90,000.