Residents Sal Cataldo and Bill Urianek have been attending Mineola Village Board meetings for nearly four decades, but last Wednesday’s may have been their last, at least while the new rules and procedures for the public meetings instituted by the village board are in place.
Last Wednesday, the first meeting with the new rules was held and was adjourned approximately 15 minutes after the public portion of the meeting started with no member of the public addressing the board. It had to be a first for Mineola.
While many municipal governments may be struggling to balance budgets and put forth fiscal plans that are sound, the Village of Mineola is in better shape than ever, says its Mayor, Jack M. Martins.
“The economic downturn that has played havoc with other layers of government — federal, state, county and other towns and villages — has largely left Mineola unscathed. Not through change, but because of basic, sound fiscal management,” Mayor Martins said in his annual state-of-the village address to the Mineola Chamber of Commerce. “At a time when every level of government is addressing looming and ever-increasing deficits due to the basic inability to just stop spending, Mineola has posted six consecutive balanced budgets.”
On Friday, Sept. 25, the members of the Mineola Fire Department assembled at headquarters to pay homage to their brother firefighter, Michael Marotta, who proudly serves as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. Corporal Marotta is a combat engineer, and will be serving as a squad leader in a Light Armored Reconnaissance Division when he deploys to Afghanistan this month. The firefighters came together along with firefighter Marotta’s parents and his brother Andrew, who is also a firefighter in Engine Company #1, to offer well wishes and thanks to Mike.
County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi held a meeting at Nassau Coliseum to present his plan for a “New Suburbia” in Nassau, proposing that strategic development of 10 percent of the county would help preserve in the other 90 percent, “all that is good about suburban life.” He addressed and then took questions from community leaders, government officials, civic groups and business interests, all of whom were called upon to join the “90/10 Coalition,” which will collectively address the four major problems in this county - property taxes, a lack of young people, traffic congestion and pockets of poverty. The group will help maintain things like single family homes, low crime, good schools, parks and open spaces, while also planning “mega projects” - like the redevelopment of Nassau Coliseum and the Glen Cove Waterfront, meant to create industry, jobs and sales tax - and “cool downtowns,” which would bring young people back into Nassau.
Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi said it wasn’t easy but he has managed to propose a $2.617 billion budget for the 2010 fiscal year that doesn’t increase property taxes for Nassau County taxpayers. However, his critics say a new tax in the form of an Energy Tax that was imposed earlier this year is unfairly burdening taxpayers who are already paying hefty taxes.
With this budget proposed less than two months before the November election that will pit Suozzi against Republican candidate, Legislator Ed Mangano, who currently represents the 17th Legislative District, the fiscal issues figure to be a key topic in the election, especially with many municipalities struggling with the consequences of a national recession.
The Village of Mineola has issued a request for proposals to develop property, known as Parking Field #5, which is currently being used as a parking lot. The lot is located on the east side of Third Avenue between First Street and Harrison Street.
Public Comments Back on TV, But…
Residents Bill Urianek and Sal Cataldo have been clamoring for public comments during Village of Mineola Board of Trustees meetings to be put back on cable access television after the village board yanked them after they felt certain comments made by some residents were inappropriate to be broadcast on TV. Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins decided that public comments would be broadcast again. However, the board adopted rules of procedure for meetings, including guidelines made for public comments during meetings.
The residents of Mineola passed a referendum last week that changes the qualifications for the Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) for the Mineola Fire Department.
LOSAP is a program that monetarily awards firefighters for their length of service to the community. The referendum passed overwhelmingly with over 80 percent voting in favor of it.
When Mineola High School parent Lisa Fazio Cotroneo took photos near the high school this year when school opened, she found much safer conditions for pedestrians than she had in years past.
It was Cotroneo’s photos of the dangerous conditions that existed for students attempting to cross Herricks Road that helped convince the county that a light was needed for students who walk to and from Mineola High School.
The start of a new school year can bring excitement as well as anxiety, but this school year, it is also bringing a concern over the possibility of students and staff contracting the H1N1 or “Swine Flu” virus.
At Thursday evening’s Mineola Board of Education meeting, the Swine Flu was one of the topics of discussion. Mineola Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Nagler said a letter would be going out to parents in the mail with information on ways to prevent the virus from spreading. Schools can be particularly susceptible because of the number of children in a given area within the school buildings and the potential for spreading germs.
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