Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 28 September 2012 00:00
Mineola Chamber of Commerce President Bill Greene gave the opening speech, with founding member Lou Sanders introducing Strauss. He was elected trustee to the Mineola Village Board in 2010 and was elected mayor in March 2011. Strauss has lived in Mineola since 1964. He’s a graduate of the Mineola High School Class of 1981.
Strauss served for 20 years in the New York City Police Department. He retired as a detective in 2004. During his career, Strauss received numerous awards, including the NYPD’s Medal for Valor and the Medal of Honor, the NYPD’s highest award.
“It’s an honor to introduce Mayor Scott Strauss,” Sanders said. “The mayor and the village board are always finding ways to reduce the tax burden on the residents…as you know by now, he was a hero on 9/11.”
Strauss is a 29-year member of the volunteer fire department. He served as assistant chief, chief of department and as lieutenant and captain.
He was recognized twice as Company No. 2 “Firefighter of the Year” and received the Town of Hempstead’s “Firefighter of the Year” award in 2010. Before becoming a member of the fire department, Strauss was a junior firefighter.
“We have a great relationship with the village and I want to thank them for the great camaraderie and work-like ethics that we have together and being able to do a lot of great things,” Greene stated.
Strauss is an assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 45 of the Boy Scouts of America. He himself earned the rank of Eagle Scout, scouting’s highest award.
“The last 18 months as your mayor have gone by tremendously fast,” Strauss said. “To that point, I’m sure most of us can’t believe we’re already past the middle of September with the year 2013 rapidly approaching.”
The village recently refinanced about $1.1 million in serial bonds. Prior to the refinance, the average rate of interest on the obligations was 4.66 percent. That rate has been reduced to 2.46 percent. Mineola will save $1.3 million over the next 12 years.
“Last year, Mineola had its bond rating raised by Moody’s investors,” Strauss stated. “This year, it was reaffirmed. We have refinanced loans of prior administrations…this comes at a time when federal, state and county governments continue to face significant financial issues.”
Strauss noted that the village is on solid financial ground, but still faces health care costs increases and pension fund requirements in the coming fiscal year, as well as an unsettled employee contract.
“This administration will continue to make the tough, yet sound, financial decisions that are necessary to maintain the quality of life we have come not only to enjoy here in Mineola, but what we have come to expect from our local government.”
The mayor highlighted one of many ongoing projects in the village, including the development of a diabetes research center at Winthrop-University Hospital, the Winston Manor Residential Complex and the Bruce Terrace Flood Remediation Project. The .893-acre $60 million Winthrop facility was approved by Mineola in 2011. The Mineola American exclusively reported on Aug. 29 that the construction phase of the flood project would get underway, with an expected completion in Spring 2013.
“I ask you to consider this…what does it say about the state of our village in a time when other communities are struggling to revive their downtowns that organizations are investing hundreds of millions of dollars right here in Mineola,” said Strauss.