Written by Joe Rizza Friday, 16 April 2010 00:00
Village of Mineola Trustees Paul Cusato and Paul Pereira took the oath of office to serve another two years on the board of trustees during last week’s annual organization night.
Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins spoke prior to the ceremony about the health of the village. The board adopted a budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year that includes no tax increase.
“It has truly been an incredible year,” said Mayor Martins. “I’m happy to report that the village is doing well. We’ve been able to weather these bad economic times and now stand as well as we ever have, certainly better than most [other forms of government], as we try and make our way through these times.”
Trustee Cusato was then sworn in for another term of office. It will be his fourth consecutive two-year term on the village board. He was sworn in by Bonnie Parente, the daughter of former Mineola Deputy Mayor Lou Santosus.
After taking the oath, Cusato thanked the residents for their support and said he looks forward to serving another term. “I’m honored and privileged to be serving in this capacity for this great and wonderful village with its great, wonderful and community-minded residents,” he said.
Cusato also referred to the fact that he is the lone Hometown Party member on the village board while the other members of the board are members of the New Line Party. “We’ve already clearly demonstrated that we have mutual respect for one another. But, at the same time, I have also demonstrated that I am an independent thinker who is not afraid to voice my opinion despite the criticism I may take nor am I afraid to vote in a way that I think would best benefit this village,” he said.
Pereira, who, like Cusato, is a graduate of Mineola High School, was sworn in for a second consecutive term by Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello.
In his acceptance speech, Trustee Pereira spoke about the great job the Village of Mineola Department of Public Works (DPW) did on snow removal this past winter when major snowstorms bombarded Long Island. Pereira said that the village DPW did its job because it was prepared and had the right equipment in the right hands. He used it as a metaphor for how the mayor, the village board, village employees, volunteers and taxpayers weathered the economic storm that has come from the national recession.
“In many ways, our village, our county, our state and, in fact, our nation, find themselves in their own economic winter. The difference is that, unlike the other levels of government, this administration and this board were prepared for this economic storm. We have been weathering this storm much better than the county, the state and the nation for that matter,” Pereira said. “While every other layer of government is facing budget deficits, tax increases and cuts to services and programs, the Village of Mineola, I’m proud to say, will again have a balanced budget, will likely not pass along a tax increase to its residents and will make no cuts to services and programs.”
Although village justice John O’Shea was not in attendance during organization night, he was also sworn in prior to the evening and acting village justice Richard O’Callahan was sworn in by Mayor Martins.