Greetings to the residents of the Town of North Hempstead. I am so pleased to be able to write to you for the first time as your Town Supervisor. On Jan. 1, I was proud to be sworn in as the 37th Supervisor in the history of our great Town. What a significant moment it was to be given my official oath of office that day by former Supervisor Jon Kaiman right in front of May Newburger Cove in Port Washington. Just four days later, New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli administered my public oath of office in front of so many close friends and family at Clinton G. Martin Park. For me, that was such a poignant moment which those of you who are familiar with the history of the town could certainly understand.
I guess I rained on the parade and I have to admit, it felt pretty good.
I’m talking about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ill-conceived plan to raise taxes to purportedly pay for universal pre-k in New York City public schools. On its surface, it’s a noble idea and one that would eventually bridge gaps of inequality for future New
Yorkers. Honestly, who wouldn’t be in favor of improving the education system? I guess that’s why the mayor made it one of his core campaign promises even though he knew full well that enacting it was totally out of his control. What he continuously failed to point out is that responsibility for making such an aggressive plan actually work falls squarely on the shoulders of state legislators and Governor Cuomo in Albany. And it’s no secret that together, we’ve spent the last four years fervently trying to lower taxes—not raise them.
Newsday had an excellent article last week about the problems facing private colleges here on Long Island. Except, of course, for one glaring omission: What is the genesis of this situation?
Is it possible that higher education is in the same boat as most school districts on Long Island? Are the incredible bloated salaries, health care benefits, and pensions of the administrators and most personnel the reason?
Confidence and trust in government appears to continue to erode because of political infighting, and the perception of waste, fraud, and limited transparency. This is why my office has taken small yet significant steps to attempt to restore some trust through transparency.
Our latest step came last week when we made available to the public on the Comptroller’s Facebook page all 2013 Nassau County contracts with vendors as well as all the bills paid by the County. In keeping with my office’s prudent standards of controlling costs and promoting innovation, we used the latest social media tools to make this information available to the greatest number of residents by using Facebook, Twitter and Google Docs. Not a single taxpayer dollar has been spent for this important public service.
I have had the great privilege of serving the past 11 years as a trustee of the Village of East Hills, the beautiful community in which I grew up and where my wife and I are now raising our own family.
So it is with some sadness, but also great anticipation, that I say goodbye to the village government of East Hills and especially my mentor, Mayor Michael Koblenz, as I assume the responsibilities of North Hempstead Town Councilperson for District 2.
Thank you for everyone’s patience on Tuesday, Jan. 21. On their way home, many of our buses arrived late at their stops, due to the unexpected early arrival of the snow. Some of our elementary buses arrived at their stops particularly late.
We are working on enhancing our school messenger calling system so that we will be able not only to contact families by individual building and district, but also by bus number. In such a case we would be able to alert families on specific buses that may be running very late, etc.
Please know that we make our website the source of information for all emergency alerts and information. For example, we did post the two buses running particularly late on our website, but I am not sure everyone would have known to look there. We will keep our website continually updated with timely and emergency alert type messages. It will be a central place for everyone to be provided with information. I know that phone lines can sometimes become busy and you might not always be able to get through immediately to the building or district office with your question or concern, so checking the website may be helpful.
When I was a kid growing up in Queens I was a big fan of four letter words. I employed them so often that I felt like a connoisseur of the dark art of bad words. And a Catholic school kid to boot .
It of course had its drawbacks. For example, when my mother would overhear a conversation that was peppered with the aforementioned words, that was a problem. I can remember doing time in my room on numerous occasions and in one instance having my mouth washed out with soap. The good old days.
But as time has gone by I have come to the conclusion that those other very versatile words should take a back seat to the one four letter word that can impact your life more than all the other three combined. And that word is debt. Especially when it is attached to our kids or ourselves as college debt.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, a graduate of Adelphi, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace, a graduate of Adelphi University, have lived in Mineola for 59 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
Carolyn McCarthy’s announcement that she will not run again is understandable as she fights lung cancer. She has served faithfully for 16 years in Congress. She has been a friend of our family for many years and was good enough to call me about her decision. At my request, she got Congress to pass a resolution honoring America’s nuns. Carolyn has remained in her same home in our middle class village rather than move to some richer area. We can only thank her and wish her success in her battle. Carolyn told me that she seems to be winning.
No doubt you’ve seen the full page ads that Target recently placed in major newspapers around the nation. The massive retailer was apologizing to the 110 million customers who likely had their credit information stolen in one of the largest security breaches in retail history. If you shopped at Target before Christmas (unnamed members of my family practically lived there) then you may have been affected. By Target’s own admission, the hackers may have stolen credit and debit information from 40 million shoppers and personal data from another 70 million. Under pressure from the U.S. Attorney General’s office, they’re even offering a year of free credit monitoring to all of their customers in the hopes of mitigating the situation. Yet none of that, however well-intentioned, will fix the damage now.
You can read the latest communication from the Commissioner of Education John B. King, Jr. by clicking on the following link http://usny.nysed.gov/docs/reflections-on-the-core.pdf . With respect to state testing, Commissioner King informs us that the state education department has reduced the number of questions and testing time on the federally required assessments for grades 3-8. In subsequent news, the SED has received the waiver requested from the federal government so that eighth graders taking ninth grade algebra and the algebra Regents exam will no longer be required to take the eighth grade New York State math test.
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