Wally is a friend of mine. He’s 90 years old and a World War II veteran. He’s also a gentleman who long ago stopped worrying about what people think. Don’t get me wrong. He’s as sharp as a tack. It’s just that he speaks his mind and doesn’t sweat the outcome. You could be mayor, senator, or President of the United States, you work for him and he prides himself on “giving it to you straight.” I guess that’s a fringe benefit of a long life. It’s also why I have always valued his opinion.
I appreciate the strong desire on the part of the town and many of its community members to “acquire” and “preserve” the park portion of the Roslyn Country Club. However, I wish the town’s desire to preserve and improve upon the parks and land it currently owns was just as strong. Granted, Manorhaven and Tully just underwent major renovation, but those are just two of the many parks that the town owns. What about North Hempstead Beach Park? It is one of the largest of the town’s parks, it (like the Roslyn Country Club) has the potential to generate significant revenue, but it is in woeful disrepair.
Seven thousand people came to the Mineola Chamber of Commerce Street Fair between the opening at 11:30 a.m. and the closing at 6 p.m. The village co-sponsored the event and Mayor Scott Strauss was there with his son Bryan. We also met Robert and Olga Bauer, Trustee Bob Durham, Tyler Wolf, Bob and Catherine Mondello, Edith Henrichs, Sandy Pusey, Dr. Gary Levine, Peggy and Paul May and their son Tim, Lynn Drake, Max Gold, Joe and Anne Tartaglia, Ed and Mary Hilbert, Roy Gold, Jack Fernandes, Bill Gresalfi, Tony Lubrano and Mom, Pat and John Carroll, Margaret Frankola, Donna, Sean and Ryan Burke, Ed and Ann Pale, Jane Centrella, Frank Cadus, Donna and Robin Smith, Scotty Meliere, Tom Jacoberger, Larry Blessinger, Nancy Becker, Gary Katz, Dara and Jon Perlow, Linda Doerrbecker, Malissa Valderama, Lorraine and Jennifer Ciesinski, Julian Mikowski, Richard Vieira, Toby and Jack Flax, Chester and Doris Lubowiecki, John Taveras, Ann and Chris Ganon, Corine Portillo, Joy and Marty Wyler, Diane and Erin Buckley, Pat Carfagno, Michelle Lombardo, Pedro and Graciela Quintanilla, Mikayla Katz, Julio Lazo, Fay Fez, Glenn Stewart, Giacomo Ciccone, Marta De Sousa, Tricia De Rosa, Richard and Sandy Holecek, Tony Donnelly, Lisa Lao, Michael Vezza, Jonathan Baker, Mary Ann and Frank Iaquinto, Michael and Margaret Spalding and Joe and Eileen Watts.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mineola Fire Department (MFD) family for their participation in Walk for Walter Cure for Pancreatic Cancer Walk on Oct. 9. My family and I are truly grateful and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for honoring Walter in this way.
For nearly two weeks, the Mineola community gave generously to The Golden Rule Project, a school supply drive to benefit flood victims in the southern tier of New York State. The project culminated on Friday, Sept. 23 with our Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Michael Nagler, behind the wheel of a jam-packed box truck as we drove north to deliver the donations.
I say I have an “enthusiasm for efficiency.” My wife says I just love saving money. Either way, this desire to find savings in government spending can sometimes be stifling.
That’s because, as we work to improve policies that may be harmful or burdensome to our taxpayers and constituents, we often encounter entrenched interests determined to make it difficult every step of the way. Yet, every once in a while, common sense makes a comeback and those moments are what make my service to you very satisfying.
Mayor Scott Strauss began his career with the NYPD, retiring after 20 years with the rank of detective. During his time on the force he was awarded the Medal of Valor and the Medal of Honor - the latter being the highest award of the Police Department. He is currently the director of security for the North Shore LIJ health system with its 15 hospitals. Scott is a 30-year member of the Mineola Fire Department and has been twice named Fireman of the Year. His heroic effort saved lives on 9-11.
Government efficiency – for most of us those two words don’t go together. We usually hear about government’s inefficiency. For example, there was the spring report that revealed New York State has an incredible 1,719 vendors that all provide it with pens, paper and paper clips. Or just this past week we heard about Solyndra, the solar panel company that took $535 million in federally guaranteed loans and then went belly-up. (There will be investigations and noise on Capitol Hill but the money will never be recouped.) Whatever the case, it’s enough to infuriate taxpayers and shake their faith in government but it is also what motivated me to enter public service.
I want to thank you for the feedback I received on last week’s column in which I shared some thoughts about the tenth anniversary of September 11th. Many of you were as astonished as I was to learn that the events of day are not part of our state’s education curriculum, consequently leaving our young people asking questions that no one answers. We tell them to “Never forget,” but don’t bother explaining what it is we’re asking them to remember.
Nassau County is heading closer and closer to its demise. Following a national Republican trend, the administration is targeting government workers and their unions as the main reason for the county’s financial collapse. It implies our county is being destroyed by overgenerous labor agreements, and if those aren’t amended, massive layoffs will occur.
But a lack of transparency on the county’s part clearly exists. The administration complains that Nassau has the second highest taxes in the nation, yet if the county got rid of all 6,000 of its Civil Service Employees Association workers, Nassau would still hold that regrettable status. In fact, in a $10,000 property tax bill, only $300 is for the services provided by CSEA members.
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