Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man. This was the topic of the homily of Msgr. Robert Coyle, pastor of Corpus Christi Church, in which he mentioned that song, “I was Blind, but Now I See.” English slave trader John Newton heard that message. For years his ships would anchor off the west coast of Africa buying slaves and selling them to the plantations of the American South. Newton was so moved by the words of Christ that he gave up the slave trade and led the fight to abolish this terrible traffic. He later became an Anglican priest of the Church of England. The British government outlawed the slave trade in 1808.
We are writing this letter on behalf of PEACE – People for Excellence, Affordability, and Commitment to Education. PEACE is comprised of a number of community members from throughout the Mineola School District.
Times are indeed changing in Albany and for the better. Not only do we have an on-time budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, but we went through the process with both sides of the aisle working together and the budget passed with overwhelming support in the legislature. Most importantly, we passed a fiscally responsible budget that closed a $10 billion deficit without raising any taxes or fees.
Sun and fun await you June 18 as our beautiful pool opens. All 25 lifeguards are in place. The other 18 staff positions have been filled for the gate personnel, the maintenance group and the locker room people and for the women’s and men’s quarters. Nine people are now taking the SWI course (water safety instruction). The diving board is fine and the slide is ready to go. The problem with the overheated pumps is still being worked on. We need to repair the emergency gate. Vandals can squeeze in there at night. The exterminator needs to come weekly because of the influx of bees. Some of the lounge chairs need to be repaired. Too many people are coming in via the pump house. This gate is only supposed to be used by the handicapped. A better system is needed like having an “H” stamped on the leisure pass. The staff at the pool numbers 43. These days there is no problem filling the positions. Seventy applied for the 18 staff jobs. A maximum of 411 people can be in the water at one time. Kyle Teemsma is the pool manager. The six members of the pool board are Jay Monaco, the chairman, Richard Maher, Jeff Clark, Pat Strauss, Maryann Langone, and me. Our swim team plans several matches with the Stewart Manor team. Where else can you have all this fun for just the price of $5 for a leisure pass?
What a difference a year makes.
If you think back to the budget crisis of a year ago and the discussions today, there truly is a marked difference. In both, the state was grappling with a devastating fiscal crisis, but this year the commitment was made to reduce spending as opposed to the cycle of ever more taxes and spending that was the norm in Albany from both sides of the aisle for far too long.
With the countless amounts of misinformation regarding the closing and leasing of the Cross Street School, I felt the need to get some facts out to the public.
You may ask who I think I am and where did these facts come from, so I will clear that up right off the bat. I am a resident of the Mineola School District for 43 years. I attended Mineola Public schools, and have been very active in following all the discussions regarding the re-configuration for the past 2-3 years. I have gone to Board of Education meetings, read the Mineola American and Williston Times and Newsday, and frequent the district website. All the information is out there for the taking.
Jack Martins was Mineola’s best mayor in our history and that’s including some wonderful chief executives from both sides of the political spectrum like John Colbert, Bob Hinck, Ann Galante and Ed Smith. If anyone can fill Jack’s shoes it is our newly elected Mayor Scott Strauss. He was a member of the NYPD for 20 years rising to the position of detective. He has won many awards for valor and the highest award the “Medal of Honor.” Scott was involved in 9-11 saving lives. He is in charge now with the security of all 15 buildings of the LIJ complex. What a guy! Congrats to his running mates Larry Werther and George Durham. A word of praise for Chris Wales, who, with very few resources, made a credible showing.
As the Mineola school budget vote nears, district residents have a unique opportunity to create a fiscally leaner, more competitive school system. Parents and families with children in school are traditionally seen as those who vote for a budget.
I wanted to say it is very humbling and flattering to comprehend the power of the voting booth. I am truly grateful to all the voters that gave my campaign a satisfying end. I want to thank the others that have come before me.
They all stepped up to be a positive inspiration for contributing to the common good of the village. They had a passion for what they believe in and worked hard for results. I hope I have honored those standards with my campaign.
We would like to express our gratitude to the residents of Mineola for their support in this past election. To everyone that spread the word, walked with us or worked in any way on the campaign, we thank you.
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