In his first address to the New York State Legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 5, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the signing of an Executive Order to create a team of private and public sector individuals charged with finding ways to cut the “unfunded and under-funded mandates that help make New York one of the most taxed states in the nation.”
The “Mandate Relief Redesign Team” (“Team”) will review unfunded and under-funded mandates imposed by the New York State government on school districts, local governments, and other local taxing districts. Such mandates include legal requirements that a local district provide a program, project, or activity on behalf of the state.
However, it turned out that Matassa’s love for music, and her devotion to singing, was far from typical. That’s what led to this suburban mother of two teenagers to pick the microphone back up for a second shot at a recording career- and this time, she’s backed by some top-tier producers.
Dan McGrath scored his 12th overall victory of the year, Katie DiPietro took top honors among the women, and Peter Hawkins completed still another wheelchair win, as beautiful skies and brisk temperatures greeted the competitors in the 23rd Annual Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Ho Ho Ho Holiday Run on Dec. 18. A total of 1060 runners, walkers and wheelchair athletes navigated the streets of Bethpage before crossing the finish line at the John F. Kennedy Middle School.
‘You can’t cap what you can’t control,’ was the mantra of a delegation of mayors from across New York State, who recently descended upon Garden City’s Village Hall to discuss recommendations of New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM) Mayors’ Task Force on Mandate and Property Tax Relief.
Earlier this year, NYCOM formed a working task force of 20 mayors to come up with a set of mandate relief proposals that they say must be adopted by the state legislature prior to considering any form of a property tax cap. During a press conference, Sam Teresi, NYCOM president and mayor of the city of Jamestown, NY, explained that the task force’s recommendations focus on first reforming the cost drivers that lead to high property taxes in New York, in particular the many mandates on local governments pertaining to collective bargaining and managing workforce costs.
After focusing on the English program for the past several meetings, the discussion at the Dec. 20 Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education meeting focused primarily on math. While the joke of the evening was that, with the number of reports on the agenda, attendees might not make it out of Mattlin Middle School in time to witness a rare celestial phenomenon, the meeting did in fact wrap up in plenty of time for everyone to see that evening’s lunar eclipse.
The announcement was made at a press conference in Mineola last Thursday. The county executive was joined by Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and Majority Leader Peter J. Schmitt, as all three stood under a banner worded with an anti-big government quotation from Republican Party icon Ronald Reagan. The county executive touted the achievements of his first year, including the elimination of a home energy tax and achieving a small budget surplus. Most of all, he claimed that the new round of budget reductions would help keep the county budget balanced throughout the 2011 fiscal year even in the face of funding mandates from Albany.
College students are somewhat notorious for being very opinionated, without always having the gumption to leave their dorm rooms to act on their convictions. 2008 Plainview-Old Bethpage High School graduate Jessica Fuhrman stands out among her peers as a young woman of action; dissatisfied with the lack of education available in Cambodia, especially for young women, she decided to partner with American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC) to do something about it. Now, she’s partway towards her goal of raising $25,000- the amount necessary to build a new school in Cambodia- before the end of the academic year.
The Plainview-Old Bethpage Board of Education discussed a diverse array of topics at the Monday, Dec. 6 meeting including curriculum writing, grammar, financial concerns and staff development.
As per usual, Talia, the student government representative, reported on the success of several recent high school activities: the SADD Blood Drive on Nov. 23, the NYSSMA All-State Conference in Rochester from Dec. 2-5, and the DECA Holiday Gift Fair on Dec. 4. She also apprised the board of several then-upcoming events like Choir Processional Night, which was held Dec. 13, SADD “Grim Reaper Day” on the importance of making safe decisions on Dec. 16, and “Plainview Idol” on Dec. 17.
At the Thursday, Dec. 2 meeting of the Nassau County Planning Commission, the comment period on the 2010 Nassau County Master Plan was extended from Dec. 1 to Jan. 20, 2011. A second public hearing on the plan was also scheduled for 10 a.m. on Jan. 20 in the Legislative Chamber of the Theodore Roosevelt Executive & Legislative Building.
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