Village of East Hills Mayor Michael R. Koblenz claims he has bargained in good faith to reach a fair and equitable contract agreement with the CSEA Highway and Sanitation Unit in East Hills Village. This comment was contained in an article titled. “Village Workers Rally in East Hills,” which appeared in the Sept. 23 issue of The Roslyn News.
(Howard Weitzman is the former Nassau County Comptroller.)
No matter who won the last county election it was clear the County would be going down a tough financial road. A difficult economy, falling tax receipts, an increasing structural gap along with the political difficulty in raising additional revenues have combined to create a perfect storm for all local governments. But the new Mangano administration seems to be drowning in a fiscal tsunami, without a tree to climb. His rescue plan is based on an old copy of Tom Gullota’s guide to County government – borrow, over estimate revenues, under estimate expenses, sell property, and if that’s not enough borrow more.
We live in unprecedented and difficult economic times. Thousands of jobs have been lost, careers have been destroyed, and retirement savings have vanished. The value of our homes has decreased; more homes have been foreclosed in Nassau County than ever before. We are facing challenges that have not been seen in our County since its founding in 1899.
Hurricane Earl has raised some concerns about how LIPA prepares for major, forecasted weather events that impact our area. Like any responsible utility, LIPA and its service provider, National Grid, prepare for hurricanes and other major storms based on various sources of information, including forecasts provided by national weather services, local and regional government entities, media outlets, and prior operating experience.
The Aug. 19 edition of The Roslyn News contained a letter to the editor from Jim Kohler concerning the poor condition of the historic horse statue that stands in front of the high school building. There is no doubt that Mr. Kohler’s desire to have this iconic statue repaired is admirable. Unfortunately his letter contained some incorrect data.
I am writing to you today to let you know about a new temporary statewide insurance option for uninsured legal residents who have medical conditions. This new plan, called the NY Bridge Plan, is New York’s version of the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that was created under federal health care reform. The NY Bridge Plan is a valuable product of health care reform in that it provides health insurance coverage at a lower price than other options currently available in the individual market. Through the NY Bridge Plan, premiums will be $362/month for residents of upstate counties and $421/month for residents of downstate counties. A list of upstate and downstate counties is available in the NY Bridge Plan brochure.
Everyone loves a success story. A man or woman, better yet a child, with heart afire overcomes all obstacles and beats the odds. We love to be reminded of the heights that human beings can scale.
As a parent, I know that I was guilty of finding fault with my children. Here is the soundtrack of our earlier years together: “You left the garage open.” “You left your dishes in the sink.” “You left your bathing suit on the dining room table.” “No wonder your bike got stolen, you didn’t lock it.” “What is this plate in your room? It has mold on it.” “You left the light on again.” “Why can’t you remember to turn the faucet off when you’re done in the bathroom?” “Don’t leave a wet towel on the floor.” And so on.
(The following is a letter from Village of East Hills Mayor Michael R. Koblenz to Nassau County Executive Edward I. Mangano reprinted at the mayor’s request.)
I write to you to express my residents’ sense of outrage, fear and concern over your proposal to merge the 6th Precinct, which protects our community with the 2nd Precinct in Woodbury. Because the initiative will shrink an already bare bones operation it is penny smart and police pound foolish.
Several years ago the North Shore of Long Island experienced one of the worst spikes in burglaries in the history of the area. It was not uncommon to have a monthly toll well into the double digits. Thankfully, the crime was finally quelled due to our fine police force and also adequate staffing. Then, Commanding Officer Jay Caputo and more recently Steve Williams have worked with us enviably to solve the crisis. If you now eliminate necessary their position and others, a surge in crime could well return. That fear is ominous and the need to keep our neighborhoods safe is compelling.
While the same number of street police officers and cars may still be available under your plan, it is obvious that overall management will be attenuated or depleted. Senior management is responsible for ensuring the smooth-working effectiveness of police protection and therefore, the quality of life in our community. If anything, since the North Shore communities pay the most in taxes toward police costs, our dollars should buy a stronger operation, not a weaker one. Your proposal may save money, but it may not save lives.
I therefore call on you to abandon this concept. The implementation of the proposal to consolidate these precincts is simply wrong-minded, and must be avoided even during these fiscally challenging times, at all costs.
Michael R. Koblenz
Mayor of East Hills
On July 25, I had the pleasure of touring Roslyn High School with some fellow RHS alumni as part of a 1970s reunion. It was an exciting and emotional opportunity to revisit our youth and for some of us, to show our spouses for the first time where we went to school.
We were welcomed at the school by the principal, who gave us a rundown on some of the exciting changes that lie ahead for the school. He also spoke very proudly about the $850,000 that was spent for a new football field. When someone asked him about the iconic statue of the horse and now-headless rider that sits in the center of the traffic circle at the high school, he said that it would cost $10,000 to fix it and that they just can’t come up with the funds.
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