The members of the Nassau County Legislature can all agree on what Section 113 and Section 114 of the county charter mean; however, as residents at the first hearing on the 2011 county redistricting proposal (put forth by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt and the Republicans who currently control the legislature) learned very quickly, Section 112 is a very different beast. Much of the discussion at the Monday, May 2 hearing involved questions of interpretation of the county charter- or, if it was a question of interpretation at all.
At the open meeting of the Birchwood Civic Association on Tuesday, April 12, the BCA Education Committee introduced Jericho Superintendent of Schools Henry Grishman, board of education president Barbara Krieger, board of education vice president Joe Lorintz, and trustee Shawn Gladstone to overview and respond to questions about the district’s proposed budget. Members of the BCA Education Committee had previously attended the district’s budget workshops, public meetings where the budget was analyzed line by line. Grishman indicated that the district took seriously the community’s input and had therefore developed a very tight budget, while preserving student programs. Total district expenditures in 2011/12 will be 2.79 percent above the 201/11 budget, resulting in a tax levy increase of 2.94 percent.
Residents of the Village of Upper Brookville filled the Conference Center at Planting Fields Arboretum Historic State Park on April 19. They were there to hear their village boards take on the events resulting from Muttontown Mayor Julianne Beckerman announcing her village was pulling out of their partnership with Upper Brookville and five other villages for the services of the Old Brookville Police Department. While the event was an Upper Brookville meeting, the topic kept coming back to Muttontown; in fact, several of the speakers were from Muttontown.
Jericho teachers have agreed to give up a 3.5 percent pay raise that they were contracted to receive next year - saving the district $1.2 million. Teachers will retain annual “step” increases (averaging 1.5 percent) built into their salary schedules. In exchange, teachers obtained a three-year contract extension with a raise of 1.9 percent in 2012-13, zero percent in 2013-14 and 1.9 percent in 2014-15, plus steps. The $1.2 million in savings will partially offset the $4.1 million of reserves and fund balance that needed to be appropriated to hold the tax levy at 2.94 percent. In addition, the teachers’ contributions toward healthcare benefits will be 21 percent by the end of the contract.
At the beginning of Thursday, April 14, Syosset School District’s proposed budget was $192,561,637, a 1.97 percent increase over last year’s budget. However, by the time Superintendent Dr. Carole G. Hankin announced the budget to the community at that evening’s budget work session at South Woods Middle School, some last-minute savings had lowered it to $192,353,912, a 1.86 percent increase- the lowest in 21 years, said Hankin.
For four years, Jericho residents have wondered what the inside of the impressive new firehouse building on North Broadway was like. Fortunately, many had the opportunity to find out on Sunday, April 10, when the Jericho Fire Department held their 2011 Open House, in recognition of National Volunteer Week and the Fireman’s Association of the State of NY (FASNY) Recruit NY event. While fire departments all over New York State participated in Recruit NY, in Jericho, the event was as much about familiarizing the community with their fire department- as well as their new facilities- as recruitment.
Editor’s Note: Details were added by D.F. Karppi, Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot editor. What began as a contentious evening ended as one filled with compliments and a greater understanding of a recent governmental decision at the Muttontown Board Meeting at Village Hall on Tuesday night.
The four-and-a-half hour meeting on Tuesday, April 12, concentrated mainly on Muttontown’s controversial decision to form its own police department. Mayor Julianne Beckerman, with the assistance of former Nassau County Chief of Patrol William McHale, spoke to the standing-room-only crowd about the reasons behind the decision.
The improvements to a dangerous stretch of road have been a long time coming; however, now that it looks like the Jackson Avenue reconstruction project is finally set to begin, residents at the town’s informational meeting, held at the Syosset High School Auditorium on March 30, were understandably concerned about how the major construction project could affect traffic patterns and their safety. To assuage these concerns, town officials spent close to an hour answering questions about these issues.
“We are willing to stay as long as we need to and answer everybody’s questions,” said Richard Betz, Town of Oyster Bay Highway Commissioner. And it seems that they did; after the meeting concluded, many residents went up to the front to look at the construction plans with town personnel in order to determine how the construction might affect their homes.
The Health, Safety and Ecology Committee of the Syosset Council of PTAs recently sponsored the nationally renowned bullying prevention program “Ryan’s Story.” The auditorium at Syosset High School was a standing-room-only audience of parents and children in the middle school through high school levels. John Halligan lost his son, Ryan, to suicide on October 7, 2003 at the age of 13. At the time of his death, Ryan was a student at a middle school in Vermont. It was revealed in great detail after Ryan’s death that he was ridiculed and humiliated by peers at school and online. Halligan has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Primetime, and PBS Frontline.
Plenty of teenagers have an interest in fashion, but 16-year-old Muttontown resident Becky Broxmeyer has taken her interest in an unusual and welcome direction; together with her friend Sophie Koppelman Fritz, a classmate at Friends Academy in Locust Valley, she has helped organize “Fashion 4 The Cure,” a mother-daughter fashion show and fundraiser with all proceeds going to The Lustgarten Foundation for pancreatic cancer research. The fundraiser, to be held April 6 at Engineers County Country Club on Glenwood Road in Roslyn Harbor, is expected to raise $150,000.
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