Nassau County Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt, who in January had proposed pay raises that were approved for the three top leaders of the Nassau County Legislature, including himself, earlier this month expressed his desire to have those raises rescinded. On Monday, Feb. 22, the legislature voted unanimously on that request.
The pay raises, which were initially approved at the Jan. 25 meeting, would have increased the annual stipend of the Presiding Officer from $67,500 to $99,500. The increase for John Ciotti (R.-North Valley Stream), the Deputy Presiding Officer would have increased to $84,500 from $62,500, while the stipend for Minority Leader Diane Yatauro (D.-Glen Cove), would have increased to $90,500 from $63,500. The base pay for all legislators is $39,500.
The Jan. 25 vote went along party lines, with 11 Republicans voting for the increase and eight Democrats in opposition.
Ann Torcivia’s son, Joey, passed away 10 years ago when he was six-and-a-half-years-old and in the first grade. Torcivia does all she can to keep his vibrant memory alive and this time around she is hosting a “blow out” fundraiser in conjunction with the Levittown Kiwanis and a Westbury woman who also turned loss into inspiration.
“Joey had aplastic anemia, a blood disease,” Torcivia told Anton Community Newspapers. “They said he wasn’t going to live to be 1 year old. He lived to be 6 years old.”
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Councilwoman Viviana L. Russell and members of the town council paid tribute to two local icons: Westbury resident and former Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Spann Watson and Dr. Louis J. Auguste of Great Neck, a Long Island Jewish Medical Center oncologist who led a relief mission to Haiti. Both were presented with proclamations.
“It is often said that the biggest part of getting something accomplished is showing up,” Kaiman noted. “Thank you for showing up. Because of it, the human community and our immediate community is a much better place because of it.”
Until last week, things appeared to be on track with the Westbury movie theater redevelopment project. In recent months, the board of trustees had granted a special use permit while the zoning board granted the necessary parking variance.
With these steps in place, Westbury commissioned an architectural and engineering firm to commence the design work on a parking deck applicant Lowe Properties had proposed to build over the village’s Madison Street parking lot.
Residents should be aware of a rash of recent car, home and garage break-ins in the Westbury area over the past several months, including several within the past several weeks.
The village has been in communication with officers from Nassau County’s Third Precinct who have advised Westbury officials that they are aware of this issue and are conducting an ongoing investigation. They have also advised the village that this problem is not isolated to Westbury, and that the incidents of home and car break-ins are on the rise throughout Nassau County.
The last words from a 20-year-old resident came from a text message sent to his dealer. It read, “i’m diggin’ this —my dude, best I had in a while. 4 real. Save my number, peace.” That was sent before he was found by his mother dead in the bathtub.
Harix Linares, code enforcement officer for the Incorporated Village of Westbury, typically checks into the village’s new code enforcement hotline at least hourly during his Saturday shifts, just to make sure that any residents who have called the line receive quick response to issues that arise.
“One time, I called the hotline and there was a message from the mayor, calling about a particular problem that he wanted me to look into. I guess he wanted to make sure that I was checking in, because he has other ways to reach me if he wants to. I am glad I checked,” Linares joked.
On another occasion, a resident called in a noise complaint regarding a party late on a Saturday evening. Within a few minutes, Linares was knocking on the door of the offending residence to ask them to turn the volume down. These are the kinds of responses that residents can expect by utilizing the hotline.
As the magnitude of the devastation caused by the earthquake that recently rocked Haiti unfolds, North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilwoman Viviana Russell, along with local, county and state lawmakers joined with a Port Washington business and local Westbury residents Feb. 5 to pledge contributions of clothes, food and a generous monetary donation to the stricken Caribbean island.
The gathering, which also included community leaders and officials from the school district who helped coordinate the effort, assembled inside the home of the Westbury Salvation Army Corps on Prospect Avenue in New Cassel – the staging area for the pallets of food and clothes destined for Haiti.
The 15th Assembly District (A.D.) is up for grabs with Democrat Matt Meng of East Norwich and Republican Michael Montesano of Glen Head scheduled to face off in a special election on Feb. 9.
The seat, which has been held by Republican Rob Walker since May 2005, became vacant as of midnight Jan. 2 when Walker stepped down to accept a position as Nassau County’s Deputy County Executive. As a result, the winner of next week’s special election will, under state law, have to run again in November 2010, which is when the seat would normally be up for re-election.
On Jan. 25, the Westbury Zoning Board of Appeals granted a zoning variance to Lowe Properties, the developer of the Westbury movie theater site on Post Avenue. The variance is conditioned upon the applicant’s construction of a parking deck over the existing village parking lot on Madison Street.
“The variance is consistent with the special use permit that the board of trustees granted to Lowe Properties in November 2009, and keeps the approval process moving forward. Design work is already being done on the parking deck and it looks as if that structure will yield up to 160 spaces for the theater and other uses that are contemplated by the plan,” said Westbury Village Mayor Peter Cavallaro, adding, “The planning board still needs to review the project, but they have already commenced their hearing, and I am hopeful that the process can be completed quickly so we can meet the target for the start of construction of the deck and the renovation of the theater in the spring.”
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