This is my last column. My term as mayor came to an end Monday, April 6. I have had the privilege to have served as a member of Garden City's Board of Education from 1988-1991; then for a year as the Eastern Property Owners' Association's president and chairman of the Joint Conference of POAs; and then the Garden City Board of Trustees starting in 1993 where I have served continuously to the present time, the last two years as mayor. I have dealt with the Doubleday rezoning, the Business Planning Coalition (the "big box" supermarket and conversion of houses to parking lots issues!), redevelopment of Community Park, Franklin Avenue Streetscape, the "P-Zone," replacement of the Tennis Bubble, Miniature Golf improvements, Water Safety, Re-lining of Sewer Mains, St. Paul's and a host of other matters, including most recently - the budget. And I have loved it. Despite all the frustrations, I have been proud to have been given the opportunity to contribute. I hope I have done so in some small way. But if I have, I must confess that it could not have happened without a lot of other terrific people who have volunteered their time - my fellow members of the Board of Trustees, members of other boards and commissions, property owners' officers and directors and all of the many citizens who have given up their personal time to come to a meeting and "step up to the mike" and make their thoughts known. My thanks also to a wonderful staff. I have seen the staff of many Long Island villages and place ours as "number one." From the Parks Department through Public Works, Buildings, Police, Fire and central staff (and particularly our senior staff led by Bob Schoelle!), Garden City truly has the best. As we face the terrible budget issues of today, let us not forget the often-unnoticed but never unneeded work they do. And finally, to my wife (Marianne), and my daughters (Elizabeth, Katie and Victoria), all of whom have sacrificed more than they should to let me do what I wanted in the village. Thank you all, Garden City.

Saturday, April 4, marked the opening of the 2009 Little League baseball/softball season. With the opening of Little League, parents are especially encouraged to pay particular attention to driving safely in the area of village athletic fields. As youngsters are on their way to and from their scheduled games, many of them will dart between parked cars and will fail to look while crossing the street. Let's make this season not only a happy one but also a safe one in our village.

I would like to take this time to congratulate the Garden City Athletic Association on their 54th year and thank their officers, directors, managers, coaches and all that are involved in such a wonderful organization. Not only do they touch the lives of so many youngsters, they have been a valuable asset to our community. Please plan to attend the parade and given them and the players your support.

Beginning April 1, under a special permit from the village, food establishments on Seventh Street, New Hyde Park Road and Franklin Avenue have placed tables and chairs outside their shops and restaurants for your convenience and enjoyment. Please stop by to let the merchants know that you appreciate their efforts and enjoy the many fine tastes of Garden City. I encourage residents to periodically utilize the village's website for information regarding the village's operations, as well as items of seasonal and special interest. The address is www.gardencityny.net.

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