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Topping The Tax Cap?

Massapequa Park will hold a public hearing next week to discuss the possibility of exceeding the tax cap when the budget is adopted in April.

In order to exceed the tax cap, a municipality must first pass a law, enabling it to do so. It is quite common for municipalities to pass such a law in case it is necessary to do so, even though the tax cap ceiling is not superseded. However, Mayor James Altadonna seemed to indicate that the village might indeed be doing so.

In speaking about the possibility at a recent board meeting, Altadonna said that the costs incurred due to Hurricane Sandy would likely make it necessary for Massapequa Park to exceed the cap. He later spoke with the Massapequan Observer, and said that Colleran Park sustained damages during the storm, which must be repaired.

Unlike school districts, which are required to get a 60 percent supermajority vote in order to enact a budget which exceeds the tax cap, a municipality such as Massapequa Park only needs at least 60 percent approval from its governing body. For Massapequa Park, this would require at least three of the five board members to approve a budget increase that exceeds the tax cap.

In other news, the mayor said that plans are advancing towards bringing a triage center to the village. Altaddonna has been lobbying for an emergency room facility in which triage patients could be treated and stabilized before being sent home or to another facility for further care. He says that with the closure of Brunswick and Massapequa hospitals, there needs to be an emergency treatment center in the village so that emergency responders have a closer facility to bring triage patients to when time is critical. Currently, the closest facility to the village is St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bethpage.

The mayor said that a letter has been sent out regarding property where the proposed facility would be located. Altadonna said the property is on Sunrise Highway, but did not disclose an exact location.

“I’m pretty positive that we’re making some progress,” he said.

Additionally, in response to a question from a resident, the mayor discussed the possibility of the village launching its own police force. He said that because of the reduction in police officers, the village is not sufficiently being served. He further said that whenever an incident occurs at the Sunrise Mall, including minor infractions such as petit larceny, a Seventh Precinct officer assigned to the village is called away to attend to it. Altadonna emphasized that he has no issues with the officers of the Seventh Precinct, but said there is simply not enough of them to patrol the village adequately.

In response to a question about what launching a police force what cost, Altadonna said that village officials would look at that aspect very carefully before a determination is made. The mayor said that the village currently pays Nassau County to have police officers patrol the village, and it would have to be determined how the costs of a village police force would compare.

Another resident suggested that the village launch a public safety unit instead of a police force.

However, Altadonna downplayed that suggestion as the village would have to pay for the costs of such a unit and would then still have to pay Nassau County to have police officers patrol the area.

At the beginning of the meeting, a presentation was made to a group of seniors  from the Massapequa Park Senior Center, affectionately known as the “Brady Bunch.” The group does volunteer work throughout the village and sends care packages as one of its charitable endeavors.

“Thank you for reaffirming that Massapequa and Massapequa Park care about other people and care about our country,” Altadonna told the group.

News

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.

Stewart Manor budget, mayor’s salary increase

At a time when municipalities are grappling with keeping expenditures down, the Village of Stewart Manor saw not only its 2014-15 operating budget increase, but its mayor’s salary. At a meeting of the board of trustees held on Monday, April, 8, Stewart Manor adopted a budget of $2,418,548.03, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, the board approved a raise of $1,000 for Mayor Gerard Tangredi, bringing his salary to $3,000. The salaries for trustees John Egan, M. Carole Schafenberg, and William Grogan are set at $2,000 each. Deputy Mayor Michael Onorato has declined his stipend.

Salaries and benefits make up 42 percent of the total budget. According to the state comptroller, it’s acceptable for that number to be as high as 65 percent. The total costs of salaries and benefits have actually decreased by around 5 percent from the previous year’s adopted budget.  


Sports

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This Year Three hunt will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


Calendar

Dinner & A Movie: In Transition 2.0

Thursday, April 17

School Budget Meeting

Wednesday, April 23

Judi Mark One-woman Show At Library

Thursday, April 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com