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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common for municipalities to pass such a law in case it is necessary to do so, even though the tax cap ceiling is not superseded.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

Small businessman finds big success

Anthony DePalma has been manager at Covert Avenue’s Raindew Family Center and Pharmacy for 13 years. Last month, at the 30th Annual Small Businessperson of the Year and Legislative Breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club, DePalma got his much deserved recognition when he was awarded the day’s top honor by the Covert Avenue Chamber of Commerce, whose members hail from Stewart Manor and Floral Park.  

“My initial reaction was ‘wow that’s very nice,’ I didn’t realize that it was going to be such a beautiful extravaganza,” said DePalma on winning the award. “They did it very, very well. They had a breakfast at the Crest Hollow Country Club and everything was done beautifully. It was just done very, very nicely. Very proud.”

School board shows off improvements at Stratford

This month’s Garden City Board of Education meeting saw a boost in attendance, and not just from district residents. This was the first board meeting to be held at Stratford School, so teachers and students there stopped by to show off the best it has to offer.

Leading the pack was school principal Eileen Vota, who gave the board a tour of the school before the meeting got underway. Along the way, highlights of the capital improvement project were pointed out, all a result of the 2009 School Investment Bond and Energy Performance Contract.


Sports

Winter Swim Lesson Registration Announced

The Garden City Recreation Department will be conducting children’s swimming lessons for village residents at the Adelphi University swimming pool in Woodruff Hall on Saturday mornings. Your child must be six years of age by the start of the program to participate. This 10-week session will begin Saturday, Dec. 6. Classes are taught by Red Cross-certified instructors. The cost is $80. These classes are open to residents of the Incorporate Village of Garden City.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.


Calendar

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, December 1

AARP Driver Safety Program

Tuesday, December 2

Here Comes Brother Sun

Friday, December 5



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