In compliance with the term limit provision of our revered Community Agreement, my term as mayor ended on April 1. It has been both an honor and privilege to serve the residents of Garden City in the capacity of mayor during the past two years.
When a mayor assumes office, he has no idea what challenges lie ahead. As of this writing, and in advance of this year’s budget sessions, the trustees voted to lay off paid firefighters and are now considering additional employee layoffs. Never in the history of this great village have we sacrificed our labor force to meet our budget needs by means other than attrition. My feeling has been that cuts must be achieved in ways that do not affect the safety of our community, services to our residents, and the quality of life we have come to know and expect, however, I am still optimistic that these layoffs can be averted.
Garden City Public Schools Board of Education adopted the 2013-14 Budget calendar at last month’s regular meeting. The board and district administration encourage Garden City residents to attend its public meetings to offer input during the budget formulation process and to gain an understanding of budget challenges as the district enters its second year under the state’s tax levy limit cap mandate.
All meetings are held at Garden City High School at 8:15 p.m.
For most Americans, baseball is the sport that comes to mind once spring rolls around. But for the Garden Centennial Soccer Club, warmer weather and longer days means getting the kids to dust off their cleats and pull out their shin guards. It’s a ritual that’s been going on for more than three decades with the largest program, intramurals, getting ready to kick off on Saturday, April 6. The beauty of what the Centennials do is that there are leagues and teams for all ages and abilities, ensuring that anyone looking to participate in the world’s most popular sport gets that opportunity. As if all the volunteering wasn’t great enough, the club is also a fervent supporter of the TOPSoccer Program, which integrates additional support and practices for kids between the ages of 5 and 18 who might want to hit the pitch but because of learning, developmental or behavioral problems, need modifications made in order for them to kick the ball around.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
Residents are reminded that village offices will close at noon on Friday, March 29, in observance of Good Friday and will reopen on Monday, April 1. Correspondence may be dropped in the letter slot at the front of village hall.
The Annual Easter Festival and Antique Car Parade, sponsored by the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Easter Sunday, March 31. The parade will step off from parking field No. 9E between Tenth and Eleventh Streets and will proceed south on Franklin Avenue to Seventh Street, west to Hilton Avenue.
For the dozen years or so that Kings Market has sat on Franklin Avenue, the one constant has been store manager Connie Deckel. A preternaturally friendly person who fits hand in glove in taking the lead on customer service in her market, Deckel has endeared herself to village residents. And while what she does within the four walls of Kings Market is a key reason why people so faithfully patronize this store, Deckel’s heavy involvement in and around Garden City has her a treasured fixture. In addition to serving as the director of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors, she’s tirelessly supported both the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts of Garden City, is heavily involved in the Salvation Army Holiday Drive and enjoys a strong bond with the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN), a nonprofit organization serving hungry and homeless Long Islanders. Not surprisingly, the Kings Market manager was the recipient of the 2011 President’s Award given by the chamber. It’s this kind of selfless involvement topped off by Deckel’s relentlessly cheery approach towards everything she does that makes a trip to Kings that much more special whether you’re picking up a carton of milk or doing a full shop.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
The next regularly scheduled board of trustees meeting will be held on Thursday, March 21 at 8 p.m. I encourage all residents to attend board of trustees meetings so as to be thoroughly informed of village issues from a first-hand perspective.
The Town of Hempstead Sanitation Department will conduct the first of its monthly S.T.O.P. (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) program this Saturday, March 23. The program, which is held at various locations throughout the Town of Hempstead, will make hazardous waste facilities accessible to as many residents as possible.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
All residents are asked to assist in the task of cleaning up our community to keep Garden City beautiful. This can be done by picking up paper, cans, bottles and other debris that may have been deposited on the streets and other public areas near your homes. A few minutes of cooperative effort by all of us can make our village look 100 percent better.
Residents are also reminded that rubbish should not be placed on the curb before the evening prior to the collection day. It detracts from the aesthetics of the village and poor treatment of one’s neighbors to ignore the village law that specifies that rubbish should not be deposited at curbside before the evening prior to collection.
Recently, the Garden City High School girls basketball team helped Coach Anthony Sparachia notch his 200th win. It’s a significant achievement that has Sparachia joining a number of other Trojans coaches that have stuck around long enough to rack up the wins and championships including Community Achievement Award Winner Diane “Chappy” Chapman (357 field hockey wins; 203 lacrosse wins) and football head coach Tom Flatley (five Long Island Championships).
Longevity is the key to this kind of success and with it comes the stability needed to maintain a quality sports program. As loath as the Jets fan in me is to admit, look no further than New England Patriots and Bill Belichick, who has managed to lock up three Super Bowl championships with a good shot at corralling a few more before he hangs up his whistle. It’s this kind of consistent demand of excellence that’s made Belichick as much of a winner as the coaches that are such an integral part of the Garden City School District athletic program.
– Dave Gil de Rubio
Each week, Garden City along with all villages within Nassau County, performs a radio-test with the Nassau County Office of Emergency Management Office (NCOEM) to ensure that their assigned radio is working properly. These radios operate at 800 MHz frequency and have been in operation for the past several years as a result of funding from former State Senator Michael Balboni. In the event of a major disaster where normal radio communications were disrupted each Village would have the ability to communicate with each other directly as well as with the NCOEM.
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