Let’s be clear: a 2 percent tax cap on school districts fails to address the root causes of our ever-increasing tax burden.
Politicians and special interest groups can trumpet the tax cap all they want, but homeowners across New York will find their taxes continuing to rise unless their elected officials get serious about relieving local schools of millions of dollars of costs tied up in state mandates that do nothing to advance student achievement.
(Editor’s Note: The following letter to Mayor Brudie and the Board of Trustees is printed upon the request of the Committee to Save St. Paul’s.)
Dear Mayor Brudie and Village Trustees:
The St. Paul’s Conservancy Corp. (aka The Committee to Save St. Paul’s), in conjunction with The Garden City Historical Society, request that these two local non-profit organizations be given the opportunity to present to the board of trustees an updated, comprehensive proposal for the use of the St. Paul’s main building as a public, community resource. This would be a more detailed proposal based on the presentation made to the board in June 2010.
On May 14, the trustees of the Garden City Public Library voted to severely reduce its service hours. Effective June 1, the library will be open to the public nine fewer hours a week.
The library trustees claim that the reduction in operating hours is in response to budget cuts from the village board of trustees. However, in March, after comparing the Garden City Library to 54 other Nassau County libraries, the Citizens Budget Review and Advisory Committee (CBRAC) issued a unanimous report which stated that our village library is overstaffed and overfunded.
Friday, May 20, 2011, is the graduation of Adelphi University’s Class of 2011. My colleagues on the Village Board of Trustees and I join all of the residents of our Village in extending congratulations to these outstanding young people. They have been a credit to our community and I am sure they will continue to reflect well on Garden City as Adelphi University’s Alumni. We wish the Class of 2011 the very best and congratulate you on your many accomplishments and contributions.
I would like to take this opportunity to inform residents of Hempstead Town’s SWIFT911 emergency notification service. The system provides a mechanism for Hempstead Town to phone, e-mail or text message residents and businesses under its jurisdiction in the event of an emergency, such as a severe storm evacuation. Other situations may include water main breaks, flooding, weather emergencies or natural disasters. Non-emergency contact may also be made in the event of town water department pipe flushing, which may affect water quality.
Garden City residents demonstrated their leadership and example last week by voting down a proposed bond authorization to demolish the venerable St. Paul’s School. Now that the threat of razing has been dashed for the time being, it is important that village officials work with civic, preservation and business leaders to develop a realistic plan to ensure preservation of this iconic and historic structure. Municipal and public/private re-development scenarios should be reasonably assessed and a viable plan selected. The longer the future of this complex remains unresolved, the more uncertain its ultimate preservation. Now is the time to get to work. Based on the collective efforts conducted to defeat this demolition proposal, I am betting on the residents again rising to the top to solve this important challenge. Long Island is rooting for you!
John D. Cameron, Jr.
Chairman, Long Island Regional Planning Council
I am elated at the wisdom of our residents in preserving not only their very own history, but an iconic treasure that Garden City and no other village on Long Island has. The residents were intelligent enough to realize that demolishing St. Paul’s would not only cause a tax increase to pay the bond, but also their very own homes would suffer a loss in value that would also result in another tax increase to make up any deficit.
I thank the Committee to Save St. Paul’s, the Historical Society, Susan Lucci, Nelson DeMille and everyone who worked so hard on the campaign to save the building. But most importantly, I thank our village residents.
This week work began on the replacement of the Franklin Avenue decorative crosswalks. The work will be done in two phases. Phase #1 consists of night work (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) taking place from Seventh Street to Eleventh Street at the intersections of Franklin Avenue, Monday through Friday, with some flexibility in either direction based on the work scheduled. This phase should last for approximately seven nights.
When Phase #1 is completed, there will be a two week period where the base installed will be allowed to set up. After this time period, Phase #2 will begin. During Phase #2, the actual decorative crosswalks will be installed. The work may be done during the day on the side streets and Franklin Avenue (if this is not possible, it will be done at night). This phase is expected to last approximately 12-15 work days.
The League of Women Voters of Nassau County, a non-partisan organization, which neither supports nor opposes any candidate or political party, is concerned about the County Legislature’s haste in re-drawing the legislative district lines. In doing this, the Legislature is not adhering to its own County Charter, subsection 113, which requires an advisory redistricting commission to be established to reapportion the county legislative districts based on the federal census.
On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, there will be a Village-wide referendum on a bond issue in the sum of $3.75 million for funding to demolish St. Paul’s. Voting will take place at the Fieldhouse at St. Paul’s School, from noon until 9 p.m. Your vote, be it against funding for demolition, or for the funding, is very important.
Please make your voices heard.
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