Written by Garden City Mayor Robert J. Rothschild Friday, 08 April 2011 00:00
This is my last column. My term as mayor comes to an end on Monday, April 4. WOW!!! Two years flies by when you are having so much fun!!! Seriously, it has been my privilege to have served on the board of trustees for the past eight years and the last two as mayor. I congratulate and thank Don Brudie, our mayor-elect, new Estates Trustee John DeMaro and our re-elected Trustees Cavanaugh, Donnelly and Quinn along with incumbent Trustees Daughney, Episcopia and Watras. Trustees are elected to assist village staff in the efficient delivery of services that residents expect and at the same time manage the associated costs and expenses at an acceptable level. Considering the difficult economic time we live in, I think this board has accomplished that. At the same time, we have addressed a number of issues, some more difficult than others. We were directly involved in the village representation at the Town of Hempstead hearings on the Nassau Coliseum HUB site and the LIRR Third Track expansion proposal. We finalized changes to our village zoning law. We initiated a full comprehensive review of all the Village insurance policies for the first time in many years, which we expect to afford us better coverage and premium savings. With collaboration with the POAs, the Citizen Budget Review Advisory Committee is now an invaluable direct contributor to the review of the village budget review process. There was always a difference of opinion of whether we needed the fence along Stewart Avenue at St. Paul’s, but I must say that I have not had ONE negative comment since its installation two years ago. We have created a new committee of Trustees to review the organizational structure of village staff to capture people and monetary efficiencies where possible. After 18 years, we have taken the obsolete St. Paul’s Main Building and Ellis Hall through the last of the iterations for alternative uses. We have fully documented through the Final Environmental Impact Statement the process and cost of demolition. We have adopted a Findings Statement, which confirms there is no viable, acceptable, economical and financially feasible alternative use for this building in its existing configuration and have made the decision to demolish the Main Building and Ellis Hall and create additional recreational open space. It has been the sense of the board that the residents are unwilling to pay to preserve and then continue to pay to maintain this obsolete building, which, if preserved, would have no active use for the majority of residents. On April 27, the residents will be asked if they approve the bond resolution adopted by the board of trustees to issue bonds not to exceed $3,750,000 to finance the demolition of the Main Building and Ellis Hall and create additional open space.
I thank Bob Schoelle and all village staff for their guidance and support for the last eight years. My sincere thanks to all residents of the village for allowing me to serve you as mayor.
Finally, I thank my wife, Valerie, and my daughters Claudia and Claire for their love, support and understanding.
Next Saturday, April 9, marks the opening of the 2011 Little League Baseball/Softball season. The annual Little League Parade will step off promptly at 9 a.m. from Village Parking Field 9E onto 10th Street and proceed south on Franklin Avenue to Seventh Street, west on Seventh Street to Hilton Avenue, north on Hilton Avenue to Stewart Avenue for ceremonies at the Village Green.
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 56th year and thank their officers, directors, managers, coaches and all that are involved in such a great volunteer 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.
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.