The Glen Cove City Council and the Board of Education met on Feb. 8 at the high school. This meeting of the minds had been requested by several parents who attended a city council meeting several months ago. At that time, the parents wished to enlist the assistance of the city government in an attempt to have a more responsive board of education. The two taxing entities of this city addressed the following agenda items: possible property re-assessment; budget/state aid concerns; voting date for school board members; a drug task force; cooperation with city agencies to help students at risk; a positive but distinct working relationship; shared services; CDA membership; and the Cablevision agreement.
The city council offered their support to the school district in lobbying Albany for more state aid. School board member Bill Boeddener would like to see the elections for positions on the board held in November to assure a bigger franchise which translates to the winning board members having more accountability for their decisions. Mayor Suozzi pledged an increased enforcement of the laws governing the sale of alcohol and cigarettes to minors by local convenience store personnel. The police department, represented at this meeting by Lt. Dennis Maffei, will obviously continue their investigations related to drugs in and around the schools. The city and school district made a commitment to reinvigorate the mentoring program and to initiate one for elementary school-aged children. The mayor asked if the city could help the school district address the cutting problem at the high school which Superintendent DeLuca said is not as bad as it has been purported to be. The meeting was adjourned after about an hour and a half of discussion. It was agreed that meetings like this one should occur more often, at least quarterly. This way the right hand would know what the left hand was doing.
On Feb. 12, the members of the Board of Education will be receiving a rough draft of the 1999-2000 budget from the superintendent. In hammering out this budget, the board will be considering several items to cut from the budget as well as the prospect of bonding for tax certiorari payments. The following items were discussed for possible removal from the budget. [Please remember none of these items are definitely going to be cut at this very preliminary point]. They are: staff cuts at the elementary school and high school level; an administrative position; custodial cuts; clerical aides; offering drivers' education at no cost; spending on equipment, athletics and after-school clubs. These are the possible target areas this year since the district is on austerity and should the budget fail this May, there are no big ticket items to remove as there were last year, (those were busing grades 9-12, the driveway between middle and Deasy school and the modulars at Gribbin).
The Glen Cove City Council met on Feb. 9 and prior to commencing regular city business, Mayor Thomas Suozzi proclaimed the onset of DECA Week. He presented the officers of the high school's DECA club with a citation noting their tireless efforts on behalf of their community. DECA president Jen Zeigen presented pins to three DECA honorary life members including the very appreciative editor of this newspaper. Agenda items for this meeting included declaring the city council as lead agency for the Hillside Protection Ordinance and for architectural review in site plan article of the city's zoning code. The planning board was declared lead agency for State Environmental Quality Review Act purposes for Swezey's Dept. Store. According to the mayor, Swezey's date of arrival depends on the consummation of a private deal. The city will be requesting proposals for the 1999 Road Improvement Program. The list includes but is not limited to: Franklin Ave.; New Woods Rd. at Glengariff Drive, (drainage); Madeline Pl.; Continental Pl.; Continental Hill; Johnson St.; The Place; Alvin St.; Southland Dr. at Eastland, (drainage); Jefferson and Grant Streets; Manning Rd.; Central Ave.; Helen Pl.; Edwards La.; and Morgan Park Estates.
During public comments, Mike Swirnoff spoke on behalf of the Americas' Sail Committee and summed up their predicament. The committee had an unpaid $101,000 balance with the city. The money reflects the payments of overtime to city employees which the city has already remitted to police, public works, harbor patrol and special police. Mr. Swirnoff said Americas' Sail '98 was the biggest and most positive event in Glen Cove in recent memory. No one had predicted that it would be so successful with positive effects that will be felt for years to come. He asked that the city forgive the debt owed by the Americas' Sail Committee, a forgiveness it wouldn't need had the event not been so successful. Following discussion, the Americas' Sail Committee will not have to pay back the city in a rare bi-partisan consent given by the city council. The committee has another $100,000 left in debt to pay for the use of the pod during Americas' Sail.