There are easier tasks than the one facing Kevan Abrahams. As a Nassau County Legislator, he will be grappling with the issues facing the cash strapped county and in particular will be deliberating on a budget which may call for more layoffs of county workers, reduction of services and changes for Nassau police precincts. As the Democratic Minority Leader in the legislature, he will be one of the more prominent figures as those discussions take place, a position that requires he walk a political tightrope as he leads the opposition to some of those proposals while also trying to get Republican County Executive Ed Mangano and the Republicans in control of the Legislature to give consideration to his party’s suggestions and input. And, he will also do so while getting a feel for his new role as he has just taken over the position of the Minority Leader in the Legislature after being chosen by his party last November. Yet, despite all of this, there is a calmness and confidence about him as he takes this all on, something that he attributes to many years of experience in both politics and finance.
Last week the North Shore School District Board of Education held a meeting at the middle school café to present the preliminary budget to a large audience of North Shore residents. Superintendent Dr. Edward Melnick opened the meeting by clearing the air about what might have been forefront on peoples’ minds.
“This board has made it clear to me that they in no way wish to override the tax cap,” he said.
This preliminary budget proposed a budget-to-budget increase of 1.85 percent; before presenting the budget to the board, $1.7 million in cuts were already made, and another $1.4 million would need to be cut to stay within the budget. Because so much has already been cut, and the goal of the board is to keep in line with their mission statement of keeping as many programs as possible, he said most of the cuts would have to come from staff and benefits.
As proposed, the 2012-13 budget would cut one administrative position and 15 to 19 teaching positions. Some of the other significant cuts would come from interscholastic activities at the middle school level and co-curricular arts.
On Thursday, Jan. 12, County Executive Edward Mangano announced the ‘soft launch’ of “Nassau Now,” the County’s newest mobile and web application for residents to use an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or Android smartphone or tablet to contact Nassau County directly. The government app features requests, events, information, news alerts, traffic advisories, and forms.
The system is up and operational; it is being monitored by system administrators to collect data about how the service is being used and tally the volume of inquiries being submitted through the new application. Mangano expects that there could be some ‘bugs’ to work out of the system within the initial 60 days, but is confident that this will streamline the process and eliminate a lot of liabilities resulting from nonemergency reports, such as a request for pothole repair. The county will assess the service in a couple of months and identify any issues with the software that need to be corrected.
Last week AP scholars from Glen Cove High School were honored at the Board of Education meeting, held at Robert M. Finley Middle School. Superintendent Dr. Joseph A. Laria and the high school principals had words of praise for these students, some who had graduated last year, others who will be graduating in June.
In new business, the board approved a new course for the next school year called Essay Writing for College for the College Bound Student. The creation of this course sparked a lot of discussion among the board members, some of whom felt that taking a course like this in the fall of senior year is too late.
“The process needs to start sooner,” said Trustee Gail Nedbor-Gross, who was the only board member to vote no for this course. “I would like to see it offered for junior year as well.”
From fire bombings to menorah desecrations to racist and anti-Semitic graffiti, an unsettling wave of intolerance has been spreading throughout the greater area. Local community and clergy leaders felt it was time to address the situation this week, meeting on Martin Luther King Day at Saint Boniface Church in Sea Cliff.
Mayor Bruce Kennedy of Sea Cliff called the forum together, after a rash of swastikas and other graffiti started turning up throughout his village recently. He was joined by State Senator Carl Marcellino, Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi, Glen Cove City Councilman Anthony Jimenez, as well as rabbis, priests and ministers from throughout the area.
While Kennedy believes that “ignorant and confused youth” rather than “neo-Nazis,” are actually the problem in his area, he made it clear that “prejudice is not a prank.”
An investigation is underway by the Nassau County Police Department after a swastika was found on a resident’s garage in Sea Cliff. The home, on Glen Avenue, is owned by a 63-year-old woman, Detective Migliore of the Nassau County Police Department reported.
The swastika found on the garage was five by five inches and written in black marker, according to police.
The incident was a part of a larger wave of graffiti that started on Dec. 27, 2011, said Sea Cliff’s Director of Public Works John Mirando. Additional swastikas and the phrases “white knights,” “420,” and “WK” were found in the village, say police.
The Glen Cove City Council convened in the main chambers of City Hall Tuesday night for the first meeting of the year, and the first meeting with newly elected Republican councilmen Reginald Spinello and Anthony Gallo, Jr. A moment of silence was held before the meeting began for seven people connected to Glen Cove who recently passed away.
A number of resolutions were on the agenda, including the authorization of the city to enter into annual contracts with certain professional firms; the appointment of the Glen Cove Fire Company officers for the year; an authorization for non-union full time employees to receive benefits consistent with those provided for full time union employees under the CSEA contract; and an authorization to enter a lease agreement with Proper Futbol Holding, LLC for use of the Coles School gym facilities, for a fee of $3,750 per month, plus 5 percent of net profits for a term between four and six months long. The mayor explained that this fee would cover the cost of maintenance and utilities for the gym facilities only.
The inauguration of Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and the members of the Glen Cove City Council took place Monday afternoon in the main chambers of City Hall. Residents and local community leaders packed the room to witness this event.
Reverend Simpson led the opening prayer for the ceremony, and Adam Levine sang The Star Spangled Banner before the new council members were sworn into office by Judge Richard McCord. Democrats Nicholas DiLeo, Michael Famiglietti, Anthony Jimenez and Timothy Tenke returned to their post while newly elected Republicans Reginald Spinello and Anthony Gallo, Jr. took their oaths for the first time.
On Monday, Jan. 2, a ceremony was held at the Nassau County Legislative Chamber for the inauguration of representatives of the 9th Nassau County Legislature. The hour long event welcomed the addition of two new Legislators: Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D- Glen Cove) and Carrie Solages (D-Elmont).
DeRiggi-Whitton, who will represent the 18th District, which encompasses Glen Cove, Sea Cliff, Bayville, Locust Valley, Brookville, Glen Head, Greenvale and Jericho, defeated Republican challenger, Robert Germino Jr., by a 29-vote margin. DeRiggi-Whitton, a former member of the Glen Cove City Council, will replace Legislator Diane Yatauro who did not run for re-election.
Each year the employees in the City of Glen Cove participate in a food drive to benefit a family in need. This annual effort is organized by Debbie McCalla, the registrar in the City Clerk’s Office, who works tirelessly to rally support and encourage contributions. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, she encourages employees to bring in canned food, money, giftcards to local supermarkets and toys to add to the collection boxes. With the assistance of Diane Conti, social worker at Landing School, one family is selected each year to receive this generous donation just in time for the holidays.
This year’s Holiday Drive was a resounding success. Not only did city employees work hard to fill boxes of presents, food items and gift cards, the community was generous in contributions, and one family even donated a full dinner with all the fixings.
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