After all the protests and disagreements, after all the proposals and changes, New York State has an on-time budget for the first time in 15 years and only the third on-time budget in 28 years.
New York State passed its $132.5 billion budget on March 31 around 1 a.m., just in time for the April 1 deadline. Overall spending will be cut $3.5 billion (2 percent) from the current year and closes a $10 billion deficit without raising taxes.
Students, parents, faculty and concerned community members filled the Robert M. Finley Middle School library at the final budget workshop in a series of meetings that have occurred over the past month, as the deadline for adoption of the budget looms closer. The Glen Cove Board of Education is slated to adopt a budget for the next school year on April 11. All trustees were present for the meeting.
In honor of Women’s History Month, Arlene O’Dell, executive director of the Glen Cove Youth Bureau, was given special recognition and presented with a citation from the city at the March 22 Glen Cove City Council meeting in City Hall.
“Thank you for the youth and families you serve,” said Mayor Suozzi.
The Civil Service Employees Association held a “silent protest” during the meeting. A number of union employees complained that the union and the city have failed to agree on a contract, holding signs reading “Show Some Respect” while standing in the back of the room during the meeting.
On Jan. 26 of this year, NIFA declared a control period in Nassau, assuming direct authority over the county’s budget. After that declaration, County Executive Edward P. Mangano led a legal effort to fight the takeover, which resulted in a court-ordered stay of the takeover until a 29-page legal decision from New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Diamond allowed the control period, and the county subsequently announced this week that it was dropping any further action. As a result of that decision, Mangano was forced to submit a new budget that eliminated what NIFA found to be a $176 million deficit. In order to do this without raising taxes, the county executive submitted plans to NIFA on March 22 that included major layoffs, cuts in services and pay furloughs. On March 18, the county executive requested a “wage freeze” or suspension of any pay increases to county employees. This required NIFA’s consent and would save over $10 million.
The season for budget discussions is upon us and these talks are well under way in Glen Cove schools. A large number of parents, students, faculty and community members came to show support at the Glen Cove Board of Education meeting held Monday night at Robert M. Finley Middle School in response to a list sent out to parents of potential items that could be cut from next year’s budget. Vice President Gail Nedbor-Gross was absent from the meeting.
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a retired dispatcher for the Glen Cove Fire Department has been sentenced to one to three years in jail for stealing more than $196,000 over a six-year period from the department’s general fund, which he controlled for 20 years, by writing himself hundreds of checks and forging the department’s treasurer’s signature on more than 100 of them.
“I can’t get no satisfaction from the judge,” sang Chuck Berry in a lyric that may well articulate emotions around Nassau headquarters this week after an injunction County Executive Edward P. Mangano was seeking against NIFA’s takeover was denied in New York State Supreme Court and plans for major budget cuts began in order to fill what NIFA views as a deficit.
State Supreme Court Justice Arthur M. Diamond issued a 30-page decision dated March 11, 2011 in favor of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA), dismissing Nassau’s efforts to prove that the control period enacted on Jan. 26 of this year was unconstitutional.
By Melissa Argueta, Rich Forestano, and Christy Hinko
As if the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter didn’t need any more bad press, a video was anonymously posted on Sunday, March 13 on YouTube. The 17-year-old footage depicts then-kennel foreman Pat Horan watching shelter workers slip a catch-pole around the neck of a kitten and lift it into the air, as they allegedly prepare it to be euthanized.
One worker is seen making obscene and lewd gestures, even mocking the killing of the animal, while Horan is seen laughing and giving the middle finger to the person filming the video. As the kitten squirms wildly, someone off-camera cheers, “Kill the kitty; kill the kitty.”
It has been one year since Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice created Long Island’s first-ever Animal Cruelty Unit, and during that time, prosecutions of these crimes have more than quadrupled, Rice announced at a press conference on March 2 at the Animal Lovers League in Glen Cove. In addition, she stated that the Animal Cruelty hotline – 516-571-ACHL (2245) – has received over 700 complaints of suspected abuse. Staffed by specially trained prosecutors and investigators, Rice explained that the Animal Cruelty Unit operates with one goal: to protect vulnerable pets and animals.
The Glen Cove Board of Education met this week at Robert M. Finley Middle School in Glen Cove to discuss the budget for the 2011-12 school year. This was the first of several budget review workshops scheduled over the course of the next four weeks before the board will adopt a budget on April 11.
The board appointed Dr. Joseph A. Laria, who has been interim superintendent for this school year, to the permanent status as superintendent of schools. The appointment was announced at last week’s meeting and made official on Monday night.
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