Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 02 March 2012 00:00
At the final city council meeting in February, which is nationally recognized as Black History Month, Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi and the City of Glen Cove honored Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department Chief Rodni N. Leftwich for his service to the city. Leftwich was installed at the beginning of the year as the first African American to hold the position as chief of the volunteer fire department.
Suozzi gave some background on some of the achievements Leftwich has had in the course of his career, including being awarded the 1996 Department Firefighter of the Year and the Bronze Medal of Valor from the Nassau County Fire Commission for his heroic rescue of a woman trapped in a burning apartment in February of that year.
Reverend Roger C. Williams, president of the Glen Cove NAACP chapter spoke about the significance of Black History Month and said that it was a necessary creation in order for the African American people to be included in the country’s history. He said this honor was bestowed on Leftwich as a man who has earned his status as the fire chief and “happens” to be African American.
“This position was based on his hard work and accomplishment,” Williams said. He praised the city of Glen Cove for not allowing color, race, creed, background or religion to stand in the way of his achievement.
Suozzi said, “I’m proud to be mayor during this historic time.”
Leftwich has been in the fire department for 20 years and said joining was the “best thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
A resolution was passed authorizing the mayor to enter into a consulting agreement with Michael Haberman Associates, Inc. to include assessment services, administration of small claims and certiorari proceedings, with fees not to exceed $3,750 per month for assessment services, $95 per parcel in the small claims proceedings and $125 per hour during commercial certiorari proceedings. Suozzi said the goal is to have the assessments as correct and consistent as possible, to make the process regimented and to have a document that would stand up in a court of law.
During the public comment period, Kristina Heuser asked about the status of Crescent Beach and whether or not it would be open in the upcoming summer season. The beach has been closed for three seasons now due to high levels of bacteria in the water. Suozzi said that the sources of contamination that have been identified were addressed but it was found to be not sufficient. Any further actions are out of the city’s jurisdiction, and Suozzi said he has reached out to county and state officials to help take care of the problem.
“We need cooperation of the county and the state – all of the players have been informed,” he said.
He said they are also urging homeowners in the area to properly maintain their septic tanks since the source of the contamination does seem to be localized.
Resident Charlie Bozello brought up his concern about the proposal for video cameras to be installed in public areas throughout the city. This topic raised a lot of discussion from members of the public on both sides of the issue. Suozzi said that the city has received a grant for the purchase of the cameras and they are not violating any fourth amendment rights. Councilman Anthony Gallo, Jr. suggested they hold a public discussion on this issue, which Suozzi said would be considered at the next pre-council meeting. The Record Pilot will be following up with more information on this issue in the next edition.