Written by Michael Scro Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00
“Thank you to all city departments and employees, first responders, volunteers, neighbors who helped neighbors, the city council members, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Nassau County OEM (Office of Emergency Management),” Suozzi said.
Despite immense criticism of LIPA’s response to power outages, Suozzi commended the work at the Glen Cove/Glen Head and Locust Valley Command Centers, as well as workers on the street.
“I think they did a fantastic job,” Suozzi said. “Are there things overall that could be improved on the communication and maintenance side of things? Yes...however, it was a tough time, and the people who did the work to get our grid back up performed admirably.”
While his praise was selective within LIPA, Suozzi did agree that the organization as a whole did not function properly. “The people I am thanking are those who were out on the streets, out-of-state workers who came to help, and people in the command centers managing the transmission lines,” Suozzi said. “This was a category one storm that acted like a category two storm, and the LIPA crews were out there doing what they were asked to do.”
During the storm recovery, Suozzi said he checked in with the command centers repeatedly, inquiring on the location of crews and the specific damage in each area of town. “I would then go back out into the field and verify locations and stop to speak with the crews and thank them,” Suozzi said. “By the end of each day I had factual information and I would summarize the progress made each day, post updates online and make evening phone calls using the City’s Emergency Notification System.”
In attendance during the meeting was Glen Cove EMS Chief Matt Venturino, who shared that in one week, they responded to 135 calls. “Usually they respond to 2,400 calls in the entire year,” added Suozzi. Also according to Suozzi, the Glen Cove Fire Department responded to over 100 calls in five days, while they respond to about 700-plus calls in an entire year.
Following his sentiments, Councilman Nicholas DiLeo continued his praise, however, for the mayor himself. “I know for a fact that if he (Suozzi) slept one hour a day during that time, that was a lot,” DiLeo said. “He was out there with the workers every day, and I’m proud that he’s our mayor.
In other news, two resolutions were tabled for the next city council meeting on Nov. 27: Resolution A, which will reaffirm ownership of a road the city owns designated as Section 21, Block 1, Lots 11, P/O 9 and P/O 2, Glen Cove, New York; and Resolution B which will authorize the city to borrow money through serial bonds to finance the termination of additional police officers in the amount of $1.6 million. Both items are still in discussion.