I am so very proud of our parks system and all we have to offer in our great county. This summer we have an action packed line up of quality entertainment and the best part is that most events are free for Nassau County residents.
My efforts to create tourism, coupled with the immense support from local business sponsors, makes it possible to bring top notch events like the TD Bank fireworks spectacular to you at no charge.
On May 28, Memorial Day, we are given a chance to honor our nation’s fallen heroes and reflect on their bravery in making the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our freedom. This year, as we remember those who have died in America’s wars throughout our history, we can also commemorate the end of the Iraq War and honor the memories of the thousands of brave men and women who were killed in action.
In December, the Iraq War officially ended. From the time the war began in March 2003, to when it ended in December 2011, more than one million troops fought overseas. More than 4,500 American troops were killed and an additional 30,000 were wounded. As President Obama said, the remaining troops left “with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops.” This year, especially, we remember all those who lost their lives in Iraq.
Many of you are reading in the papers what I am hearing in person at Nassau County’s legislative sessions. County Executive Mangano is threatening “Draconian” cuts to your services, along with devastating eliminations of funding meant for the needy—youth, seniors, those with mental health issues, the disabled.
It must be so tiresome for you all to hear the political back and forth. You work all day. Or you saved your money and finally retired. You pay your taxes and just want to get what you need from your government.
This past Sunday, May 13, we celebrated Mother’s Day and mothers everywhere. I am lucky enough to have had the opportunity to say “thank you” to my mom, my mother-in-law and my wife for all they do for me and my family every day. Mother’s Day is a beautiful day of appreciation and thanks. It gives us the opportunity to recognize mothers, motherhood and maternal bonds. I hope that all the mothers, grandmothers, potential mothers and all women who care for their families enjoyed a very special day and that whether it was Sunday or today, we all take a moment to say thank you to these special women.
When does 1 + 1 = 3? The answer is, ironically, when it involves schools and education. Specifically, the new math takes over when the school budget and the tax levy are touted as staying within the NYS-imposed 2 percent tax cap. But in this first-year test of the new hard-won tax cap, the tax levy will actually rise nearly 3 percent because our NYS Legislature cannot enact any legislation without loopholes. Neither can they find the political will to eliminate or reduce the state mandates that are not adequately funded by the school aid that is provided by the state. So this makes the loopholes necessary.
We are very fortunate to have a community that is committed to our schools. Thanks to your strong support, the excellent achievements of our students in academics, the arts, and athletics have been recognized as among the best in the country. In addition, proactive fiscal planning and careful oversight by our trustees has continued to result in a strong financial position for the district - we remain in a better financial position this year than many other school districts.
In January, we made a decision to stay within the New York State cap on the allowable tax levy limit. Trustees cut an additional $1.45 million from the initial budget draft. The adopted budget for 2012-13 (Proposition 1) represents a 1.85 percent increase from last year - the smallest budget-to-budget percentage increase in two decades.
Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Glen Cove’s Animal Lovers’ League with District Attorney Kathleen Rice to announce a bill increasing penalties for those found guilty of animal cruelty.
The league’s work is remarkable because of the outstanding volunteer effort that Joan Phillips and her crew perform every day. Their tireless work in rescuing cats and dogs, sheltering, feeding, walking, and protecting them and attending to their medical needs is second-to-none.
We are the presidents of the seven executive boards of the parent organizations of the five schools, SEPTA and the coordinating council for the North Shore School District. Our main objective is to assist in improving the quality of instructional/academic programs within the schools from a parent’s perspective. As a group we strive to remain current and informed on all issues impacting our schools.
With the mild winter we enjoyed this year, the annual transition to spring may not have been as obvious to some. However, if you were in Glen Cove this past weekend, you couldn’t have missed the opening day of Junior Baseball and Softball as the youngsters and their coaches marched from the middle school on Forest Avenue to the John Maccarone Stadium for the annual parade, led by the Glen Cove High School drum line. As we march to the stadium I always enjoy looking back at the line of young boys and girls in their uniforms as they carry their banners along the parade route. It is a wonderful sight to behold at the start of our Opening Day Ceremony, which is as small town and American as it gets.
With the cost of oil on the rise, serious competition between gas distributors has caused many stations to charge outrageous amounts for a gallon of gasoline. In fact, some gas merchants have been known to continuously raise their prices over the course of a 24-hour period, often dramatically increasing consumer costs without the actual price of gas going up. This predatory practice, known as price gouging, allows a deceitful gas distributor to make unreasonable profits at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.
As gas prices constantly fluctuate, we must make sure local families don’t fall victim to price gouging at the pumps. That’s why the assembly passed legislation I helped pass that would ban gas stations from adjusting their prices multiple times daily (A.1970). Distributors usually purchase their gas wholesale and at a fixed rate, allowing many stations to unfairly take advantage of consumers at a time when gas prices are at the highest levels in months.
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