On Saturday, March 2, I had the pleasure of being invited to the Nassau Region PTA Legislative Roundtable and it was truly an eye-opening experience. The topic being discussed was “Maintaining Balance in Times of Stress” and dealt with the impact of the reduction of State aid to Nassau County over the last five years and the effects on local school budgets.
The keynote speaker was Joseph Dragone, the assistant superintendent for business for the Roslyn School District and numerous legislators, including our own Carl Marcellino, Michael Montesano and Edward Ra, and I want to thank them all for participating in this Roundtable.
We are winning a fight against higher taxes. In 2010, rather than fix the assessment system that creates your tax bill, County Executive Edward Mangano repealed what is known as the “County Guaranty.”
His move would push expenses onto other governments and schools, forcing them to cover for his mistakes when your property is wrongly assessed and you are due a refund. This would likely mean higher taxes for you.
The Democratic Caucus here in the Nassau County Legislature fought the county executive on this in 2010. When I proudly joined that caucus last year, I adamantly opposed his idea and have actively supported its repeal.
Last week, my caucus was proven correct. A New York State Appellate Division panel has ruled that Mangano’s action “violates the New York Constitution.”
All four judges on the panel, including a prominent Republican, voted unanimously against County Executive Mangano’s move.
This is a very important victory for taxpayers, who would have had about $80 million annually pushed down to other entities, like their schools and towns. Nassau wouldn’t be taxing you any less, but the schools and towns would need more money from you to cover higher expenses and taxes pushed over from the county.
I hope that the County Executive does not appeal this court decision and waste any more taxpayer money on legal fees. Another appeal would cause already stressed school districts to possibly cut back on education in order to reserve money while they wait to find out if they have to use it to pay for Nassau’s mistakes.
Finally, for schools in my district like Locust Valley, North Shore School, Oyster Bay and Jericho, this ruling should bring great relief. As far as Glen Cove, I know that something still has to be done about the unfair way we pay twice for tax refunds. I have been meeting with my legal advisors and will make every effort to see that the county re-examine the issue.
In my last column I vowed to follow up on Crescent Beach, where septic contamination has been polluting Hempstead Harbor and forcing beach closure for many summers.
I am happy to report some encouraging news. It appears that Nassau County Department of Health has tracked a lot of the faulty cesspools that were causing the contamination and now the salt water may actually be clean.
This is a great sign that we should stay full steam ahead with all plans for Crescent Beach, including connecting the area to the Nassau County Sewer System. I will continue working on grant possibilities so that homeowners will not bear a major expense. Some promising developments may in fact be on the horizon.
As I push forward on this, we will need the support of County Executive Edward Mangano. Soon I will be announcing a non-partisan citizen task force focused on local wastewater issues, including Crescent Beach. Hopefully we can all push for cleaner waters, a healthier environment and an open beach!
The Waterfront Project is a public/private partnership. Both parties have a financial stake in its success but it has suffered a complete reversal from its original intent. The developer states in the FEIS, that economic times govern their decisions. As a business, the only thing that matters to them is their bottom line. Glen Cove’s responsibility is to its citizens and taxpayers.
Over the years, the developer has changed the project drastically. In a stunning reversal in 2011, the developer switched the vision of the project. The previous proposal described a high-density site, 65 percent for affluent condo owners (who, it was hoped, would become commuters on the city’s new ferry) and 35 percent rentals. Instead, in the 2011 proposal, 65 percent were to be offered as rentals to a work-force housing market and 35 percent would be marketed as high-end condos. Our mayor, planning board and city council approved this change.
The communities of Glen Head and Glenwood Landing have a unique opportunity to decide how central Glen Head will look; now and for generations to come. After years of fenced-in stagnation, the former Sunoco Service station at the corner of Glen Cove Avenue and Glen Head Road will be developed and the Community will have a say in what goes there. For some background, the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) negotiated a contract with Sunoco Corporation to purchase the property and it was TOB’s publicly stated intent to make it a Town Park. Sunoco did not live up to the terms of the contract by removing the resident oil contaminants and the TOB, correctly, cancelled the purchase agreement. But Sunoco has now cleaned the property and development can start. But what is to be developed there? The originally envisioned Town Park or a new two-story bank building owned by the First National Bank of Long Island (Bank)? George Pombar, president of the Glen Head-Glenwood Civic Council, an association of 10 local civics, has organized a meeting of invited TOB representatives and Bank personnel to discuss both proposals so our community can understand the residential impact when one of the proposals is selected. This meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the North Shore Middle School.
I’m writing in response to remarks made by North Shore School Board President Carolyn Mazzu Genovesi in a Feb. 15 article. Ms. Genovesi is requesting legislative action to address a roughly $7 million budget shortfall. However she failed to mention that several of my legislative colleagues and I have worked closely with her and other board members over the past year to achieve a solution to this problem.
We have met with Ms. Genovesi and other members of the school board at the offices of state Senator Marcellino, which was attended by Senator Martins and Assemblyman Lavine, as well as the office of the Nassau County Assessor. While we explained to all concerned on numerous occasions that the state can neither compel a privately-owned and-operated company such as National Grid (the owner of the facility) to halt its ramping down of the Glenwood Landing plant nor provide an extra $7 million to make up the difference, there are steps we can take.
Spring is a time of renewal. It will be welcome this year after an historic blizzard, which followed a power outage that had most of sitting in freezing houses for weeks.
From my seat in the Legislature, there is renewal that needs to happen and I am concerned that the county executive’s administration here in Nassau is – once again – not taking the needs of our area seriously.
More than month has passed since our beloved son, brother, uncle and brother-in-law, Nunzio Izzo, was murdered. I would like to thank the community of Glen Cove, Mayor Ralph Suozzi and his administration, the Glen Cove Police Department including Lt. Det. Nagle, most especially Detectives Van Allen and Albin, and Nassau County Detective Nardo. Together they all worked long and hard to help solve this senseless crime. They should all be congratulated for outstanding work on this case.
Words cannot describe the outpouring of love and support from our relatives, friends, and the entire community of Glen Cove. We have suffered a tragic loss that can never be replaced and will never be forgotten.
On behalf of my wife, myself and my family and the entire Izzo family I want to thank everyone for their love and support and may God continue to bless you.
On behalf of Mayor Bruce Kennedy and Trustee Carol Vogt, I wish to thank those individuals who recently took the time to sign their names to our nominating petitions. Through your support our names will appear on the ballot for the upcoming village election on March 19 to be held from noon to 9 p.m. at the Department of Public Works located on Altamont Avenue.
The stated goal of the North Shore School District is to foster bilingualism by providing an expansion of language instruction starting from kindergarten. Research shows that there are advantages in having a bilingual mind; however, the research does not show that there are better languages to be bilingual in (except there are statistics that show that Italian speakers have a lower occurrence of dyslexia). Part of their plan is to give kindergarteners instruction in Mandarin Chinese and then Spanish starting in the third grade.
At the height of the Cold War, progressives in education told us that we should study Russian and Soviet Studies in order to “get ahead.” In the mid-‘70s and into the ‘80s the language that would insure a “brighter future” was Japanese. What happened? Time proved these predictions wrong just as it will prove the current “language du jour” will not achieve the stated goal of bilingualism and/or give these students a “leg-up” in their secondary education and in life.
Aside from number of speakers in the world and a booming economy, Mandarin Chinese does not offer any real advantages. China is a brutal dictatorship that, while somewhat stable now, can change radically. There are no major advances in scientific research from China. Medicine in China is folkloric, and if there were many great works of Chinese literature they would have been translated into English. Aside from that, it is a language that is difficult for Westerners to learn and there are little connections to our community. Many of our neighboring school districts have offered and then canceled their Chinese programs.
In December, at North Shore, they held the world language national honor induction ceremony. Of the languages that are currently offered at North Shore, Spanish had 2.3 percent of those enrolled, inducted, French 3.4 percent, Latin 4.9 percent, and Italian had 4.5 percent. This literally speaks volumes! It is not that the students who study Italian are smarter or that the Italian teachers are better; it is a reflection of the student’s motivation to learn Italian. This is something that the administration is overlooking in favor of being “in vogue”; but sadly in contrast to their intended goal of bilingualism!
The North Shore Board of Education does not wish to lend credibility to any anonymous paid advertisements by responding to such ads; however, “An Open Letter to the North Shore Community” dated Jan. 25, is wrong on the facts. To begin, the issue raised in the ad was directly answered by the board more than a year ago, and posted on the board website. Here again are the facts.
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