Written by Wendy Kreitzman Saturday, 26 October 2013 00:00
Former New York State Senator Michael Balboni, a security/emergency management consultant in the private sector, now works directly with the Town of North Hempstead. Balboni’s firm, Redland Strategies, is, as the former senator explained, “at the intersection between government relations, security, media management and business development.” And, today, among his clients is the Town of North Hempstead, where he consults on the town’s emergency management plans. “Jon Kaiman gave me my first municipal client … and I’ll never forget that,” Balboni said.
During last year’s Superstorm Sandy, Balboni worked with town officials for two weeks straight, every single day. “I’m on call with the town for any type of emergency,” he told the Great Neck Record. “I can get hold of any government agency anytime,” he added.
Balboni served as senator for the state’s 7th senate district for 10 years, then left to work for New York’s Governor Eliot Spitzer as deputy secretary of public safety. In that position Balboni oversaw 13 agencies, 63,000 employees, with $5 billion of the state budget.
Then came a new start, in the private sector, with Redland Strategies.
Recently, when the town presented its new initiative, an emergency management communication plan, to the Great Neck Village Officials Association, Balboni was there to help explain details and to support the villages invited to join this plan. Meeting with the Record recently, he explained that the town is an excellent choice for the villages, particularly as any such communication system must have state authority, an authority that is granted to towns. “The town does have the authority and that’s important,” he said. “The bottom line is responsibility, who will be sure the village notifications go out … if not, who is responsible?”
Balboni added that the town has done an “excellent job with its emergency management platform … it’s well resourced with its emergency management center in New Cassel, probably the best of all towns in the state.”
Balboni works on many emergency management issues today with the town, including planning, training and exercises to plan for emergencies. As well he hosts a town emergency management program on the town channel, where he explores emergency management operations. And he reiterated that he is on call 24/7, with the ability to contact any government agencies at any time.
Working for Redland strategies with Balboni are a whole host of professionals and experts, including the former commanding officer for La Guardia and JFK airports, as well as a “strategic partnership at federal levels.” Proud of over 20 clients, these include large companies such as Chase, J.P. Morgan, Oracle and a foray into the health care field with many local nursing homes. And he has been involved in rebuilding the Nassau County Crime Lab.
Does he miss his years as a public servant? The answer is that Balboni tremendously enjoyed his years as state senator, working with “some of the best examples of really good representative government … with interested, caring involved constituents, so kind … I really benefited so much … with partners like Tom DiNapoli, that was government at its finest.” Balboni is appreciative of being able to have learned how government works at the local, state and federal levels.”
Michael Balboni, still a good friend to the Town of North Hempstead, is now enjoying his security work in the private sector, although “the transition was tremendous.”
Balboni told the Record to offer his “thanks” to everyone who worked so beautifully with him during his years as state senator, but he could not turn down what he has now, “an excellent opportunity in life.”
Said Balboni: “My years in the state senate taught me that government can be civil … and now I’m enjoying this excellent opportunity in life and it’s been a lot of fun!”
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.
To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:00
At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.
The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also. Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:23
The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”
Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”
Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.