U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Queens/L.I.) will not seek re-election to the United States Congress next year. The announcement came late on Thursday, March 15, following the federal circuit court’s approval of Congressional district lines, a decision that Ackerman’s office called “extraordinarily favorable” to the congressman who is serving his fifteenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Announcing his decision not to run for a sixteenth term of office, Ackerman added that, if he had chosen to run again, he would have run “with the primary-free backing of the Democratic Party virtually assured.”
Ackerman currently represents the Fifth Congressional District of New York, which encompasses parts of the New York City Borough of Queens and the North Shore of Long Island, including west and northeast Queens and northern Nassau County.
It was welcome news to the Great Neck Library trustees and the public that the cooling tower replacement for the Main library came in significantly less than an earlier estimate of $400,000. In fact, the accepted bid for the equipment and the installation was $110,000. But that was not good news for the construction management firm, Park East Construction, that had an agreement to oversee the process for the library at a percentage of the project’s cost.
The firm backed out of the agreement citing that any fee derived from the project was not worth their time. The library director, Jane Marino, turned to Power Cooling, another firm that had bid on the job and the board has given them the go-ahead to complete the work.
Valley Stream resident Milagros Vincente clutched her daughter as the Nassau County Legislature voted 10-9 to realign four of its eight police precincts on Monday, March 5. She echoed sentiments of dozens of residents, business owners and police in attendance that opposed the plan from its inception.
The plan will alter the First, Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Precincts. The county has been trying to erase a $310 million deficit in 2012 and touted this plan as a step in the direction of eliminating it. In 2011, the deficit totaled $145 million.
The Village of Great Neck Board of Zoning and Appeals accepted the Draft Environmental Impact Statement prepared by developer Frank Lalezarian’s consultants to subdivide a 3.2 acre parcel into lots for 12 homes and to construct a road into the landlocked area. A date of May 3 was set to begin the review of the Final Environmental Impact Statement. This document would be completed before the board votes to approve or reject the project.
In the intervening months, the consultants will revise their report based on the concerns raised during the first phase of the review, the public hearing which was just closed.
Jokes aside, the NICE Bus Veolia team did run a respectful and informative presentation regarding schedule changes and asked for feedback from the riders. As Raul Kumar, a Veolia vice-president, put it in his PowerPoint presentation, “We’re ‘nice,’ but we’re not perfect...we want to hear from you about this proposal...maybe we’ve overlooked something.” The presentation was brief as the emphasis was on talking with riders personally and answering their questions. The proposed changes will go into effect on April 8.
No vote was taken on Monday, Feb. 27, on the plan to close four Nassau County police precincts and convert them into Community Policing Centers.
The Nassau County Legislature’s Republican majority had hoped for such a vote, one that would close the First and Fifth and Sixth and Eighth precincts. However, according to a spokeswoman for Presiding Officer Peter J. Schmitt (R-Massapequa), County Executive Edward I. Mangano asked the legislature to delay the vote for at least a week, while his office remains in negotiations over unspecified issues with the Police Benevolent Association (PBA).
The environmental forum, recently sponsored by the Sephardic Heritage Alliance, Inc. for the community, provided a rare opportunity for the public to meet some of the experts who are involved in the investigation and eventual clean-up of the ExxonMobil gasoline leak containing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) that has sullied the uppermost level of our aquifer system. While the investigation is ongoing, we do know that the plume has not reached drinking water wells.
There was also much information shared about measures homeowners can take to make their homes healthier by avoiding the use of pesticides and certain products that are proven to be carcinogenic.
(Editor’s Note: As with all village elections, immediately following the last date to file a petition to run for office, the Great Neck Record contacts each village’s clerk/treasurer, asking for the names of the candidates. And, as well, we ask that the village contact each candidate, asking for a biography, a photograph, and a statement as to why the candidate is running for office. Some villages, and some candidates, do comply. In the weeks to come, we will publish all such election materials.)
Six villages on the Great Neck peninsula will hold elections next month on Tuesday, March 20 —- Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock and Thomaston. Only the Village of Saddle Rock will see a contested election, as three trustee candidates are running for two trustee positions.
The villages of Great Neck, Kings Point and Lake Success all hold elections in June of each year.
With diplomacy, but firmness, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, at a Great Neck Chamber of Commerce breakfast last week, reaffirmed that he would protect the office of the comptroller’s role in providing “transparency, accountability and oversight” for state government. This affirmation was in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal that would end the long-standing authority that the comptroller’s office has to approve any state contract above $50,000. “We don’t need to sacrifice transparency for so-called efficiency. Our office pre-audits these proposed contracts and often derive savings through the process,” he remarked.
On the other hand, Mr. DiNapoli supports aspects of the governor’s budget because “it doesn’t rely on accounting gimmicks.” He also praised the governor’s regional approach to economic development since the regions of the state are so different.
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