Thursday, 30 May 2013 00:00
I must take exception to Mike Barry’s recent column trumpeting the County Office of Legislative Budget Review’s (OLBR)’s “verdict” that the County Comptroller’s office sought and received adequate backup for payments to Super Storm Sandy contractors. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The OLBR report clearly stated that their review was limited in scope and not meant as endorsement or criticism of the FEMA funding and approval process in totality (pg. 3). In fact, payments to the largest vendor, Looks Great Services, which totaled over $34 million, were approved for payment based upon an Excel spreadsheet without adequate documentation (pg. 5).
Mr. Barry’s column also failed to mention that the actions of the Comptroller’s office with respect to contracts and payments for Superstorm Sandy work are currently being investigated by the Nassau County District Attorney and the New York State Attorney General.
As the former Nassau County Comptroller, I am appalled about the current scandal surrounding contracts and unauthorized payments to companies for Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene debris removal. Comptroller George Maragos should appear before the county legislature to discuss payments that Nassau County has made to various contractors and disclose all records associated with the various contracts.
It is one of the core responsibilities of the County Comptroller to serve as financial watchdog safeguarding taxpayer dollars, including providing oversight on county contracts. If the appropriate oversight occurred and proper procedures were followed, there is no reason why Mr. Maragos should avoid making records publicly available and answer questions before the legislature.
Editor’s note: Howard Weitzman is expected to run for Nassau County Comptroller on the Democratic line in this year’s election.
Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00
A group of like-minded local residents banded together and saved more than 200 area trees from the chopping block — for now.
A state judge ordered Nassau County and the Department of Public Works to stop cutting down trees along South Oyster Bay Road, granting a temporary restraining order to a group of residents spearheading an effort to save the trees.
State Supreme Court Judge Antonio Brandveen scheduled a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 16 for the county to address complaints from residents, in particular a group called Operation STOMP (Save Trees Over More Pavement) founded by Hicksville native Tanya Lukasik.The Public Works department had planned to removed more than 200 30-foot trees in communities ranging from Plainview, Bethpage, Hicksville and Syosset.
Friday, 17 October 2014 00:00
For the past 16 years, Lucia Simon has walked from her home in Hicksville to her job at the Hicksville Public Library. She enjoys her job as a librarian and says that the staff has become like family to her. But for the past three years, Simon and 56 fellow co-workers have been frustrated at what she says is the library’s board refusal to negotiate a fair contract.
“We have had no contract in three years. They refuse to bargain with us. Every time they come back to us it’s not fair,” says Simon.
However, the board of trustees disagree, saying that it has made a “fair offer.”
Thursday, 16 October 2014 08:31
The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization
— From Hicksville High School
Thursday, 09 October 2014 08:47
The Mets minor league system is enjoying a rare period of prosperity. For years, it was barren due to trading off high-ceiling players for major leaguers, or neglecting the draft in favor of the free agent market. Since General Manager Sandy Alderson took over, the organization has reversed course and put a much greater emphasis on player development. During his second-to-last season, however, former GM Omar Minaya took a chance and drafted a local catcher, Cam Maron, out of Hicksville High School in the 34th round.