Prior to the beginning of the last Williston Park Village meeting, the village board held a public hearing to enact a new chapter of the village code entitled Public Nuisance.
The new law would effectively prevent buildings, residence, premises and real estate within the village from being used in such a way as to constitute a public nuisance and would create a standardized procedure for securing legal and equitable remedies for prosecution of violators.
The proposed local law will take effect immediately on filing with the Secretary of State.
Toward the end of the hearing the board heard from POP Officer John Dockswell who said many of these arrests, especially the ones regarding prostitution, are somewhat of a "catch 22." He said he wished he had the luxury of being able to sit in his car at the location for the entire day, until an arrest is made, but that isn't the case. He said that many of the arrests that have been made are at 2 p.m. or after or at 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. But, few after 9 p.m. The arrests are made at what is deemed to be a "massage parlor."
A resident commented that perhaps the auxiliary police in the area could sit at those locations.
The owner of a computer repair shop pointed out that when computers are brought in to be fixed that at least 30 percent of them contain pornography and he wanted to know if he should be reporting this to the police.
It was determined that this would only apply if the pornography was being shown to children, but the owner of the computer store could not be held accountable for those having pornography on the computer to be repaired.
After the local law was described and residents had an opportunity to comment on it, the board voted in favor of the law and then moved the meeting to its regular monthly meeting.
At the beginning of the meeting Colleen Carboine, secretary to the board, read a 2008 Year in Review that she compiled stating all that happened in the village during the year.
In the review it was mentioned that the village has continued to run smoothly thanks to all the many employees, volunteers, mayor and trustees.
It was pointed out that the village library has been updated with many new online resources added.
The village pool had a record enrollment and realized a profit and the members of the Little League donated and created a 911 Memorial garden and plaque at Kelleher Field.
Both the Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades were well attended. The village has applied for and received grants for road repair and security improvements at water and park facilities along with lighting for the ball fields.
The village planted 60 new trees and received a rebate from LIPA for planting wire friendly trees. Plus, the village purchased, instead of leased, three new Fire Department Chiefs vehicles. Further, the village purchased garbage trucks and pickup trucks at an auction that saved residents thousands of dollars.
The water tanks were inspected, cleaned and minor repairs were made and outside water meters have been installed in most homes throughout the village, with more to be completed, so that meter reading may be done without gaining entry into the home.
It was also pointed out that the next village board meeting will be held on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on what would be the regular board meeting.
The board then opened the hearing, held on Oct. 20, regarding the cell towers at Williston House. Mayor Ludwig Odierna pointed out that the village is not allowed to deny cell towers and these towers are for Omnipointe cell towers. All on the board voted in favor of the cell towers except trustee William Darmstadt, who voted no.
Joseph Heery wanted to know who was the person polling the board and it was stated that it was the Village Deputy Clerk, who has been with the village for five years and deputy clerk for 2 1/2 years.
Mayor Odierna announced that the board has saved the village one half million dollars by purchasing used garbage trucks. He said that they researched and found outlets where they could buy them used. Now, they are going to scrap the two garbage trucks that have been so much trouble. According to the mayor, every time they go for repairs it costs the village at least $3,000.
Odierna added, "At a very reduced rate we also bought a code enforcers vehicle at the same place and it's under $1,000 and the village is having it stripped and that saves the code enforcers from having to use their own cars and the village would have to pay mileage. Also, one of the water trucks was replaced and that was also bought at a significant reduction in price. All came to about $18,000."
The mayor also said that a court grant has been received and the courtroom will be renovated, which is also used as the boardroom. The mayor said that there would be new benches, new paint job and a railing in the front. The leak will also be taken care of. He added, "This paneling from the 1940s is also coming down and we will have a village mural in the back, which will be very pretty. We thank the judge and court clerk for that work."
The library requested the use of the Assembly Room on Jan. 10 for a children's movie and the VFW requests the use of the room on the second Friday of each month, including the month of May. Both requests were approved.
Deputy Mayor Smith announced that there was a profit at the pool this year, but the pool needs a new slide. One estimate is $100,000 and the other is between $80,000 and $120,000. She said, "I really think its imperative to move on purchasing a new slide."
She thanked everyone for attending the tree lighting in the sub-zero weather. She particularly thanked the dancers from Tap The Pointe dance studio for braving the cold to perform. She thanked the Kiwanis Club for a donation for this event.
She also announced that parking permits are available and they are to be adhered to the back left bumper of your vehicle.
Trustee Dunn reported that Judge Alan Reardon heard 200 cases, collecting fines of $15, 239 along with the mandatory state surcharge of $535 and Judge Kevin Kiley heard 44 cases collecting fines of $3, 195 with the mandatory state surcharge of $420.
Trustee Swendsen-Dowd commented on the need for a new pool slide and she said that the village was also looking into perhaps a sponsorship of the slide or to be able to buy a step of the slide.
She commented on the water system and that they all sat down with the water board and East Williston village and although the water tower was cleaned and repaired no report has been issued from that process.
He announced that there were two prostitution arrests made in the village. Further, two donation boxes were also broken into at St. Aidans church.
He also reported that cars that were not locked had been ransacked and various items taken such as iPods, GPS, etc. So he pleaded with residents to please lock their cars.
He also announced that Little League registration dates would be on Jan. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please check with the Little League prior to coming to register.
Attorney Reers announced there would be a continuation of the Rental Registration Hearing on Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. upstairs at Williston Park Village Hall.
He reported that there have been another 34 water meter replacements and the water tank has been cleaned and repaired and the village is in the process of putting water back into the tank that is on Williams Street and testing is under way. He also reported there was a service break on Princeton Street.
The highway department has completed leaf cleaning for the year and has spread about five tons of asphalt and cleaned the storm drains after several large rains.
All the sprinkler systems have been winterized and all the snow equipment has been converted.
Residential building permits are four, bringing in $5800 and there are no applications for commercial building permits. The residential plumbing permits issued are 10; food and drink license one and oil tank permits, three; sign permits, one and sidewalk sales permit, two; sidewalk apron and curb replacement one; board of appeals application, two, street opening permits one, bringing in a total of $10, 740.
At the end of every report a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year was wished to all residents.
Mr. Heery wanted to know the exact amount paid to the village attorney to date and it was reported that the budget for Attorney Reers is $83, 500 and to date the amount is approximately $56, 379.
Trustee Swendson Dowd explained that many residents go to Attorney Reers' office and sit with him on a one-on-one basis to discuss some of the new laws that have been updated.
Mr. Heery objected to that and said the place to do that kind of discussion was at a village board meeting.
Mayor Odierna said, "The attorney has saved us more than $100,000 on other issues.
Mr. Heery said, "I hope we can limit it within our budget." He also mentioned that Valentine's Day is coming and every year the fire department has a Rose Sale and he said that hurts the community and he said he didn't feel it necessary for the fire department to raise funds in this way.
Trustee Swendson Dowd said she would advise him to go talk to the fire department directly.
Yet another resident complained about the monies spent on the village attorney. He said it seems legal fees have escalated.
Mayor Odierna said he has checked with other villages and he said, "We are right on line with other village attorney fees."
The resident said, "Residents should not be calling the village attorney because he then bills the village for his time. It seems like runaway bills for the attorney. The money we saved on the garbage trucks then goes to the legal fees."
Reers said, "Most of the things I work on result in money that comes into the village."
Mayor Odierna said they would be assessing all of the lines on the budget.
The resident said then it should be broken down into what is actually being spent and it should be reported.
Maura Clancy commented that the attorney bills were very high.
East Williston Park Mayor Nancy Zolezzi said she was at the meeting to support her friend Maura Clancy. She also commented that her husband, who owns a company on Willis Avenue, was issued a parking ticket for $100 and the case was not heard in village court, but was sent on to a Nassau County court.
It was explained that was done, by law, because both judges in the village had recused themselves from the case due to the fact they both knew the parties involved. According to attorney Richard Reers, that is protocol in such a case.
The very long meeting finally ended, close to 11 p.m. and as mentioned before the next Williston Park Village Board meeting will be held on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. at Williston Park Village Hall, 494 Willis Avenue, Williston Park.