Written by Wendy Kreitzman Friday, 18 October 2013 00:00
As Election Day draws closer and the Town of North Hempstead will soon have a new supervisor, several pressing issues have surfaced. With Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth seeking the office as a Democrat and Town
Councilwoman Dina DeGiorgio running on the Republican ticket, three major points stand out: transparency in government, problems with the town’s building department and the question of what the town does for the villages.
All along both candidates have emphasized a real need for transparency in government. Discussing the issue with Bosworth, she reiterated the need for a very open government, with town board meetings streamed live on the Internet, as well as eventually televising them on public access channels. She also spoke of making better use of the town’s website, with pertinent news regarding village boards.
DeGiorgio said that “one of the cornerstones of my campaign for councilwoman was creating a more transparent, open and accessible government.” Today she feels “even more strongly … after serving as councilwoman for two years.” She
has long spoke about televising town board meetings and believes that work sessions should be held in advance of each meeting.
Walking through several communities within the town, this issue, though high on the list of priorities for the candidates, does not seem to be worrying constituents. “Dave” from Port Washington found town mailings a great help, informing him about all sorts of entertainment and “some pretty wonderful parks and pools.” Several people mentioned the local newspapers as a great way to keep abreast of town news and events for all to read.
As for the candidates, Bosworth stressed not only the wealth of cultural activities open to all town residents, but also the cooperation and communication between the town and villages. The town provide a whole host of services for residents, and provides much infrastructure work for villages at reduced costs and they provide the town’s Reverse 311 system (and new emergency management initiative) as well as assistance during emergencies. Bosworth said all of this inter-municipal progress “needs to be continued and expanded.” She noted her strong relationships with local mayors.
DeGiorgio said “several village mayors” told her of a “disconnect” between village government and the town. As supervisor, she would “work hard to bridge this gap, but always respect the autonomy of village government.” DeGiorgio’s response: “I will ask, I will do my homework and I will make decisions on what I believe is right … I will meet regularly with village mayors to find out how the town can help them.”
Strong responses came forth from the public at the mention of the town’s building department. “Impossible … slow, takes months for answers … you can’t do anything, can’t get a permit, you just wait and wait.” And although the “scandals” of several years ago are long gone, and town officials have over and over again spoken of changes and better response time, the complaints remain loud and strong. A walk around any of the town communities will easily produce the problems once the subject is broached.
Bosworth told the Anton Newspapers that “this simply needs to change.” She said: “A number of positive steps have been accomplished in recent years (accountability, training, systems, software, computers, personnel, etc.), but much of that is unseen to the public and has not addressed the essential goal of ensuring that the department is truly consumer friendly.” Bosworth is intent on bringing the building department “to the point where it is functioning as an advocate for residents and taxpayers, and not an adversary … it is essential that we move the department to a higher level of service and efficiency, for the benefit of our residents and business people.” She is “committed” to these improvements and has a plan in place already.
DeGiorgio told the said that “fixing the building department begins with listening … the solutions require hard work, attention to detail, close management and supervision and better communication.” She said this will take a lot more than a simple plan, and having spoken with a member of the building department and with a commissioner and staff members, DeGiorgio spoke with homeowners and suggests: a formal pre-screen meeting, same day review of applications, scanning all documents to prevent loss and to eventually allow the public to access thei4r building department records online. And she would “create a “fast track board to approve simple variances such as fences, sheds and HVAC units without requiring homeowners to hire expensive consultants.”
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
A hot topic in New York State is the controversy around the state education department and its recent policy of sharing of personal student information with third party data collection company InBloom; a topic that dominated a large portion of the Herricks School
Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Dec. 12.
The board unanimously voted at the meeting to reject InBloom, and demanded that the data of Herrick students not be transmitted to any third party provider. Superintendent of Schools John Bierwirth said that while this vote wasn’t legally binding, it represents the first step in what he hopes will become a series of sweeping changes in New York.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Wednesday, 18 December 2013 00:00
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District addressed the recent defeat of the Sewanhaka Central High School District bond referendum at its board of education meeting on Monday, Dec. 9.
Board trustee David Del Santo described the situation facing the high school district as “difficult at best” and says a new plan is being developed for the spring. “Voter turnout was abysmal. It may have been bad timing, but voter apathy was a factor,” Del Santo said.
The referendum lost by a margin of 293 votes, with 5,117 total cast. The bond failed in New Hyde Park-Garden City Park, 614-347 and gained the only positive vote in Floral Park, 1,111-954. Major repairs would have been made to New Hyde Park Memorial High
School if the bond passed. These included new, synthetic athletic fields for football, soccer, and lacrosse; roof and window repairs, and parking lot repaving. Planned security and technology upgrades will also go unfunded now, according to district officials.
Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
Sewanhaka High School’s boys varsity basketball team has their eyes set on the playoffs and beyond this season.
Led by third-year head coach Jason Allen, this could be the year the Indians really turn the corner, after struggling last season.
“We can be a very good team this year,” said Allen. “I think we can be a playoff team. The conference is very deep, but I think we will be in the mix with the top four teams and the playoffs.”
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano presented citations to honorees at the recent Milan Senior Program.
The mission of the Milan Senior Program is to offer educational and recreational activities, to promote personal growth and socialization, to foster feelings of achievement, companionship, and well-being
that would enhance the quality of life for people 60 years of age and older. For more information on the Milan Senior Program visit http://www.herricksindous.org/Milan
• Boy Scout Troop 200 Of Williston Park meets every Monday between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church located at Willis Ave. and Winthrop St., Williston Park. Boys 11 to 17 are welcome to join.
• Irish American Society Social Gatherings every Monday at the Irish American Center, 297 Willis Ave., Mineola, from noon to 3 p.m. In the tradition and mission of the Irish American Society, we are here to make all welcome and be part of the local community. Bring lunch. Coffee and tea will be served. Play cards, board games or just sit and socialize. A film once a month. Ladies and gents welcome. Free to all. Call Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 746-9392 or 742-8080.
• Farmer’s Markets are held every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come buy local produce, breads, pickles and other goods at the municipal parking lot on Jericho Turnpike just west of New Hyde Park Road, across from Village Hall. Rain or shine until November.
• The Port Washington-New Hyde Park Marine Corp League will now hold its meeting on the second Thursday of each month at 8 p.m. in the New Hyde Park Elks Lodge at 901 Lakeville Road in New Hyde Park. All marines are welcome.
For more information, call Commander Vinny Annunziata at 516-775-0383.
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