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) Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
One fortunate New Hyde Park resident was rescued from the freezing cold on Tuesday, Feb. 25 thanks to Dr. Julia Harmon, DVM, of the New Hyde Park Animal Hospital. That night, at approximately 8 p.m., Harmon was going to her car after work when she saw Spike, a wandering bulldog near Brooklyn Avenue, one block from the vet’s office on Jericho Turnpike.
Harmon immediately brought Spike, who was not wearing a collar and did not have a microchip implanted for identification, back to the vet’s office. The temperature outside was already at 31 degrees, but felt like 20 degrees with the windchill. Luckily Spike was
brought in from the cold early; temperatures dropped down to 25 degrees that night.
Last Updated (Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00) Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education talked finalizing the budget for the 2014-15 school year at its work session meeting on Monday, Feb. 24. The budget will be unveiled at the March 10 meeting.
Talks at the work session centered around what is or isn’t changing next year, and the board announced that they’re dealing with a “maintenance of effort” budget that will retain all current programs and non-mandated activities. Class sizes are expected to average about 21 students.
“Yes, we are status quo for the upcoming year, and this is a great achievement. It’s an amazing feat compared to the rest of the state,” Vice President Patricia Rudd said.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
New Hyde Park Michael Castelli recently participated in the 32nd Black Belt Graduation at Charles Water Karate & Fitness, located at 122 Hillside Ave. in Williston Park. He graduated to first-degree black belt.
“Our studio teaches students how to defend themselves responsibly while instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and respect for others,” says Grandmaster Charles Water, owner and director of the school.
Students tested in October, successfully passed their exam recently and received their black belt certificates. “Who says that the youth of America are not committed? A healthy life style at the karate studio, mentally and physically is alive, well and working,” said Water.
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
After missing the playoffs two straight years, the Sewanhaka Indians Boys lacrosse team will face tougher odds if it hopes to advance to postseason play in 2014.
The Indians, who start their season March 24 at Oyster Bay, will be playing out of Section 8, Nassau Conference II (Class B) this year; a bump up from their usual spot in Nassau Conference III (Class C). Typically, the schools are divided by enrollment.
“There are no gimmies in this league,” said nine-year coach Peter Burgess. “We were the last team to make this league in terms of population. They kind of drew the line below us. So we’re the smallest school in the league.”
Burgess said another obstacle for the Indians will be facing teams that they have no experience playing before.