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Supervisor Election: Issues In The Town

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.

News

The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from local school districts showing a mild resistance to the exams.

 

According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, 39 students in the Herricks School District opted out of the English exam, while 74 did not take the math test. For the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District, 17 students did not take the English test while 18 refused to take the math test.

At the Oct. 17 meeting of the Herricks Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Bierwirth discussed the recent investigation of students who have been illegally attending school in the Herricks School District, despite living in outer areas. Bierwirth said that 14 prospective cases were investigated and eight students were forced to leave the district.

 

Board of Education President James Gounaris said weeding out students who are attending school in Herricks under false pretenses is boiled down to one fact: it takes away valuable resources from the children of tax-paying members of the community.


Sports

The Sewanhaka Indians varsity football team hosted Elmont Spartans on Saturday, Oct. 18 in its final home game of the regular season. 

 

It certainly did not go as the Indians had hoped, falling 18-8, in a mistake filled game. Head coach George Kasimatis said the Indians had their chances, but kept digging themselves into a hole with mental mistakes on both sides of the ball. 

 

Playing from behind, senior running back Brenton Mighty was able to break free for a long touchdown run, to put the Indians on the board. 

Sewanhaka Indians Head football coach George Kasimatis told his team to expect a dogfight in this weeks game against the New Hyde Park Gladiators, and he was right after its 35-21 victory last week. 

 

“All the kids know each other really well, it’s always competitive when we play each other,” he said. 


Calendar

PTA Meeting - October 22

International Night - October 23

Halloween Dance - October 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com