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The Mayor’s Corner Village of Williston Park: November 2, 2011

On November 5 Stop in to Chat With Mayor Ehrbar

On Saturday, November 5, I will be at village hall from 9 a.m. until approximately noon, available to any resident who would like to stop in for a chat.

Over the first year and a half of my term, I’ve tried to be accessible to all. Until now it has been difficult in being able to work in the office on a Saturday morning. I am hopeful that I will be able to do this on a somewhat regular basis.

Further, in the future I expect to be available, time permitting, on various evenings outside of meeting nights. While I have met with various residents on a number of occasions, I believe setting aside a Saturday morning will give individuals an opportunity to meet with me to discuss areas of concern or just general discussions concerning Williston Park’s “State of Affairs”.

A village trustee or two may also be available but that is unknown at this time. If two or more are present we would have to declare this a meeting of the board but there would be no agenda or any action taken. Appointments are not necessary, so for those who would like to stop in, please do so. And as always, anyone who would like to meet with me at another time please give me a call at village hall at 282-0573 or on my cell 941-8463.

It’s that time of year that the leaves are beginning to fall (although the sycamores have been dropping their leaves since May). The village does not have a functioning street vacuum so it is imperative that residents not rake leaves into the street. While the new street sweeper will be more effective in picking up leaves than in the past, residents should put their leaves in a container of their choice and leave them out for our sanitation crews to pick them up on their regularly scheduled dates. Leaves left in the street become quite slippery when wet and car exhaust systems have the potential of starting fires (even with the engines off). Safety for all is the primary goal.

As the village moves forward with the reassessment process, letters went out to all residents currently receiving a veteran exemption. A number of veterans have asked questions about this part of the process and why the village is is asking these questions if the exemption is already on file. The purpose is to accurately update our records. In order to maintain these veteran exemptions, we passed two local laws this past Monday dealing with veteran exemptions.

One allows the veterans to receive the maximum New York State permitted exemption. The second deals with those veterans who currently receive the alternative fund benefit with the law designed to once again ensure the maximum level of exemption.

All of our real estate exemptions are controlled by New York State law. The state requires that the individual entitled to the benefit or a surviving spouse or dependent child (ren) must reside at the location receiving this exemption unless he or she is residing in a health care facility. As questions have been raised by individuals having specific situations, the village has been in contact with both New York State and Standard Valuation to ensure that both the correct information and exemptions are being given.

Any exemption given incorrectly negatively impacts the other residents in the village as their tax obligation is increased to make up for potential shortfall. The village is working extremely hard to ensure an accurate assessment while ensuring those eligible for an exemption receive the proper exemption to which they are entitled.

Any resident with a concern or question should contact Standard Valuation at 739-8080.

A special thanks to the Chamber of Commerce of the Willistons for their generous contribution to the village of $1500 to help defray the cost of Williston Day.