Written by Daniel Offner Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
With term limits set to expire for three positions on the Island Trees Board of Education, three contestants have emerged, sparking a potential six-way contest for the school board, this May.
For the three challengers—lifelong Island Trees residents Paul Giambona, Michael Rich and Brian Fielding—the biggest issue affecting the school community surrounds the recent proposal to errect 147 to 250 condominium units for seniors on 11.3 acres of property housing the Stephen E. Karopczyc and Geneva N. Gallow schools.
Although the school board’s response to an outpouring of community concerns indicate that the district plans to reexamine the property, Giambona said his concerns surround the transparent nature of the project and its cost.
“One our major concerns is the [school board’s] blatent lack of transparency,” said Giambona. “It is important that the right things are being done in the interest of the people.”
According to Giambona, while the board never agreed to sell the property, the district spent thousands of dollars in fees for a real estate attorney, appraiser, and broker. “That could’ve went to so many different things,” he added.
During a recent discussion on the property, challenger Michael Rich said that while he is glad that the district has decided to return to the drawing board, the disconnect between the board and school community was responsible for the proposal.
“This would’ve been a terrible mistake,” Rich said. “There are other ways to go about it.”
With three open seats on the school board, only one incumbent has confirmed plans to run for reelection. Calls to Island Trees School Board President Kenneth Rochon and Trustee George Storm were not retruned, as of press time.
Pat Mahon, a board incumbent, announced that she plans to run for reelection against the three challengers this May.
“I stand on my record over these past nine years,” said Mahon.
During her tenure on the school Board of Education, Mahon helped to increase AP classes in the district, implemented new safety protocols following the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., closed the high school campus, and worked with the budget committee to bring this year’s budget to a proposed zero tax levy increase.
While Mahon feels the challengers will have a difficult time matching her record, Giambona, Rich and Fielding feel that changes need to be made.
“After a certain amount of ideas, it is good to get a different perspective,” Fielding said.
With more than a month before school district voters go to the polls, The Levittown Tribune will continue to provide election coverage leading up to the May elections.
Friday, 19 September 2014 08:29
A group of Levittown parents are voicing their concerns with letting their children walk to school, since it would mean they would continue to cross Hempstead Turnpike.
“My kid has to cross [Hempstead Tpke.] daily without a crossing guard,” said Division Avenue parent Wendy Lantigua.
For Lantigua and others, the dangers of Hempstead Turnpike became all to real after 13-year-old Brianna Soplin was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver, last June. Not to mention the fact that another 14-year-old Levittown student suffered multiple injuries after being struck in hit-and-run, last February.
Saturday, 20 September 2014 00:00
On Sept. 14, Hempstead town officials joined family and friends of fallen New York City paramedic Rudy Havelka, to unveil the re-dedication of Birch Lane in Levittown.
While surviving the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Havelka wou ld later die of an illness related to his service at Ground Zero.
Friday, 19 September 2014 08:34
The annual One Love Long Island (OLLI) Yoga Festival takes place at the Sands Point Preserve on Sunday, Sept. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. All profits will be donated to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking, locally and globally.
The festival will unite 16 Long Island yoga studio communities in a round robin of the traditional yogic practice of 108 Sun Salutations from 9:30 a.m. to noon, whose offerings will look to create long-term and sustainable solutions to eradicate the human trafficking epidemic by raising funds and awareness for the cause.
Friday, 19 September 2014 08:33
As a fitness coach and a mother, Melissa Monteforte of Locust Valley knows how important it is to stay healthy, and how difficult it can be for women to make themselves, and their health, a priority. Wanting to help women take charge and feel more in control, she organized the Fit & Healthy Mamas Annual 5K run, now in its third year, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.
“I felt like running was the best outlet when I became a mother; it’s such a great way to get fit and feel healthy and I wanted to share that with other moms,” says Monteforte, 31. “I wanted women to feel celebrated, no matter their fitness level, and to put their health first.”