Immediately following the passage of the public referendum law by the Nassau County Legislature to allow county residents to decide the fate of the Nassau Memorial Coliseum, New York Islanders owner Charles Wang, sports fans, union leaders and community members joined County Executive Edward Mangano for the bill signing ceremony. The plan could hold up to a $400 million price tag.
Just minutes before, County Legislators passed the referendum, 11-7, allowing residents to vote on the County Executive’s Economic Development and Job Creation Plan at a public referendum to be held on Monday, August 1, 2011.
Last week the residents of the Levittown School District narrowly approved the $197,907,475 school budget. With the passed budget will come some layoffs; the Levittown School District has sent notification to 108 district teachers, informing them that they may be among those to be laid off.
Long Island business and construction union leaders rallied Monday and Tuesday of this week for a new Nassau Coliseum in an effort to keep the New York Islanders on Long Island.
The rallies were aimed at getting support from the Nassau Legislature on whether to proceed with a referendum on up to $400 million in borrowing to build a new Coliseum and a minor league ballpark.
The meeting opened with Pappas leading the rest of the board in a special ceremony to honor several talented students from around the district.
Division Avenue High School artists Stephanie Shisko and Giana Sini took first and second place, respectively, in the Heckscher Museum of Art Best Young Artists search and the board presented them with certificates for their tremendous talent.
On Tuesday, May 17 both neighboring school districts, Levittown and Island Trees, were able to announce passed budgets.
Although by a narrow gap, the resident voters of the Levittown School District passed the adopted budget with 2,967 votes. There were 2,414 no votes.
Levittown’s adopted budget totals $197,907,475, up 2.6 percent from the 2010/11 total budget of $192,843,816.
Proposition One also passed with 2,967 yes, and 2,414 no.
Levittown athlete Jodie Schoppmann continued her incredible 2011 string of performances on Sunday, May 1 by winning the RXR/TIA-CREF Long Island Marathon. Her finishing time of 2 hours, 42 minutes, 54 seconds brought her to the finish line more than 25 full minutes in front of runner-up Noni Accetturi of Port Washington.
Schoppmann’s 2:42:54 finish made her eligible to compete in the United States Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston in January of 2012, with a chance to make the U.S. Olympic Team. The qualifying time for the Trials was 2:45:00, and Schoppmann bested that by more than two minutes.
Schoppmann is a proud member of the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) and runs competitively for the Runner’s Edge Racing Team of Farmingdale.
The members of the Nassau County Legislature can all agree on what Section 113 and Section 114 of the county charter mean; however, as residents at the first hearing on the 2011 county redistricting proposal (put forth by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt and the Republicans who currently control the legislature) learned very quickly, Section 112 is a very different beast. Much of the discussion at the Monday, May 2 hearing involved questions of interpretation of the county charter- or, if it was a question of interpretation at all.
Sections 113 and 114 require a redistricting commission to be established one year and eight months prior to the 2013 election, with the final plan to be adopted in 2013. Section112, which deals with the subject of redistricting according to census data, is the justification for the Republicans’ controversial plan to redraw the district lines this year, subject to revision in 2013. While Democrats have criticized the plan as a transparent power-grab by Schmitt and his party, County Attorney John Ciampoli stated that the presence of Section 112 makes the redistricting immediately necessary for legal reasons.
Calling the May 9 redistricting hearing “contentious” would be a gross understatement. While many of the residents and elected officials who took the podium criticized the plan logically and eloquently, there was a lot of screaming and yelling in the chamber. While the audience in the chamber was diverse in every respect, many members of the minority groups whose current alleged under-representation the redistricting plan is supposedly intended to correct, were present to tell Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt-in no uncertain terms-that he does not speak for them.
Minority Leader Diane Yatauro also did not mince words: “This hearing is nothing but a farce...I can tell you how most of this self-serving ‘Republican Protection Plan’ will play out today, over the next week. Here’s what will happen: We know that Peter Schmitt will claim to be the great protector of the minority community…” (the rest of this sentence was inaudible due to audience laughter). “Just as they were spending millions of dollars to defend the NIFA fight, but to no avail, as the Republicans were shot down in court, we’re expecting the same action. And that’s where this will end up again- in court,” Yatauro said.
On Tuesday, May 17 the Island Trees School District will hold its budget vote and elections from noon to 9 p.m. at Michael F. Stokes School at 101 Owl Place in Levittown. A “Meet the Candidates” event is planned for Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. in the Island Trees High School Auditorium and the final public budget presentation will be made at the Town Hall meeting planned for Tuesday, May 10 in the Administration building.
The Division Avenue High School Cafeteria renovation project that has been delayed for months might soon have a resolution.
Board of Education President Michael Pappas announced at the Wednesday, April 13 Budget Planning Session that the board will hire an architect on Tuesday, May 10 to begin the initial phases of the undertaking. Initial blueprints are slated to be submitted for state approval on Wednesday, June 8, but there is yet to be a timetable for the estimated project completion date.
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