In years past during budget season, the Manhasset Press reported how the high school auditorium was filled to capacity with parents, at times eight deep at the microphone, pleading with the administration not to cut drama programs, etc. April 14, Superintendent Cardillo commented that on the evening the budget was adopted there was a one-hour presentation on languages. The phenomenon was due, in large part, he believed, to the budget process followed by the district. There was little community presence; it was very quiet.
The Manhasset Board of Education adopted the proposed budget in the amount of $85,592,098 for the 2011-12 school year. This is a slightly lower increase than proposed last month, and represents a final budget to budget increase of 2.49 percent with a corresponding tax levy of 2.79 percent. This year, should the budget go down, the contingency budget is 1.92 percent.
The opening prayer by Diamond Mason set the tone for what was to come. A heart-warming ceremony April 5 at the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC Hagedorn Community Center celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Hoops on the Hill program. Ms. Mason prayed aloud, “Thank you for ‘Hoops’ every Tuesday and just having a place for people to come where they can be in the comfort of people who care about them.”
Hoops on the Hill provides opportunities to youth from the neighboring communities of Manhasset and Great Neck to realize their full potential academically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. The program began five years ago, the result of a small community group project of Shelter Rock Church on Plandome Road, to provide weekly basketball instruction to boys and girls 5-18 years of age. That first night, 19 children participated; they now serve 82. As more and more children participated, Hoops on the Hill has responded to needs beyond basketball and serves as a “bridge between High Street and Plandome Road.”
Co-hosted by the Town of North Hempstead and the Great Neck Arts Center, screenings will run from 9 a.m. until midnight in five communities—Manhasset, Roslyn, Port Washington, Great Neck, and Herricks. Professionals have been engaged to ensure a successful event. There is now a website: www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org.
Supervisor Jon Kaiman reported that the town is prepared to go forward on a revitalization project for Manhasset Valley Park in Manhasset. The project has an environmental and recreational component to it and involves the reconstruction of the baseball field, which will include the installation of a turf infield; the addition of an athletic field next to the baseball field; and the environmental remediation of the stream that feeds into Manhasset Bay.
After all the protests and disagreements, after all the proposals and changes, New York State has an on-time budget for the first time in 15 years and just a third on-time budget in 28 years.
New York State passed its $132.5 billion budget on March 31 around 1 a.m., just in time for the April 1 deadline. Overall spending will be cut $3.5 billion (2 percent) from the current year and closes a $10 billion deficit without raising taxes.
The budget included steep cuts in education aid ($1.3 billion or about 6 percent), Medicaid ($1 billion or about 2 percent) and state operations (10 percent).
The district’s 2010 Building Conditions Survey was presented to the board of education by the district’s architect, John A. Grillo Associates, Architects, PC, at its public meeting on Jan. 20. At its meeting on March 17 the board determined that it is necessary to undertake certain capital projects identified as a result of the district’s 2010 Building Conditions Survey and other priority projects.
Capital Reserve Proposition 2 on the May 17 ballot will cover projects with a total estimated cost of $2,405,725, and will be funded from the balance of 2010 Capital Reserve Fund plus interest and the General Fund un-appropriated unreserved funds of no more than $286,991. There will be no additional cost to the taxpayer.
• To bring the budget increase down to 2.53 percent, the superintendent recommends eliminating the assistant to the superintendent position and nearly 12 additional reductions in full-time equivalent personnel, along with other belt-tightening measures.
• This 2.53 percent increase would permit full replication of all core elementary and secondary academic, co-curricular and athletics programs, with limited impact on some elective offerings at the secondary school.
On Jan. 26 of this year, NIFA declared a control period in Nassau, assuming direct authority over the county’s budget. After that declaration, County Executive Edward P. Mangano led a legal effort to fight the takeover, which resulted in a court-ordered stay of the takeover until a 29-page legal decision from New York State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Diamond allowed the control period, and the county subsequently announced this week that it was dropping any further action. As a result of that decision, Mangano was forced to submit a new budget that eliminated what NIFA found to be a $176 million deficit. In order to do this without raising taxes, the county executive submitted plans to NIFA on March 22 that included major layoffs, cuts in services and pay furloughs. On March 18, the county executive requested a “wage freeze” or suspension of any pay increases to county employees. This required NIFA’s consent and would save over $10 million.
MTA Long Island Rail Road is opening a special Information Center at Great Neck Station for LIRR Port Washington Branch customers to learn about the proposed Colonial Road Improvement Project and how it will improve service for the entire Port Washington Branch. The Info Center–which will be open Tuesday, March 29 through Sunday April 3–will have LIRR personnel on hand to discuss the details of the LIRR’s proposed project to replace the 114-year-old Colonial Road Bridge, address track drainage problems and extend an existing pocket track east of Great Neck Station as part of the effort to bring LIRR service to Grand Central Terminal.
The candidates for Manhasset Public Library Trustee were given questions by the Manhasset Press to enable the community to better understand their positions. Following are the questions and their answers.
Two candidates are running to fill one five-year-term on the Manhasset Public Library Board of Trustees being vacated by Richard Tortora. The candidates are Robert Carrozzo and David M. Ehrlich.
The League of Women Voters of Port Washington/Manhasset will sponsor a Candidates’ Night for the candidates running for Manhasset Library Board. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 29 at 7 p.m. in the downstairs Community Room of the Manhasset Library.
The community is invited to attend.
- Pat Grace
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