This week we were alerted that the Village of Plandome Manor is now requiring all hot tubs and swimming pools to be inspected by the village’s crack team of inspectors. It seems that these days, the hyper-regulating village board stays busy issuing rules and regs on every aspect of our lives.
This hot tub inspection makes me wonder if we all must wear our swim trunks during this new inspection, or can we remain in our birthday suits? Besides the matter of clothes, if we have closed the hot tub for the summer months, must we reopen it for the summer inspection schedule of our government in order to accommodate their latest rulings? The myriad of issues surrounding the hot tub and pools scares me as to what they may inspect next. My refrigerator cleanliness? My washing machine? My water closet?
The following letter was sent to Manhasset Board of Education President Carlo Prinzo, with a copy to the Manhasset Press.
It was brought to my attention that on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, automated phone calls were made to Manhasset School District residents in opposition to your budget.
The resident who contacted me indicated that the automated message indicated that it was made by the Manhasset Republican Club, whose president is quoted in Newsday regarding your budget.
When the budget is put of for a revote on June 18, it is incumbent on every person who is a homeowner or has a child in the school district to vote Yes. The cuts that will have to be made in order to get to the two percent cap are so severe that it almost doesn’t seem worth it to have a school district at all. At stake are all before- and after-school clubs, music and singing programs, all sports programs, some language programs, and cuts to classes other than the core curriculum. If you have young children, you have the most to lose since your children will have to go through middle and high school with a severely limited program. If you have children in the secondary schools, you must vote Yes if you want your child to get into any college. What will your child list as extra-curricular activities they participated in if there are none? If you are a homeowner, you must vote Yes. If the budget fails, there will be a glut of homes for sale in Manhasset and no one will want to buy them. Our property values will go down and our taxes will stay the same or increase in any event. Sadly, our district will be no better than the poorest school in the city system. Manhasset will be the poster child for everything that is wrong with our state government in Albany, which forces school districts to pay for pensions and state mandates without giving them the ability to get the funds. It will make for a chilling documentary, though. It can be titled “Manhasset—Long Island’s Detroit.”
Congratulations Manhasset, the school budget was defeated handily on Tuesday. I get it. Nobody wants to see their taxes increased. I don’t want to see my taxes go up either. I hate paying more taxes. But you know what I hate worse? The decimation of a once proud community.
Manhasset has had two fundamental assets that are the tent poles of attraction to residents and potential homebuyers (I’m not including our thriving shopping on Plandome Road—sarcasm intended).
I had to re-stake the ‘NO NO NO’ sign at the Plandome Station since it was cast aside for a ‘Vote YES’ sign. The get-out-the-vote effort for the school budget voting is huge and does not bode well for a ‘NO’ vote against this voluntary tax increase.
Many families move to Manhasset for the schools and are willing to pay for them since they plan to move as soon as the kids are out of school. That is all good but residents that are the core long term homeowners are left to pay their massive tax bills. It seems we are only renting our homes from the taxman!
This week will be my last as editor of the Manhasset Press, a position I have very much enjoyed. I have a special relationship with this community because it is where I was raised and where I raised my three children. Over the past 10 years, my connection to this community has become even more meaningful through my tenure as editor of this paper.
Then as now, Manhasset is defined by the people who inhabit it. Over time the faces change but the character remains the same. Manhasset is a wonderful place to live.
To everything there is a season and it is time for me to step down.
Thank you Manhasset.
- Pat Grace
Back in 1921 Manhasset got its first memorial to recognize the sacrifices of its residents who served and fought in what was then known at the Great War. It is located on Memorial Field where the annual Memorial Day parade ends and the ceremonies to honor Manhasset’s veterans take place. In recent years the memorial, the adjacent flagpole, and the immediate surrounding area have been in need of a clean-up and refurbishment. Thanks to the joint efforts of the Manhasset Park District, which once owned the field, and the Manhasset Public School District, which owns it now, that work is well under way.
Last week the stumps of old plantings were cleared and the flagpole and surrounding railings were repainted by employees of the park district. The school district plans to add appropriate plantings and mulch in the area around the memorial stone and plaque. All work should be completed in a week or so. This has been accomplished very quickly at modest cost through a few emails, a brief meeting, and the close cooperation of two local public entities. It’s a model of how Manhasset’s residents and organizations can work can work together for the betterment of the community.
You may have recently received a letter from the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC asking for your help with our summer program. The mailing included a brochure that describes the various youth programs that are offered within the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC’s Hagedorn Community Center.
Please note that while each of these extraordinary programs—the Manhasset/Great Neck EOC, Adventures in Learning, and Hoops on the Hill—serve the same population of children and families, they are separate 501(c)3 organizations.
On behalf of us all, thank you for your continued support for the less fortunate children of the community.
Executive/Head Start Director
Manhasset/Great Neck EOC Board of Directors
Here is something that I don’t think many people realize. If we should go to an austerity budget this year, it will look very different from the austerity that we had in 2004. Here are some facts to consider:
- In 2004 the austerity budget was a 3.78 percent budget increase from the year before. With the exception of being restricted in the purchase of new equipment, the district operated almost as usual. Some program cuts were made, but we did not have to totally reshape the educational landscape of Manhasset schools.
As early as May 2012, the Manhasset School Superintendent anticipated piercing the tax cap, when he wrote “we encourage our residents to think 60 plus:” meaning that it would require 60 percent of the vote to pierce the tax cap. So by May 2013, after spending the district’s cash reserves, the administration pierced the cap and proposed a 6 percent increase in school taxes. The school administration got it right in one respect, residents should think.
Residents should think about repercussions if their school taxes rise 6 percent this year. For example, property taxes on homes assessed at $1.5 million will increase approximately $1,000. Since the board has not pledged to honor the tax cap next year, residents could expect a similar compounded tax increase in 2014 and thereafter.
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