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Mayor Angry At Cuts

Mayor James Altadonna expressed frustration at the cuts in state aid given to the Massapequa school district in Gov. Cuomo’s proposed 2013/14 executive budget. At a recent village board meeting, the mayor lashed out at the proposal, saying that the governor has not taken into account how badly damaged the Massapequa area was by Superstorm Sandy.

“This community is hurting,” Altadonna said. “We need to have a number of years where we can rebuild. We still have people not in their houses. We need to recover.”

Altadonna said that the village board has reached out to the Massapequa school district to see how it could assist in getting more state aid for the schools. He also said the board has contacted the governor’s office to ask the governor to reconsider the cut in state education aid to Massapequa.

The mayor also questioned the management of the New York State pension system. Pension costs are tied to the performance of stock markets, which is why pension costs increased significantly during the recession. However, with the Dow having just surpassed 14,000, the mayor questioned why pension costs are continuing to rise.

“The state comptroller holds us accountable,” Altadonna said. “Who holds the pensions accountable? Who holds the state comptroller accountable?”

The mayor also asked where the incentive is for pension fund managers, as they get their commissions regardless of performance. He further questions this considering that simply placing pension funds in an index fund would likely have yielded a much better return.

In other news, the new pavilion being built at Brady Park will be named in honor of late Massapequa Park trustee Harry Jacobson. A dedication is being planned for later this year.

In a harbinger of spring, the board also granted permission to the Massapequa International Little League to conduct the Annual Opening Day Parade. The event is planed for Saturday, April 13.

The board also passed a resolution supporting a New York State Assembly bill making it mandatory for lending institutions to provide contact information of responsible parties regarding vacant structures. It is primarily aimed at foreclosures to help prevent homes foreclosed on from going into a dilapidated state.