Written by Rich Forestano Thursday, 26 June 2014 00:00
With tears welling up in his eyes, Mineola School Board trustee William Hornberger presided over his final meeting last week. He announced last April he would not seek re-election. Newcomer Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion won an unopposed election in May and will fill the open seat vacated by Hornberger.
He was first elected to the board in 2008 and re-elected in 2011, serving as board president and vice president in that span. The Williston Park resident oversaw the reconfiguration of the district, which included the closing of the Cross Street and Willis Avenue schools, one of the more challenging times in the district’s history. Those two schools have since been leased out to Solomon Schechter Day School and Harbor Child Care, respectively.
“I thank [the board] for [their] time, devotion and commitment to Mineola,” he said. “As each trustee can attest, I share my thoughts freely and I thank you for opening my eyes and ears to your thoughts and ideas.”
School Board Vice President Christine Napolitano is now the longest running board member. She ran for trustee in 2009 and is now the last trustee of a previous board that helped shepherd the reconfiguration.
“Will has always been known as a numbers guy, but really, he was much more than that and through [reconfiguration] he kept his eyes where they needed to be, on the students,” she said, fighting tears of her own. “Thanks for standing with me for the past five years.”
District Superintendent Michael Nagler called Hornberger a “friend” and while they didn’t agree all the time (he has voted the most against Nagler’s contract), he noted without Hornberger, the district would have suffered.
“What Will does have is the ability to see into the future,” Nagler said. “I am positive had we not reconfigured, we would have lost many programs we currently have.”
School Board President Artie Barnett said he’d be running for another term to “finish Will’s vision.”
“Will stepped up to do something and he succeeded,” Barnett said. “The school district is better off because of his service and he should be proud of the change he brought.”
Trustee Patricia Navarra appreciated his guidance during her first year on the board.
“As District Council president I fought you on a regular basis,” Navarra joked. “I also campaigned for you and supported your vision and feel very fortunate to have worked with you this past year.”
Trustee Nicole Matzer, the newest board member, noted Hornbeger’s tenacity in asking the right questions.
“I just want to thank [Will] for his service to the children and the community,” Matzer said. “And for asking all the tough questions and answering all of mine and the guidance you have given me. I will miss you sitting [next to me].”
Thursday, 02 October 2014 00:00
The Village of Williston Park Board of Trustees passed a local law last week that establishes the authority for legal action on water bills that are $25,000 or greater.
According to Village Attorney James Bradley, if a water bill remains unpaid for 90 days, he is authorized to commence legal proceedings for collection, and charge attorney fees for prosecution. Fees would be added to the unpaid bill and subject to non-payment penalties
“The person or entity responsible for paying the unpaid bill will be liable for the attorney fees,” Bradley said, while noting that the bill is an amendment of existing code.
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00
The founders of the popular Facebook group “Massapequa Moms,” a ‘virtual living room with 6,700 people,’ are leveraging their social media power to create a new discount loyalty card good all over Long Island—including, they hope, in Mineola.
With a hugely popular Facebook community, co-founders Dawn Boyle Kostakis and Stephanie Hartman wanted to “figure out a way that we could help the consumer and the business owner at the same time; keeping commerce going, keeping it all local and having the people get a little bang for their buck,” said Kostakis. They wanted to serve more than just Massapequa, too, and the Long Island Loyalty card was born.
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team defeated the Roosevelt Roughriders 47-38 on Saturday, Sept. 20.
Senior quarterback James Gerstner led the Mustangs (2-0) to victory by rushing 212 yards and securing five touchdowns on 23 carries. He also completed 11 of 13 passes for 229 yards and one touchdown.
“This was a big game—we were ready and pumped up all week,” Gerstner said. “We came in ranked third but we knew we could beat them.”
Thursday, 25 September 2014 00:00
The Mineola Varsity Football team’s defense dominated Valley Stream South, winning 21-0 on Sept. 13. The Falcons never got further then Mineola’s 30 yard line. The defense was lead by senior linebackers Eric Guardado (8 tackles 6 assist), Ed Hincapie (6 tackles, 5 assist) and safety John Clancy (tackles, 3 assist).
Defensive linemen Anthony Sarno, Luigi Athan, Victor Tineo, Matt Lafaye and Chris Brenes controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive backs Peter McCormack and Chris Lockwood played very well as they combined for eight tackles and only allowed two pass completions. Linebacker Kyle Dunleavy, Ben Carbone, Matt Kosowski and Brian Smith also played very well.