Opinion

Dear Fellow Residents,

At recent meetings of the Mineola Village Board of Trustees, certain situations involving individual members of our community have taken a great deal of our time and energy to address. While these situations merit our attention as your elected representatives, I would like to place those issues into the larger context of what we consider to be our responsibilities.

We understand that each person's issue may well be the most important issue in the world to that person. We attempt to see that issue from that person's point of view and to address it where possible.

But there are larger community-wide issues, which we must also address. How we deal with these larger issues will determine, to a great extent, our future quality of life, our economic stability, our ability to function as a first-class village.

Please allow me to share with you some of the very important projects we are working on and challenges which we are facing:

1. Monitoring and promoting the Winston Project, including the senior housing component, especially with respect to Garden City.

2. Overseeing the development of the new condominium on Harrison and Main Street.

3. Developing a plan for the renovation and renewal of Station Plaza North.

4. Establishing a new parking lot on First Street and Third Avenue.

5. Updating all of our laws, including our Zoning Code.

6. Attempting to work out an inter-municipal solution to restoring the former Jackson Steel property to the tax rolls.

7. Monitoring the MTA Third Track project.

8. Establishing a "Quiet Zone" along the LIRR corridor to end train horns in Mineola.

9. Redesigning the storm water drainage system in the southeast section of our village.

10. Preparing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of the former Winthrop satellite garage site.

11. Fighting to get a traffic signal at the entrance to the Birchwood Co-op.

12. Finalizing the street dedication and easements connected with the Mineola Intermodal Center.

13. Establishing a Solid Waste Management Plan for long-term garbage disposal.

14. Entertaining plans for the redevelopment of the former KeySpan Building on Old Country Road.

15. Working to establish both indoor and outdoor athletic fields at the end of East Second Street.

16. Working up a responsible and balanced budget for 2009-2010.

17. Continuing to upgrade our infrastructure: water, sewer, roads, parks, pool and the like.

18. Implementing our Master Plan in all areas of the village.

19. Working closely with the New York Conference of Mayors and the Nassau County Village Officials Association to protect and preserve local municipal home rule for our village in the face of consolidation threats from other governmental entities.

20. Finalizing the Mineola Grade Crossing Elimination Project with the New York State Department of Transportation, including obtaining deeds to properties, which will become village-owned.

21. Finding ways to channel moneys from the Federal Stimulus Package into our village in order to benefit our taxpayers.

These are just 21 of the many major projects which our trustees and I are working on or challenges we are addressing. The actual list is much, much longer.

So, we are asking the community to take a deep breath, to try to lower the volume, to understand that the trustees and I have to divide our time between the pressing concerns of the individual and the fundamental requirements of the community.

Our task is to balance the individual good with the common good and to make sure that we get that balance right. We are doing the best we can and I think that we are doing a pretty good job.

But we have to be vigilant so that we apportion our time and energies in such a way that we do not lose sight of the major issues facing our community.

Otherwise, we might miss opportunities for addressing our major challenges, issues and responsibilities in these very difficult times.

Jack M. Martins

Mayor, Village of Mineola


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