As citizens, we depend on our elected representatives at the various levels of government to properly manage budgets. I believe we can clearly state that our elected Mineola Village officials represent the only level of government to have delivered to its citizens. Over the last two years, the village budget has averaged an increase of about 2 percent. Compare this to the county, Town of North Hempstead, New York State and our federal government, which all increased their budgets at levels well above the inflation rate, have significantly raised taxes, laid off or cut back on support staff and have helped strangle the budgets of families trying to get by.

Some have questioned the raises the mayor and trustees voted for. But, when we analyze what our village's elected officials have accomplished for the citizens of Mineola, I, for one, believe it is well-deserved.

Our current mayor and trustees have managed in the last few years to achieve a significant decrease in our village debt, have generated tax savings by reducing tax certiorari tax refund payments to commercial properties, developed a master plan for the revitalization of the downtown area including a major condo project that will further add to our tax base and have worked on and instituted many other plans and strategies to improve the quality of our lives.

In conclusion, we are fortunate to have a village board that is forward looking, establishes goals and plans that are a benefit to the community, cares about those who are less fortunate and easily accessible when called upon.

Carmine Festa

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