Written by Rich Forestano Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:00
The Village of Mineola recently adopted a code of ethics to guide the village’s ethics board in financial or professional conflicts. Prior to the law adoption, Mineola had never operated with a code of ethics.
The code closely mirrors the New York State’s version, according to Mayor Scott Strauss.
“We’re tasking the ethics board to do a little bit more than they had done in the past,” Strauss said.
The current ethics board consists of Mineola residents Bernadette Pizzardi, Joan Hobbs, Russ Sutherland and Rev. Chet Easton of the First Presbyterian Church in Mineola. The board doesn’t meet unless an ethical issue surfaces, something Strauss says rarely occurs in the village.
“We’ve had always had an ethics board,” Strauss said. “I can’t speak to experiences because we have not had any ethical issues come up.”
The code prohibits municipal officers or employees from making decisions “that could result in a direct or indirect financial or material benefit, to himself or herself” to or to benefit a relative or interested private organization. It requires a municipal officer to disclose whether an action could, “result in a direct or indirect financial or material benefit.”
“Village trustees can call on the ethics board to resolve possible issues and ask for guidance regarding municipal practice,” acting village attorney John Gibbons said.
The public can also approach the ethics board regarding community issues, according to Gibbons. Strauss plans to appoint an employee to review financial disclosure forms, which must be filed by village officials.
“We want someone to actually review them and look at them,” Strauss said. “Rather than just have the village clerk look at them. We’ll have a second set of eyes.”
Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira was concerned with the ethics board leaking financial information online.
“I have nothing to hide but I’m thinking going forward, when something is filed with the village clerk and it’s public and someone makes a FOIL request, there’s a paper trail,” Pereira said. “Can they just put it online?”
Gibbons said the ethics board is bound by certain limitations and that the village clerk, Joseph Scalero, is the FOIL officer of Mineola.
“They are bound by their own ethics of not disclosing information they receive,” Gibbons said. “The ethics board is not the records access officer of Mineola. That is the village clerk. He is the only one entitled to disseminate information.”
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 00:00
The Village of Mineola’s Zoning Board last week approved Winthrop University Hospital’s plan to revamp the “Welcome to Mineola” sign atop the Station Plaza Diner at the Long Island Rail Road Station.
The village code prohibits rooftops signs, but the zoning board has relief powers.
“I spoke with the building commissioner and he said that he’s satisfied; that it’s structurally sound and stable,” Zoning Board Chairman John Macedo said. “If he’s satisfied, I’m satisfied.”
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
The Village of East Williston was recently ruled against in the second round of lawsuits with neighboring Village of Williston Park involving the latter’s water rates—establishing a 13 percent increase from $3.83 per 1,000 gallons of water to $4.33.
Village of East Williston Mayor David Tanner said that the lawsuit, “still does not resolve the underlying problem between the villages, which is we feel that we’re being charged too much for water—the cost is excessive.”
Tanner said the village is still calculating the financial impact will be, and that the village has been making payments in escrow for every water bill received.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Runners from all over Long Island came to run at the fourth annual Katie Oppo Memorial 5K on Sunday, June 15. The runner first across the finish line was Mineola resident Michael Mariotti, general manager, owner and host of the famous local restaurant Cafe Continental in Manhasset.
The day was glorious as the runners and walkers began their trek through Flower Hill from the starting line at Flower Hill Park. Organizers of this year’s event made the race a USATF Certified 5K race, timed by Long Island Race Timing.
Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00
Mineola Hurricanes lost a battle of the bats on Sunday, June 29, at St. Joseph’s Field in Kings Park, falling short in a 9-8 ball game against the St. Joseph’s Saints in the first game of a doubleheader.
The top of the first saw the Hurricanes take an early 2-0 lead. The runs came home for the Hurricanes when T.J. McManus scored on an error and Connor Eakin scored on a fielder’s choice. The Saints never surrendered the lead after the first inning, scoring five runs on two errors and an RBI single by Jonathan.