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Ethics Talk

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.”

News

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.

A contingent of 80 Mineola runners embarked on their first trek to lower Manhattan last year for the Tunnel To Towers 5K Run through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center site. This year, the United Mavericks, a networking group of local business people that support local charities and causes, are gearing up surpass that number.

Mavericks reps say they’re half way to gathering 1,000 people to run in the event’s 13th year on Saturday, Sept. 28.

 

The run honors a fireman Stephen Siller, who was enjoying a day off planning to play golf before he learned the Twin Towers were hit by two airplanes during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. He was one of the 343 firefighters who died when the towers collapsed.


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com