Written by Senator Jack Martins Friday, 07 December 2012 00:00
I was advised not to write this column. I was told it wasn’t politically expedient, that it would most certainly ruffle some feathers. But I’ve always maintained that I would shoot straight with my constituents, and I think I my recent re-election means that most of you appreciate that effort.
That being said, we’ve all had the experience at some time or another in our lives of having worked hard for something – sometimes very hard – only to watch someone else swoop in at the last minute and take credit for our hard work. It’s not only personally frustrating to witness someone else be recognized for something they didn’t do, it’s also disconcerting to watch as they try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. Some politicians truly believe that their own constituents are so uninformed that they can make things up and no one will call them on it. That attitude was on display when a local resident from Elmont sent me the recent letter that his Nassau County legislator mailed to constituents.
The letter outlined the slate of road safety projects planned for Hempstead Turnpike and the legislator wasted no time in claiming credit for them. The opening line reads, “I am pleased to announce that my office together with the New York State Department of Transportation has made it possible for improvements to pedestrian safety along the Hempstead Turnpike corridor to be implemented.” Let me be abundantly clear: at no time was the county legislator ever involved in the heavy lifting, or any lifting for that matter, that made this possible. The fact is it’s a state road, not a county road. The state, not the county, will be improving it.
With my colleagues, Senator Skelos and Senator Hannon, who also represent communities along Hempstead Turnpike, we worked with Governor Cuomo to commit resources to revamp traffic signals, crosswalks, center medians, and improved signage. The improvements will make Hempstead Turnpike safer, no question about it. But the point of this column isn’t who gets credit for safety enhancements to a road, it’s about honesty and integrity, virtues oftentimes missing in today’s political world.
In sending an update on legislative activities one has to wonder why a Nassau County legislator wouldn’t give his constituents an update on county issues. What is being done to restore county funding for after-school youth programs like GYO? What about addressing the county tax assessments which saw many homeowners’ taxes increase? What are they doing to address the annual overspending and deficit borrowing we’ve seen from county government and how can they put us on a course to no longer need NIFA oversight? It seems to me that there’s plenty to be done and it absolutely can get done when people put aside the partisan bickering to work on real answers.
For those who received the legislator’s letter, you probably already know who wrote it. For the rest of you, I simply remind you that governing is a two-way street that requires your input and your staying informed. Just like Hempstead Turnpike, it can be made better when people are willing to work together. By all means, support local leaders when warranted, but remember that honesty and integrity are essential to holding elected officials accountable. With them, we can dig our way out of any mess.
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.