Mineola is in danger. The ill-conceived consolidation plan of Attorney General Andrew Cuomo could mean the end of Mineola and the other villages. The consolidation plan is good as far as eliminating overlapping special districts. This could reduce taxes. But, exceptions should be made for villages. If 10 percent of eligible voters in Mineola, that would be about 1,100 people, petition for the elimination of a village, it has to be put up for a village-wide referendum. We have no trouble with that. But and it’s a huge but, if the county legislature votes to eliminate the villages, then Mineola and all other villages could be dissolved. In other words, the county legislature could decide our fate regardless of what we want. This is a terrible injustice. The fight against it is bi-partisan; Democrat Craig Johnson and Republican Tom McKevitt are both opposed. The village is the most efficient, economical entity in the state. To eliminate them would be madness.
The Swine Flu strikes the board of education. At least that’s what the audience of about 60 community members and school district employees thought we might hear announced on Thursday night when the June 18 Mineola Board of Education meeting was unexpectedly cancelled. After all, why else would three board members “no-show” the last business meeting of the fiscal school year? There must have been a valid, acceptable explanation, right?
Some of you may be thinking, “Oh, those three are probably making a statement of some kind because this was, coincidentally, the last meeting of our current superintendent and board president.”
Never was the importance of a local periodical more evident than in the June 10 edition of the Mineola American. As we all know, the televising of the public portion of our village board meetings has been suspended. Without the American, the throngs of villagers who have had their lives utterly devastated by this would never have known why it happened in the first place.
All one needs to do is read the disjointed ranting of Jean Falabella in the Letters to the Editor section (in the June 10 issue). That is proof positive why not everyone is ready for prime time.
Thank you for publishing Mineola Mayor Jack Martins’and the Mineola Village Boards’ thoughtful letter about the threat of Long Island village consolidations and dissolutions. We in Williston Park and Mineola have been sending similar letters to Tom McKevitt in our Assembly and Craig Johnson in our Senate; Johnson has responded in support. Our village taxes seem modest, relative to the level of services we receive. More importantly, if we do not act, the collective histories and cultures over three or more generations in Mineola, Williston Park, and East Williston could be wiped out with the sweep of a pen.
It’s been three months since the Village of Mineola Board of Trustees decided to take the public meetings off the air. The mayor avers that for as many complaints as he has gotten about the meetings not being televised, he has received as many positive comments. I don’t answer his phone so I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that three months is way too long. While these men sit and ruminate - if they are indeed giving it any thought whatsoever - the taxpayers of the village who are unable to attend the meetings grow increasingly frustrated. So I’ll do it.
Just because seniors in Medicare already have health insurance, it does not mean we do not have a stake in the health-care reform debate in Washington. In fact, many reforms being considered could improve Medicare while others will no doubt weaken the program.
There are a lot of angry taxpayers in New York these days and I am one of them. In fact, excessive taxes, exorbitant debt and non-transparent budgeting were the issues, which drove me to run for office in Mineola.
The challenge for the residents of our state and of our village and for those whom our residents elect to represent them is to find a way to control taxes and to maintain a responsive, service-oriented government at the same time. We have been working to meet that challenge in Mineola. Through careful budgeting, diligent financial oversight, expansion of our tax base through smart-growth projects, orchestrated debt reduction and a reassessment program geared to producing a fair allocation of our tax burden, we believe that we are on the right path toward generating tax relief for those aspects of life over which we have jurisdiction.
New York State Senator Craig M. Johnson called for the passage of important legislation that will enable concerned parents and residents to receive instant email alerts every time a sex offender moves into their zip code.
“Ever parent would want to know if a danger lurks in their neighborhood,” Senator Johnson said. “This commonsense measure will use existing technology to enhance our current system and proactively alert residents when a dangerous sexual predator moves into their community.”
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