Oyster Bay Town Councilman Chris Coschignano, who counts among his credits that he is the chairman of the Theodore Roosevelt Park Advisory Board, said he anticipates re-forming the board, sometime in the new year.
The Town of Oyster Bay Board appointed nine local people to serve on the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park Advisory Committee in April 2003. Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto then explained, "When the Roosevelt Memorial Association gave the land that is now Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to the town in 1942, one of the provisions was that the town board would appoint an advisory committee to assist and advise in the management and administration of the park. The new committee members who were approved by the town board on April 8, (2003) are all active in various venues in Oyster Bay hamlet and beyond and will each bring a unique perspective to his or her position," he said then. The group has not met for several years.
With the town currently working on new plans/proposals for the park it is important to have the committee back working. That includes it possibly becoming the location of the Oyster Bay Firemen's Training Track. Atlantic Steamer Fire Company Chief Robert Bagan said the town has offered to move the firemen's training track to the other side of the LIRR tracks inside of TR Park as part of their consideration of the proposed Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Museum. "I have not heard from them in the last two months," said Chief Bagan. "The last meeting was with a town architect and town representative, proposing to move the track. We have no problem with that, just that it must be built before it is dismantled prior to moving to the other side of the tracks.
"They are working on it. They said they are revamping the whole of Theodore Roosevelt Park. As long as we have a track with a water main and lighting. The only new thing we want is it to be in a fenced in area where we can keep smaller kids out since it is a park and kids want to see the fire trucks. We don't want the young public too close to be in danger. The town is working on it. It all depends on what the town decides to do. The Oyster Bay Fire Company No. 1 has also agreed to the proposal. But what they do at TR Park to accommodate all this, I don't know in relation to the playing fields and parking.
"This is just a proposal. There are probably a dozen more on the table. Just as long as they can accommodate our needs," said Chief Bagan.
In 2003 the late Dr. John Gable, then the Theodore Roosevelt Association executive director said, "It's good to see the committee back in a functioning basis." At that time, there had not been an advisory committee since 1993, after the 1992 hurricanes.
Charles Doering, chairman of the Oyster Bay Civic Association TR Park Restoration Committee had been championing for the group to be formed to restore Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park when Councilman Coschignano was appointed as chair, although the original document said the nine person committee was to select a chairman; and a secretary and minutes were expected to be made at the meetings.
The town appointed as members: Louise Harrison, Friends of the Bay executive director; Luz Torres, Centro Cultural Hispanic acting executive director; Sarah Abruzzi, Raynham Hall Museum director; Joseph McLaughlin, former committee member and owner of Dodds & Eder; John Walsh, Oyster Bay Civic Association vice president; Dr. John Gable, Theodore Roosevelt Association executive director; the Honorable John Galasso, acting Supreme Court Justice; and Abraham Poznanski, CEO of Northern Bay Management Group, LLC, which manages Island Properties real estate.
While most of those on the committee no longer are in the positions that qualified them to participate, most of the slots have been filled by other members of the community: i.e. Robin Kreisberg is the director of Friends of the Bay; Harriet Clark is the current director of Raynham Hall Museum; and Walter Imperatore is the current manager for Renaissance Properties which manages Island Properties real estate.
In 2003, Mr. Venditto concluded, "With its picturesque beach and marina, as well as park and recreational facilities, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park is a centerpiece for the Oyster Bay hamlet community. All of the committee members are in close contact with community groups and residents within the hamlet and will be able to provide the town and the parks department with valuable 'grassroots' information that will help the town further its efforts to maintain, improve and promote the park's facilities so that it best serves the needs of those who use it."
Councilman Coschignano will be honored by the Syosset Chamber of Commerce's Annual Snow Flake Ball at the DeSeversky Center in Old Westbury, on Thursday, Feb. 5 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Recognizing years of dedicated efforts with Syosset Chamber of Commerce, he will be installed as an honorary director of the chamber. "Chris has long been a staunch advocate of the Syosset Chamber of Commerce and its many worthwhile programs and endeavors," Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto said. "Being honored at the 'Gala' is well-earned recognition for many years of tireless community work and his support of the Syosset Chamber of Commerce and its initiatives."
Councilman Coschignano has served on the town board since 2001; besides chairing the Theodore Roosevelt Park Advisory Board, he is chairman of the Syosset Hamlet Revitalization Committee.
Supervisor Venditto said, "I'm pleased that Councilman Coschignano, a lifelong resident of the Syosset area, is being recognized for his years of community service and advocacy." Anyone seeking more information about the Snowflake Ball can contact the Syosset Chamber of Commerce at 364-7150.