Numerous Long Island lawmakers, joined by both the Nassau and Suffolk County Executives, plus Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray, and Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos were out in force last Friday, calling for further reductions in the MTA payroll tax.
The press conference, held at the Nassau County Executive & Legislative Building, introduced state legislation (S-6206), one co-authored by State Senators Jack Martins (R-Mineola) and Lee Zeldin (R,C,I-Shirley). The bill would exempt villages, towns, and counties in New York State from the MTA payroll tax. Municipalities in New York State, both lawmakers said, currently pay a .34 percent tax per $100 of payroll to pay for the MTA.
“Property taxpayers paying for village, town and county services should not have their hard-earned tax dollars diverted to subsidize the MTA through this payroll tax,” Senator Martins said. “We need to alleviate some of the burdens placed on our local governments. This legislation does that and the result will be relief for our taxpayers, something we desperately need.”
There are easier tasks than the one facing Kevan Abrahams. As a Nassau County Legislator, he will be grappling with the issues facing the cash strapped county and in particular will be deliberating on a budget which may call for more layoffs of county workers, reduction of services and changes for Nassau police precincts. As the Democratic Minority Leader in the legislature, he will be one of the more prominent figures as those discussions take place, a position that requires he walk a political tightrope as he leads the opposition to some of those proposals while also trying to get Republican County Executive Ed Mangano and the Republicans in control of the Legislature to give consideration to his party’s suggestions and input. And, he will also do so while getting a feel for his new role as he has just taken over the position of the Minority Leader in the Legislature after being chosen by his party last November. Yet, despite all of this, there is a calmness and confidence about him as he takes this all on, something that he attributes to many years of experience in both politics and finance.
United States Senator Charles E. Schumer was given a warm welcome when he visited the Village of Floral Park Fire Department Headquarters on Monday, Jan. 27. Schumer revealed to a small crowd that more than 70 Nassau County fire departments and seven volunteer ambulance corps are facing major budget hikes in order to meet the year-end deadlines to upgrade existing radio equipment due to federal mandates.
Schumer had only the highest of praise for the volunteer firefighters who came from cities across Nassau County, including Stewart Manor, Garden City, Bellerose, New Hyde Park, Great Neck, Island Park, Valley Stream, East Williston, Port Washington, Bayville, Freeport, Wantagh, and Oceanside, Lakeview.
“As you know I care a lot about our firefighters; they are great people. Nassau County volunteer fire departments are among the best in the country,” Schumer said, adding, “They risk their lives, they don’t get paid to make us safe. It’s a great thing and everyone here in this county is blessed by the quality of the fire departments.”
At the Plainview Water District Board of Commissioners public meeting held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, Andrew Bader was inducted as chairman of the Plainview Water District and Edward Shulroff was inducted as secretary. Commissioner Joel Kessler was appointed as treasurer.
“I am honored that my fellow commissioners have selected me as chairman, stated Chairman Bader. “The residents of Plainview-Old Bethpage have entrusted me and my fellow commissioners to represent the community with regard to water-related issues, and we take this responsibility seriously. Protecting the quality of our water supply is the board’s top priority and we will continue to do this by remaining proactive.”
Chairman Bader has many years of experience in leadership positions for various community organizations. He is a member of the Citizens Advisory Board of the Concerned Citizens of Plainview, a member of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce and member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of Sagamore Hill. He previously served as a Den Leader and Assistant Cubmaster of Pack 423 and Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 170.
N.Y.S. Governor Cuomo recently proposed his 2012-2013 Executive Budget & Reform Plan, with four main points of reform focusing on economic development, re-imagining government, mandate relief, and education. To create a dialogue with communities across the state, Governor Cuomo has been sending state representatives to various locations to speak on his behalf about the proposed budget and reform plan.
Rose Harvey, commissioner of the state’s Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Department, visited the Port Washington Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 19 to begin this conversation with local community leaders. This event was co-hosted by Nassau County Legislator Wayne Wink (D-Roslyn), Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, and the Port Washington Public Library.
The year 2012 is still in its infancy, but an issue that dates back years in New York State and other states, is dominating its first steps into the New Year. Local municipalities and school districts will work to get under the inaugural 2 percent property tax cap that was enacted by Governor Andrew Cuomo in June.
La Marmite in Williston Park went from a fine dining restaurant to debating ground on Jan. 10. The Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA), New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) and the State Comptroller’s Office hammered out the issues and implications on the property tax cap and its affect on municipalities.
The tax cap limits the increase in property taxes each year for school districts and local governments to 2 percent, or the rate of inflation. New York City is exempt from the tax cap.
From fire bombings to menorah desecrations to racist and anti-Semitic graffiti, an unsettling wave of intolerance has been spreading throughout the greater area. Local community and clergy leaders felt it was time to address the situation this week, meeting on Martin Luther King Day at Saint Boniface Church in Sea Cliff.
Mayor Bruce Kennedy of Sea Cliff called the forum together, after a rash of swastikas and other graffiti started turning up throughout his village recently. He was joined by State Senator Carl Marcellino, Assemblyman Charles Lavine, Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Glen Cove Mayor Ralph Suozzi, Glen Cove City Councilman Anthony Jimenez, as well as rabbis, priests and ministers from throughout the area.
While Kennedy believes that “ignorant and confused youth” rather than “neo-Nazis,” are actually the problem in his area, he made it clear that “prejudice is not a prank.”
The Plainview Old Bethpage JFK HS Competitive Cheering team competed in their first LICCA cheer competition in many years. The rookie competition, hosted by Sachem North, was held on December 11, 2011. Despite three injuries the week of the competition, one occurring on Saturday, the day before the competition, the team performed a relatively flawless routine and took first place. The competitive cheer team is comprised of cheerleaders from the Varsity and JV cheer squads. The team competed against six other teams that afternoon.
Twenty years ago, Able Newspaper’s publisher Angela Miele Melledy wondered if there would be enough content about people with disabilities to fill a monthly newspaper. Today, she wonders how she will fit it all. Two hundred and forty issues later, Able Newspaper, based in Old Bethpage, is written for, by and about people with disabilities, is being called “my bible” by people with disabilities.”
Able Newspaper enables people with disabilities to read about people facing the same issues they are and see the possibilities that are out there. It features all the news that pertains to people with disabilities, including a calendar of events, columns written by various experts and a variety of informative articles and is printed in a larger type format for those with visual impairments.
With temperatures dropping and as a result of a bruising economy, the demand for warm coats for those in need is greater than ever. In an effort to get as many children as possible the proper winter apparel, the Town of Hempstead has partnered with Kids Helping Kids, by Kids Way, Inc., a local nonprofit organization located in Old Bethpage with various local social service groups that assist the needy.
“I’m delighted that the Town of Hempstead was able to facilitate an association between this wonderful organization and local groups that can distribute a vast quantity of warm apparel to those who truly need it,” stated Town Supervisor Kate Murray. “With the chronically depressed economy taking its toll on families, the importance of getting warm coats to families is more important than ever.”
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