On Thursday, April 27, State Senator Michael Balboni hosted a day-long Port Washington Community Day to highlight the many positive attributes of Port Washington and to give residents and local officials another opportunity to meet with their state representative and discuss the issues that are important to them.
Senator Balboni said, "Port Washington is a vibrant and beautiful community and I am very fortunate to represent its residents in Albany. I am pleased that so many of them turned out for my day-long visit and shared their concerns with me. My staff and I will be spending the next several weeks responding to those concerns and seeking solutions that will make Port Washington and even better place to live and work."
Community Day began with a breakfast hosted by Senator Balboni for the leaders of a number of Port Washington charitable organizations, including the Community Chest and Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, at the Port Washington Diner.
Next, Senator Balboni visited the Port Washington Senior Center where he and his staff answered questions about property taxes and health care costs and other issues that are important to Port seniors. Senior Center Board of Director President Marianne Principe O'Neil, Senior Center Administrative Director Patricia Fleming and Senior Center Coordinator Dolores Holliday organized the get-together.
Senator Balboni also stopped by the turf field next to Schreiber High School to discuss the Athletic Association of Port Washington's vision for the future of the field.
The impressive library of Schreiber High School was the setting for a speech on emergency preparedness and homeland security Senator Balboni presented before an audience of 11th and 12th grade government students, faculty and school administrators. A lively question and answer session followed between Senator Balboni and his well-informed audience.
Lunch at Ayhan's on Main Street was next on the agenda. Senator Balboni dined there with numerous local elected officials, as well as Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and County Legislator Craig Johnson.
During the afternoon Senator Balboni hosted a glaucoma screening van offering free eye testing in the parking lot of the Port Washington Library and a Department of Motor Vehicle Outreach Service inside the Library where Port residents could get their licenses renewed, surrender plates and receive most DMV services for the day.
Senator Balboni also walked the scenic waterfront of the Village of Port Washington North with Mayor Robert Weitzner to observe the progress on the Bay Walk Park project.
The Senator joined more local elected officials for a scenic waterfront dinner at Louie's. The weather, which had been sunny and warm all day, continued to cooperate by providing those in attendance with a beautiful sunset.
The grand finale of the Community Day was an evening Open Door Forum at the Port Washington Library. Over 65 Port residents participated. Senator Balboni opened the forum by providing an overview of the latest developments in homeland security, including Long Island's state of readiness to respond to a hurricane or other disasters, recent White House briefings he received on Hurricane Katrina and its reverberations, and highlights from a public hearing he recently hosted on the threat of an avian flu pandemic.
After his speech, Senator Balboni opened the mike up to questions from the audience. Issues included escalating property taxes and a tax rebate proposal sponsored by Senator Balboni, state funding for Port Washington schools, Diabetes awareness, salt water intrusion, stem cell research and Senator Balboni's successful effort to eliminate the E-ZPass monthly surcharge.
To close the forum, Senator Balboni passed out Red Cross "Go-Bags" packed with items that are crucial to have on hand in an emergency including food, water, a radio, a blanket, duct tape, and a first aid kit. The packs were delivered to the library by Nassau County American Red Cross Chief Executive Officer Frank Cassano.
Port Washington residents who did not have the opportunity to attend the event but have questions for Senator Balboni or his staff can call his district office at (516) 873-0736.