NCVOA May 2015 NEWSLETTER
Published by the Nassau County Village Officials Association
Post Office Box 484, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
NCVOA MAY 2015
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
Tuesday, MAY 12, 2015
La Marmite Restaurant
Williston Park, NY
Commissioner Craig Craft
NC Office of Emergency Management
NC Assistant Chief Fire Marshall
Commissioner Craft will speak on the enhancements within OEM since Sandy and offer insight towards where the agency will be building out next.
From the Desk of the President:
Dear Mayors Trustees and Friends:
Last month, I provided a status report on our ongoing discussions with Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and Senator Jack Martins regarding the lever voting machine issue. The original legislation, introduced by Governor Cuomo five years ago, called for the elimination of lever voting machines in favor of electronic machines. The sunset date, which had been extended twice, takes effect December 31, 2015. For the past five years, the NCVOA has been working to correct this flawed legislation, and Assemblywoman Schimel and Senator Martins have been tirelessly championing our efforts. From the beginning, the NCVOA viewed this as another unfunded mandate as the cost for villages to purchase these machines would have been substantial. I am pleased to report the recently adopted state budget includes $2 million for Nassau County to offset the cost of purchasing electronic voting machines for use by villages, school districts, and special districts. Due to our legislators’ efforts, Nassau County was the only county that received this assistance.
Once again, we owe special thanks to Assemblywoman Schimel and Senator Martins, the NCVOA’s Dynamic Duo, for working so hard on behalf of all Nassau County villages. Their collaboration, working across party lines, is a model for good government. I would like to publicly thank them for their support and I am proud and honored to have them as our partners in good government.
I also would be remiss if I did not call out the NCVOA on this one. This issue never lost momentum, despite having several different presidents and Executive Board members involved over the years. This is an excellent example of how NCVOA’s vigilance on a critical issue can and did make a difference.
Dave Daly, President of PSEG-LI, returned to the NCVOA to discuss PSEG’s progress since taking over Long Island’s electric distribution from LIPA on January 1, 2014.
Mr. Daly is passionate about his desire to improve the level of service formerly provided by LIPA. By his remarks, it sounded as if progress is being made. However, judging by the questions and comments leveled by some of our members, PSEG has a way to go before it can claim success. Several of our village officials made excellent points pertaining to PSEG’s planned rate increase and its controversial use of a toxic pesticide on its utility poles. We appreciate Mr. Daly’s willingness to communicate with us and hope our comments will not be ignored. We look forward to having him visit again in the future.
It is difficult to believe hurricane season is almost here again as the 2015 season begins May 15th. As we know from previous years, Long Island is particularly vulnerable to major storms and extensive damage. Craig Craft, Nassau County Commissioner of Emergency Management, and Michael Uttaro, Assistant Chief Fire Marshal, will be the guest speakers at our Tuesday, May 12th. General Membership meeting. They will update us on the county’s preparation for this hurricane season.
At the April meeting, we had the opportunity to meet several newly elected mayors and trustees. If your village board has new members, I encourage you to bring them to the May meeting. Our monthly gatherings provide an excellent networking opportunity, which can be extremely valuable for new officials.
I look forward to seeing you May 12.
PSEG-LI President Addresses Membership:
Dave Daly, President of PSEG-LI, was guest speaker at the April General Membership meeting. He updated village officials on PSEG’s progress since taking over Long Island’s electric distribution from LIPA as of January 1, 2014.
When Daly first addressed the membership last spring, he touted PSEG’s high customer satisfaction ratings in New Jersey and promised to bring the same level of service to Long Island. After more than a year of operation, Daly reported PSEG has made positive strides. According to Daly, LIPA had been rated dead last in United States utilities in all 21 categories measuring customer satisfaction. Daly said PSEG improved Long Island’s customer satisfaction to the top quarter percentile in all but three areas.
While the members politely listened to his remarks praising his company’s performance, they were less than accommodating during the question and answer session. When Daly discussed PSEG’s plan to increase rates 4% this year, several village officials challenged him. North Hills Mayor and NCVOA Past President Marvin Natiss called the increase excessive, citing PSEG’s performance bonus would also increase as a result of the rate increase. Daly agreed with Mayor Natiss. Massapequa Park Mayor Jeff Pravato said he had to operate his village within a 2% cap and questioned Daly as to why he should not be held to the same benchmark. Great Neck Plaza Trustee Pamela Marksheid voiced ongoing concern about PSEG’s use of toxic pesticide on its utility poles and other mayors wanted to know why cement poles could not be used instead of treated wood. Mr. Daly said it was a cost factor.
Mr. Daly concluded by thanking the membership for the opportunity to address them and the NCVOAmembers requested he return in the future to provide additional updates.
NCVOA Nominating Committee in Action:
April 2015 Meeting Attendees:
The Last Word:
"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment".
Henry David Thoreau