NCVOA JUNE 2015 NEWSLETTER
Published by the Nassau County Village Officials Association
Post Office Box 484, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
NCVOA JUNE 2015
GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2015-7:00PM
Williston Park, NY
" ELECTION and INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS"
Hon. Jack Martins
New York State Senator
Because of his work in economic development and community revitalization, Senator Martins was named as the lone Senate representative to the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council.
He also co-sponsored legislation to eliminate the MTA Payroll Tax, and was successful in his efforts to work with the Governor to have the tax eliminated for all schools and small businesses. As chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Local Government, Senator Martins also sponsored bills to eliminate the MTA Payroll Tax on all counties, towns and villages as well as libraries.
Prior to his election to the New York State Senate, Senator Martins served as the Mayor of his hometown, the Village of Mineola, where he worked to put the village on solid fiscal ground by instituting sound financial practices and encouraging downtown revitalization. His efforts were recognized in 2005 by Vision Long Island when they awarded his planning leadership the prestigious Smart Growth Award in recognition of the village’s successful Master Plan development.
Mayor Donno Selected for President's Slot:
In accordance with the provisions of the NCVOA By-Laws, the Nominating Committee
has sent to the Executive Director the following recommendations for the NCVOA
2015- 2016 calendar year:
For President………………………Mayor Barbara Donno, Village of Plandome Manor
For 1st Vice President……………….Mayor Bernard Ryba, Village of Old Brookville
For 2nd Vice President…………………….Mayor Robert Kennedy, Mayor of Freeport
For Treasurer…………………………...... …Mayor Elaine Phillips, Mayor of Flower Hill
Voting for these respective offices will be held at the June 2015 General Membership
on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the La Marmite Restaurant in Williston Park.
From the President's Desk:
This is the last article I am writing as President of the Association, as my term comes to an end at our upcoming June meeting. I have enjoyed the time I have spent as Association’s President, and I appreciate the encouragement and assistance from all of my colleagues in government this year. I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of you better, though not as many as I had hoped. The year went by very quickly. But, I hope to meet and get to know more of you in the future as I continue to be active with the Association and on the Board.
The one thing that I came to realize this past year is just how important the Association is in pursuing our common interests, and how impactful we can be as a group when we assert ourselves. That’s why I hope many more Mayors and Trustees elect to become more active in the Association going forward. Incoming President, Mayor Barbara Donno, is a terrific advocate for our Association and our villages, and will do a great job. But, her job can only be enhanced by the participation of many more of our local officials. I urge you to get more active, attend more meetings, express your opinions on the issues that face us, and support President Donno in the coming year.
I want to express my appreciation to Eric Ricioppo for his assistance this year with our newsletter columns and letters to the editor. He has helped shape clear and powerful messages on some of the issues that we have tried to pursue.
I want to also thank all the elected members of the Executive Board who have worked with me this past year: Mayor Donno; Mayor Ryba; and Mayor Kennedy. Each has contributed a great deal to our efforts this past year and is fully committed to the Association and village issues. It has been an honor to serve with them.
I reserve my biggest “thanks” to our Executive Director, Warren Tackenberg. As former Association President Ralph Kreitzman told me, the most important thing that the President of NCVOA has to do is to pray for Warren’s good health! And it’s true. Warren is a true dynamo, and a gentleman, without whom NCVOA would not be able to do anything of consequence. The good will and credibility that Warren has with our local, county and State officials is impressive and important to our ability to get our point across. So, Warren, I want to personally thank you for your support and for all the good work you do for all of us.
We have tried to move the ball this year on a number of issues that were important to our members, like working with the local board of elections, and state officials, to solve the transition to electronic voting machines; and partnering with Nassau County to create a platform enabling our villages to comply with the Governor’s tax rebate plan. But there is a lot left to be done. Each year brings new (and old) challenges that must be met. Our Association, believe it or not, is the most vocal and powerful county association representing local governments in the state. We work hand-in-hand with NYCOM to push forward resolutions on issues of importance for local governments throughout the state, not just Nassau. I urge you to continue to support the work that NCVOA does so that our issues are heard and our concerns addressed.
Thanks so much for all your support and energy, and I look forward to working with Mayor Donno, as well as all of you on these issues going forward.
Beat ‘em Back Jack Strikes Again
In the 1980s, lifelong Village of Lawrence resident John “Jack” Bierwirth was president of Grumman Corporation, Long Island’s largest employer. During his tenure, Dallas-based LTV Corporation launched a takeover bid for Grumman. While it was a lucrative deal for Bierwirth and the other shareholders, it would have resulted in many Grumman employees losing their jobs. Jack Bierwirth demonstrated his loyalty and devotion to his employees when he led the successful opposition to the takeover. His employees publicly showed their support by hiring an airplane towing a banner that read Beat ‘em Back Jack and flew it over Long Island.
While Bierwirth has since passed, it looks as if his Beat ‘em Back Jack spirit has resurfaced in the person of NY State Senator Jack Martins. A former mayor of the Village of Mineola, Martins has not lost touch with his roots and the reason why he was elected to the state senate – to be the voice for the residents in the communities he represents. And once again he has demonstrated his loyalty and dedication to his constituents and his courage to take on the “800 lb. gorilla in the room”. In this instance, it was the City of New York. Senator Martins successfully led the opposition to New York City’s plan to re-open some of its closed water wells, which could have severely impacted Long Island’s most precious natural resource: the Lloyd aquifer.
The Lloyd aquifer is the oldest and deepest of three underground aquifers that supply abundant, clean water to Long Island’s 2.8 million residents. Lying along the bedrock far below the surface, the Lloyd is considered by many geologists to be our purest water source and has been protected from contaminates that have seeped into the higher aquifers known as Upper Glacier and Magothy. The significance of the Lloyd was recognized by the State of New York decades ago when, in 1986, it imposed a state moratorium prohibiting all but coastal communities from drilling new wells. The Department of Environmental Conservation is empowered to grant exemptions in the event of an extreme hardship, but that has never occurred.
Recently, a plan to penetrate the Lloyd was being advanced by New York City. To ensure its residents have additional access to clean drinking water, New York City was looking to reopen some of its closed wells in Queens to supplement its water supply while repairs are made to the Delaware Aqueduct in upstate New York. New York City, typically the “800 lb. gorilla in the room”, expected a clear path to obtain its wish. Unfortunately for the city, its proposal caught the eye of Senator Martins.
Once the Senator learned of the proposed plan and its potential detrimental effect on Nassau County’s drinking water supply, he immediately sprang into action. In typical Martins fashion, he reached across the aisle and partnered with senior New York State Assemblyman Steven Engelbright, a geologist and longtime environmental champion. Opposition mounted daily as they garnered the support of the NCVOA, environmental groups, professional geologists, other water districts, state and local legislators, and other municipalities to prevent what many believe would be irreversible damage. Their efforts paid off as New York City’s environmental protection commissioner sent a letter to County Executive Mangano stating the city “no longer plans to reactivate the Queens groundwater wells to augment our drinking water supply during the Delaware Aqueduct repair.” This was another David vs. Goliath victory, the direct result of Martins' efforts. In fact, Assemblyman Engelbright in a recent Newsday article was quick to point out Senator Martin's critical role in this effort when he said, “I’m sure that his introduction of that bill was sufficient to bring the commissioner really into the conversation in a way that probably wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
The city still plans to seek a permit renewal, which would allow it to reopen the wells at a later date. But you can bet the farm that Senator Jack Martins will be watching closely. We doubt this will be the last of Beat ‘em Back Jack!
MAY 2015 MEETING ATTENDEES
The Last Word:
"I was taught that the way of progress is
neither swift nor easy".
I was taught that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy…Marie Curie ht that the way of progress is neither swift nor easy…Marie Curie