VOA November 2016 NEWSLETTER
Distributed by the Nassau County Village Officials Association
Post Box 484, New Hyde Park, NY 11040
NCVOA November 2016
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2016
(Please note date change in deference to Election Day)
1100 Jericho Turnpike
Honorable Thomas Roach
and Mayor of White Plains
NYCOM President Tom Roach, Mayor of the City of White Plains, will provide an update on NYCOM, including its member engagement initiative. He will also discuss the key components in the successful revitalization of downtown White Plains.
Distressed & Abandoned Properties: Understanding the New Zombie Property Law
2016 was a momentous year in New York for efforts to deal with distressed and abandoned properties. The State enacted new zombie property legislation that requires mortgagees to inspect and maintain properties that have been abandoned by the owner. Wade Beltramo will provide an overview of these changes and how local officials can use them to address distressed and abandoned properties that are blighting their communities.
Quote from NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli:
“The surge in foreclosures and vacant, abandoned ‘zombie properties’ across our state demands action,” DiNapoli said. “The creation of land banks, as well as legislation passed earlier this year, gives local officials new tools to promote economic recovery in the areas most heavily impacted by the foreclosure crisis. Over time, with adequate funding, these entities may help stop the erosion of local tax bases and return economic vitality in disadvantaged communities.
Definition of a Village
As defined in Google/Wikipedia:
In New York State, a village is an incorporated area that differs from a city in that a village is within the jurisdiction of one or more towns, whereas a city is independent of a town. Villages thus have less autonomy than cities.
A village is usually, but not always, within a single town. A village is a clearly defined municipality that provides the services closest to the residents, such as garbage collection, street and highway maintenance, street lighting and building codes. Some villages provide their own police and other optional services. Those municipal services not provided by the village are provided by the town or towns containing the village. As of the 2000 census, there are 553 villages in New York.
There is no limit to the population of a village in New York; Hempstead, the largest village in the state, has 55,000 residents, making it more populous than some of the state's cities. However, villages in the state may not exceed five square miles (13 km²) in area. Present law requires a minimum of 500 residents to incorporate as a village.
As We See It:
Villages were created to provide efficient services under local control and the watchful eye of its residents. The notion that the majority of villages were created solely to control zoning, block development, and promulgate a NIMBY attitude is not true.
The longevity among our villages formed during the more rural days of Nassau County is not uncommon. the reason people look to move to incorporated villages is simple . They want and get the services which is municipal governments responsibility. In fact, village residential property has a long tradition of being desired, at a premium, over other area homes.
Village governments, in addition being organized with economically efficient staffs have consolidated services producing positive results results and good management. Most residents are unwilling to abolish their village , cut back on services, or merge with other villages. People generally will not relinquish the quality of life they enjoy as residents of an incorporated village.
Mayor Barbara Donno, outgoing NCVOA President is seen swearing in newly elected NCVOA President Bernard Ryba-Old Brookville, Mayor Robert Kennedy-Freeport, Mayor Elaine Phillips-Flower Hill andTtresurer Mayor Ralph Ekstrand-Farmingdale.
NCVOA and NYCOM…Partners in Good Government
The Nassau County Village Officials Association (NCVOA) and the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) work collaboratively to address ongoing issues and concerns impacting residents and businesses.
Founded in 1910, NYCOM is based in Albany and represents New York State’s 62 cities and 552 incorporated villages. With a team of municipal experts, NYCOM supports local governments by serving as:
The NCVOA is proud to join with NYCOM in addressing the needs of village residents throughout the State of New York. For more information about NYCOM, go to www.nycom.org
" State and federal officials,as well as the media, too often forget -or worse, disregard the indespensable nature of local government."
State of New York
Thomas E. Dewey
Mr. Harry J. Wellebil, Secretary
Dear Mr. Wellebil
I am happy to greet the members of the Nassau County Village Officials Association through its report and seventeen years of service to Nassau County.
Your Association makes an invaluable contribution to good government in the State of New York. It is too easily forgotten that no government is no better than its roots in every locality. The officials closest to the ideas and needs of the people are the officials of the villages, towns and counties. They are the foundation of free government. Without the knowledge and the work that they are able to provide, a free republic would not be able to exist.
So, today, near the end of the long trend to remove all power from the people to a centralized government, I want to greet you on stout service during these difficult years. You have never lost sight of the fundamentals of government. May you continue to grow ever stronger in your service to the people.
With warm personal regards, I am
Governor Thomas E. Dewey
“That government is the strongest of which every man feels himself a part" Thomas Jefferson
Dave Daly, PSEG Chief to Address NCVOA:
David Daly, President and COO of PSEG Long Island will update the NCVOA membership on PSEG’s progress since the New Jersey based utility replaced LIPA as Long Island’s electricity provider just over a year ago.
Mr. Daly has indicated that he also plans to give an overview and status update in where PSEG-Long Island are 16 months into running the system and 3 months into the rate case.
Mr. Daly first addressed the NCVOA just prior to the PSEG deal being finalized. At that time, he outlined an ambitious plan for the company and particularly touted PSEG’s high customer service ratings. It will be interesting to see how his perceptions compare to the experiences of our village officials and their residents.
From the President’s Desk:
Dear Mayors, Trustees and Friends:
Last month, our guest speaker, E.J. McMahon of Empire Center for Public Policy, gave one of the most interesting (and frightening) talks we’ve had. His focus was on the cost of providing government services here in New York State. While he confirmed what we all know – that government is very expensive here in New York – he gave a very convincing economic and statistical basis to prove it. He compared Nassau County (and elsewhere in New York) with similarly demographic and economic counties elsewhere, and it was disturbing to see the premium paid for living in New York due to the higher costs of services. He did give credit to our local village governments for being more efficient and more responsive to residents. But, unfortunately, he did not have any real answers or solutions to the big problems of pension overhangs, school taxes and costs, police contracts, etc. I thank him for a most enlightening and sobering discussion.
This month, we will be hearing from Jon Kaiman, Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo on Storm Recovery, about the status of the state FEMA match. Many villages have been inquiring as to the status of the 10% payment to be made by the State as a result of Super Storm Sandy, and Mr. Kaiman will be here to let us know where we stand. The main speaker this month will be PSEG’s David Daly, CEO, who will update the NCVOA membership on PSEG’s progress since the New Jersey based utility replaced LIPA as Long Island’s electricity provider just over a year ago.
Here are a few updates from our last meeting:
- Warren Tackenberg, myself and members of our Election Machine Committee have met several times with members of the Nassau Board of Elections and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and her staff, as well as had multiple conversations with Senator Jack Martins and his staff, about the possibility of relief from the sun setting of the law that allows our sue of the mechanical lever action voting machines. While at this time it is unclear that Albany will provide any relief, we do think that it is possible that the state budget may offer the Nassau BOE some resources to accommodate village (and school and special district) elections going forward. We continue to monitor this very actively and will report further.
- NCVOA and the County have announced (see the press release reproduced in this newsletter) a joint intuitive creating a platform for villages to partner with the county in complying with Governor Cuomo’s tax rebate program. Villages that opt into the initiative can have their efficiency plans incorporated into the county’s plan and report, and make their residents eligible for a tax rebate from the state. Several emails have been sent to all members already asking for their opt-in or –out, and for certain information about past and future cost savings measures. It is important that, if you have not yet responded, you do so as soon as possible, so that we can get a sense of which villages will be participating.
Please plan on coming to our April meeting, on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, back at La Marmite. There is a lot to discuss, so please join us and be a part of the conversation.
Peter I. Cavallaro
President Cavallaro Names 2015-2016 Nominating Committee:
NCVOA President Peter Cavallaro has made the following appointments to the Nominating Committee for the 2015-2016 NCVOA chair officer positions:
Mayor Ralph Kreitzman, Village of Great Neck- Chair
Mayor Francis Murray, Village of Rockville Centre
Mayor David Tanner, Village of East Williston
Mayor Jerry Trangredi, Village of Stewart Manor
Deputy Mayor Dennis Sgambati, Village of North Hills
The Last Word:
"The will to do, the soul to dare."
Sir Walter Scott