“Election and Installation of Officers”
Dear Mayors, Trustees and Friends:
As we prepare for our summer break, I want to thank you for supporting our Albany legislative efforts. As a result of the correspondence generated by NCVOA mayors and trustees, our voice is being heard loud and clear. I encourage you to remain active and vocal with your state legislators as we continue to pressure them for legislation beneficial to our villages and the 431,000 residents we serve. Also, we must continue to educate and obtain the support of our residents in our efforts on their behalf.
NCVOA Acknowledged on NYS Assembly Floor and
Good News on Lever Voting Machine Bill
On Monday, June 4 the NCVOA was acknowledged on the floor of the NYS Assembly, included in the introductions of me and two local school district representatives, one of whom traveled with me, and one’s disabled son. We ventured to Albany to join Assemblywoman Michell Schimel and two of her colleagues to lobby Speaker Sheldon Silver for the lever machine voting bill. As you may know, on May 8, Michelle and I met in Albany with Assemblyman Michael Cusick, chair of both the Committee on Election Law and the Task Force on People with Disabilities, and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, chair of the Committee on Education. Later that day, I also met with Deputy Speaker Earlene Hooper.
I am happy to report the June 4 meeting with the Speaker must have gone well because, on June 6, I was assured there will be a bill brought to both floors for a two year extension of the right to use lever voting machines. I also received further assurances that, after passage, there will be Assembly/Senate round table meetings on this subject. Time will tell, and I am referring to a very short time. The session ends before the end of this month. I am not happy to report that the permanent extension bill is dead.
If the bill passes, we may have to immediately inundate Governor Cuomo with emails and letters in support. I am told he expressed reservations when he signed the bill allowing us use of the lever machines the past two years. It is important to secure support of the schools and special districts that also will benefit and those from outside Nassau County. So, please start preparing to line up other supporters as we will have only days to communicate with the Governor.
If you have any doubt about our position to retain lever voting machines, all you to do is look at Nassau County. For the April 2012 Republican presidential primary, the county printed ballots for 110% of registered Republican voters. That equated to 330,000-340,000 ballots at approximately 50 cents each. Only 16,000 voted in the primary, leaving 319,000 unused ballots to be destroyed after the mandatory four-month holding period. The cost to the county, not including manpower and storage, was $134,000. Cost aside, we have received no assurances from, after two meetings with, the Nassau County Board of Election commissioners that the new voting machines will be made available to us. For that reason, we have no certainly of the expense of using the new machines, but estimates for many villages are a 1000% increase over the use of lever machines.
DiNapoli Questions Value of IDAs
Last year, NCVOA Counsel Gary Fishberg wrote an op-ed article questioning the true benefits of industrial development agencies (IDAs). While the media was not particularly interested, it appeared to have captured the attention of State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. The comptroller recently called for legislation to improve monitoring IDA performance. In issuing an annual IDA review, Tom said a “limited correlation” exists between IDAs granting more tax exemptions and creating more jobs.
Kudos to Farmingdale
Congratulations to the Village of Farmingdale for becoming the latest Nassau County village to take the initiative to revitalize its downtown area. The project, called Bartone Plaza, is a partnership with a local developer that calls for mixed use residential and retail development to be built across the street from the LIRR station and a proposed Hilton Hotel. It features 16,500 square feet of ground level stores with 115 apartments above. The project, spearheaded by former Mayor Butch Starkie, current Mayor and former Trustee Ralph Ekstrand, and the Board of Trustees is an outstanding example of creative vision.
Mark Your Calendars for Annual Dinner
Remember to reserve Thursday, September 13, 2012 for the NCVOA Annual Dinner and Testimonial at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. We will be honoring our “Dynamic Duo” - Senator Jack Martins and Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel – for their continued efforts to champion legislation critical to local government.
Next General Membership Meeting
The June General Membership meeting will be held Thursday, June 28, at 7 pm at La Marmite Restaurant in Williston Park. It is our Annual Meeting and features the election and installation of officers for 2012-2013. We also will be hearing from Jeff Greenfield, chair of the Nassau County Planning Commission on some matters he believes are important to our villages. Please make every effort to attend. I look forward to seeing you June 28.
Ralph J. Kreitzman .
Craig Craft, Commissioner of the NC Office of Emergency Management has extended an invitation, through the NCVOA, to all Mayors, Trustees and Village Emergency Managers to join with him on Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at NCOEM in Bethpage starting at 7:00pm.
The purpose of the meeting is to bring all of the village officials up to date on various facets of Emergency Management that will come into play in the event of a disaster. Craig would also like to showcase the OEM facility with its state of the art communications systems.
Most notably he and his staff will address radio communications with the villages, villages being offered the opportunity to have a seat at the Emergency Operation center in an actual disaster situation, a discussion on the certification of Emergency Operation Plans and a discussion on the obligation of local officials to create a public education and awareness plan for your residents. Craig will also answer any other emergency management concerns that the villages need answers to. It is extremely important for village officials to know what their legal obligations are in a time of crisis and disaster.
Assessment Committee Meeting:
Signed into Law by the Governor:
S6307A/A9383 sponsored by Senator Jack Martins and Assemblymen Galef has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
Summary of Specific Provisions:
Section 1 amends Section 1544, subdivision 1 of the Real Property Tax Law, by including villages in the list of localities that are able to receive advisory appraisals for highly complex properties and public utilities, which are currently provided by the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.
Section 2 amends Section 1546 of the Real Property Tax law to include the assessors of villages’ skill level as a factor for the Commissioner of the Department of Taxation and Finance to determine which properties are highly complex properties eligible to receive an advisory appraisal.
Section 3 amends the title heading of Real Property Tax Law title 2 Article 15-A to include villages.
May 2012 Meeting Attendees:
May 2012 Meeting Attendees:
Nicholas Lizanich, LIPA vice president of T&D operations; Lauren Brookmeyer, LIPA district manager; Barbara Donno, mayor, Village of Plandome Manor; and Peter Cavallaro, mayor, Village of Westbury and NCVOA 1st vice president., pose for a photo prior to the program.
Barbara Donno, mayor, Village of Plandome Manor, discusses her LIPA issues with Lauren Brookmeyer, LIPA district manager.
Guest Speaker Nicholas Lizanich, LIPA vice president of T&D operations, addressed the audience about LIPA’s revisions to its procedures for responding in an emergency.
Peter Cavallaro, mayor, Village of Westbury and NCVOA 1st vice president; Doug Watson, mayor, Village of Bayville; and Gerard Tangredi, trustee, Village of Stewart Manor spend some time together during the reception.
Jim Altadonna, mayor, Village of Massapequa Park and NCVOA past president, meets with officials from the neighboring Village of Farmingdale: Patricia Christiansen, deputy mayor; Ralph Ekstrand, mayor; and Tom Ryan, newly elected trustee.
Larry Werther, trustee, Village of Mineola, and Don Brudie, mayor, Village of Garden City hear about the upcoming plans for celebrating the Village of Atlantic Beach’s 50th anniversary from Steve Mahler, mayor and NCVOA past president.
Dennis Sgambati, deputy mayor, Village of North Hills, and Marvin Natiss, mayor and NCVOA past president.
The Village of South Floral Park was well-represented at the meeting with Sally Ponce, village clerk; Elton McCabe, deputy mayor; George Ingram, trustee; and Gary McCollin, newly elected trustee, attending.
Village of Munsey Park Trustee Susan Auriemma and Mayor Harry Nicolaides.
Mitch Beckerman, deputy mayor, Village of Great Neck and Dan Levy, mayor, Village of Saddle Rock.
Gary Fishberg, NCVOA counsel, and Ed Oppenheimer, trustee, Village of Rockville Centre.
Al Solomon, trustee, Village of Plandome Heights (l), introduced newly elected Mayor Kenneth Riscia to the membership.
|Gail Cohen, trustee, Village of North Hills and Nora Haagenson, trustee, Village of Baxter Estates enjoy each other’s company.|
The Last Word:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (1901-1978)