NCVOA March 2013 General Membership Meeting
Tuesday, March 12, 2013-7:00PM
La Marmite Restaurant
Williston Park, NY
"Climate Smart Communities"
Mr. David Berg
Cameron Engineering & Associates
Mr. Neal Lewis
Sustainability Institute, Molloy College
New York State’s Climate Smart Communities program was established to encourage municipalities to lower greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change. Most of the actions that reduce emissions also save money. Cameron Engineering and the Sustainability Institute are the Long Island Coordinators and can provide services to Nassau County villages at no cost through the program. The State has indicated that $30 million dollars may be available each year for three years in a competitive grants program for municipalities to implement innovative projects. The speakers will detail the goals of the program, the services they can provide, and the benefits of participation.
Dear Mayors, Trustees and Friends:
For most Long Islanders, March is welcomed with open arms as it signals the imminent end of winter and the beginning of spring. But in many villages, March has added significance as it also is the time for village elections. Many village elections are held this month, with the remainder in June. As you all well know, running a village has become more challenging, particularly in the light of increasing costs and dwindling aid. For those incumbents running for re-election, I wish you the best.
Governor Releases Budget Proposals
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently released the details of his proposed 2013-14 Executive Budget. A few of his initiatives are village-friendly while others are not. At our last meeting I briefly discussed a few of those proposals on which you might want to share your views with your state legislators and the governor. By law, the budget is to be adopted by April 1, and that has been the case since Governor Cuomo has been in office. Due to holidays at the end of March, I understand the Governor is pushing for adoption by March 21.
Binding Arbitration. The proposed limits only apply to “financially distressed” municipalities. Why not all?
Traffic Adjudication Amendments. This would limit the ability to plead down certain traffic violations. For example, speeding over 20 mph over the limit. It also would impose the state $80 surcharge on parking tickets from certain plea deals. The argument is to increase highway safety, especially with respect to persistent speeders, and that has merit. However, it will decrease village revenues and significantly increase costs (for example, court and police overtime) due to increases in trials.
IDA Changes. None benefit our villages.
Utility Assessment. In 2009-10 it was increased from 1/3% to 2% but was scheduled to be reduced to 1%. That reduction is proposed to be deferred to 2019.
Design-Build Contracts. This would permit capital projects to be awarded to one contractor or team, however, it would not be applicable to local municipalities.
Mandate Relief. There is very little of it.
Of course there are many, many other proposals that are important and worth serious consideration, including the pension “reform” proposal and some funding for local efficiency grants, consolidation studies, etc. All of our member villages are members of NYCOM, and their staff, literature and websites (NYCOM.org and StopTheTaxShift.org) are very useful resources. [Full disclosure – I am a member of NYCOM’s Executive Committee.]
LIPA CFO Addresses Members
At the February General Membership Meeting, Michael Taunton, LIPA CFO, addressed the membership to discuss the upcoming transition of Long Island’s electric services from KeySpan to Public Service Electric & Gas.
According to Mr. Taunton the new contract, which takes effect in on January 1, 2014, will result in the addition of 100-125 jobs on Long Island and imporved customer and other service. He explained that the new operating agreement clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the three entities that will be involved in Long Island’s energy generation and delivery: PSE&G will handle all distribution, storm response, customer service, and regulatory operations; Lockheed Martin will take over all information technology and related business operations; and LIPA will manage the contract to ensure all obligations are being fulfilled.
As expected, Mr. Taunton was met with several direct questions, some he answered and others he claimed pending litigation prevented him from responding. It was clear LIPA’s credibility among village officials is extremely low. It remains to be seen if this new structure can bring about the critically necessary improvements to service and outage response. And, of course, the Governor and state’s actions are yet to be seen.
February General Membership Meeting
The next General Membership Meeting will be held Tuesday, March 12, 7 pm at LaMarmite Restaurant in Williston Park. I look forward to seeing you then.
Ralph J. Kreitzman
|NCVOA officers welcomed Michael Taunton, LIPA CFO, to the meeting. Pictured here prior to the formal program is Ralph Kreitzman, mayor, Village of Great Neck and NCVOA president; Michael Taunton; Barbara Donno, mayor, Village of Plandome Manor and NCVOA 2nd vice president; and Peter Cavallaro, mayor, Village of Westbury and NCVOA treasurer.||Michael Taunton (center), LIPA CFO, discusses LIPA issues with Ralph Kreitzman, NCVOA president, and Warren Tackenberg, NCVOA executive director.|
Don Brudie, mayor, Village of Garden City, and Jerry Tangredi, trustee, Village of Stewart Manor.
Bernie Ryba , mayor, Village of Old Brookville, enjoys a story being told to him by Al Solomon, trustee, Village of Plandome Heights.
Jeff Bass, trustee, Village of Great Neck with Richard MacDougal, trustee, Village of Oyster Bay Cove.
The Village of Hempstead was well-represented at the meeting with trustees Don Ryan, Henry Conyers (deputy mayor), and Tony Rosario attending.
Village officials from the North and South Shores were interested in learning about LIPA’s role in the transitioning of Long Island’s electric service provider from National Grid to Public Service Electric and Gas. Larry Schmidlapp (l), mayor, Village of Centre Island, sat with representatives from the Village of Massapequa Park: Linda Turuinello, deputy village clerk; Peggy Caltabiano, village clerk; Jim Altadonna, mayor and NCVOA past president; and Tina Schiaffino, trustee.
|Village of Baxter Estates Trustees Alice Peckliss and Nora Haagenson had some questions for Michael Taunton.|
The Last Word:
The past is history; the future is a mystery; this moment is a gift; that is why this moment is called the present;enjoy it. Allan Johnson