Thank you for electing me president of the Nassau County Village Officials Association. This is truly a privilege and I look forward to working with you to keep our organization vibrant and relevant.
Following Dan Serota is a real challenge. Dan is a true gentleman who tirelessly gave his time and expertise. He was always available and willing to face difficult situations. He is a strong leader and advocate for us. I thank him for his service and look forward to recognizing him at the NCVOA 96th Annual Dinner and Testimonial on September 8 at The Westbury Manor.
For some new to the NCVOA who may not know me, I thought I would give a thumbnail sketch of who I am.
I am the Mayor of the Village of Baxter Estates, one of five Port Washington peninsula villages on the North Shore, established in 1931. I served two terms as trustee before being elected the village’s first woman mayor. I am currently in my fourth term as mayor.
I have been involved in the NCVOA for 12 years. Here was a place to meet other village officials, to learn and exchange ideas. I still remember attending my first meeting. Like many new trustees, I did not know anyone when I entered the room. It was overwhelming. The first person I met was North Hills Trustee Gail Cohen. Gail was warm and friendly and invited me to sit with her during dinner. From that moment forward, I felt welcomed and excited to be part of an organization where I could network with other village officials. North Hills Mayor Marvin Natiss was my first mentor, along with members of his entire Board who always offered help and humor. Warren Tackenberg, Barbara Donno, and Bob Kennedy were there to advise me and provide suggestions on how to navigate around challenging issues. Bob drove all the way across the island from Freeport to Baxter Estates and walked Baxter Beach with me to give me ideas on how to stabilize my eroding beach. There are so many others I could name who have been so willing to offer their counsel and friendship. NCVOA has been a valuable resource for me.
We all lead busy lives and follow hectic schedules and I realize it is difficult to make commitments to attend our monthly meetings in addition to those we already are required to attend. But there is so much to learn at these monthly meetings. I personally have benefitted from talking to other officials, gaining new perspectives and finding creative ways to address the many common problems we all encounter.
British author C.S. Lewis said, “We cannot go back and change the beginning, but we can start from here and change the ending.” Let’s try to change some endings. I will be introducing a few initiatives I would like to implement during my term as president. But I cannot do it alone. I need you to be involved, to stay connected and committed, to attend monthly meetings and take some time to reach out to your sister villages who may not be very active and invite the mayors and trustees to attend a monthly meeting. We know there is strength in numbers. I will continue to be a strong advocate for NCVOA and the work we do to aid our village residents.
Thank you, again, for your confidence in me. It is a pleasure to serve as your president. I look forward to working with all of you in the coming year.
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