Update from the Mayor
June 4, 2013
We first want to thank all the members of the Munsey Park community who took time out to vote in this year’s election. As many of you know we had a record turnout with over 700 votes cast. I would personally like to thank all of those who supported me as the new Mayor along with Trustee Haggerty, and Trustee Hance in the election. We hope as we get to work, we will be able to represent all the residents to bring change that will have positive effects throughout the Village. With that said the Board couldn't be more appreciative of all those residents who have come forward to volunteer their time and energy to help since the election. Although we are still looking for roles for many of the new volunteers the new appointments that have been made include: Jen Noone and Joy Susi to the Building Advisory Committee, Joe Russo and Matt Karcic to the Board of Appeals, Kelly Towers, Robert Farrer, and Trustee Hance on the Tree Committee, and Blaine Klusky to the newly created Ethics working committee. We would also like to thank all of those residents who previously served on the Village Boards including Mayor Nicolaides, Trustee Brennan, Trustee Jaroncyk, Debrah Miller on the Tree Committee, and Paul Yakaitis on the Board of Appeals for the time and energy they donated to the betterment of the Village.
In the six weeks since our first Board meeting we have been working on the following:
FINANCES: Because the election cycle and the Village’s fiscal year coinciding so closely, the Board decided to push the Budget debate and vote out a few weeks to allow the newly elected and appointed Trustees sufficient time to review the '13-'14 Budget. After sufficient review and debate the Board passed the Budget with a 1.98% increase keeping the Village under the 2% tax cap. With the Budget in place we are working diligently to end the fiscal year with a surplus so we can offer the Village additional financial flexibility next year. To that end, after a significant amount of work by our Village Clerk, Barbara Miller, the Village has finalized the reimbursement process with FEMA. We are happy to announce Barbara’s efforts have concluded with the Village receiving a reimbursement check in the amount of $207,074.64. This money, in addition to some State aid we expect to receive, will cover most of the costs the Village incurred during Super Storm Sandy.
AROUND THE VILLAGE: The Village has completed the grinding of all leftover stumps and is currently filling the holes with topsoil and seeding. Additionally, the Village continues to access money from the NYS CHIPS program (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) to make minor repairs to the worst of our streets and gutters. Please feel free to contact Village Hall if you have a street concern that would fall under the minor repair work CHIPS is earmarked for. We have contracted with the Manhasset-Lakeville Water District, at no cost to the Village, to replace 37 fire hydrants that have outlived their useful service life. Munsey Park is the only section of the district still using the old double nipple hydrants. The new modern hydrants will allow firefighters faster more reliable access to water in the event of a fire. We are also in the process of identifying outdated and unused equipment in Village hall which we will sell with the proceeds going to help offset future equipment and maintenance costs. Finally, we are planning to update our website to a more user friendly platform, we ask for your patience with the current site while we make this transition.
Further, Warner Brothers has generously donated $33,000 to the Village for the opportunity to film “This Is Where I Leave You” on Burnham Place. This money will be earmarked for further beatification of the Village, specifically replacing damaged trees from Sandy and beautifying our parks. We are proud to announce some funds from the donation were used to successfully add the names of James J. Regan and Robert T. Munday to the monument in Waldmann Memorial Park prior to this Memorial Day. The monument sits right at the entrance to the park and is in memory of those residents of Munsey Park who died in the service of their country. The Village is working with some of the families of those honored to hold an official dedication ceremony later this summer.
At our third Board Meeting, coming up on June 26th, we will vote on changes to the Village Code regarding generators and introduce a Law regarding mayoral term limits. These proposed laws can be found for review on the web site under the Local Law tab. With regard to other sections of the code, we are currently undertaking an analysis of the effect that lowering building permit fees will have on the budget and on future taxes. If we are satisfied that lowering the fees will not necessitate increased taxes, we will propose an amendment to the code and schedule a vote. Additionally, we are reviewing the current tree code to make the permit process easier to navigate while maintaining the integrity of the code. Further, we are revising the filming code to make the process of filming in Munsey Park less onerous on the Village and its residents. We are also creating an Ethics working group to update our Policy and create an Ethics Committee. Lastly, we are undertaking a comprehensive evaluation of our parks with the goal of creating a long term beautification plan. We continue to encourage additional ideas and input and look forward to working closely with the residents of Munsey Park in the future.