NEW HYDE PARK
Robert A. Lofaro
Term April 2013 - April 2017
Mayor’s Letter to the Residents
“Speak now, or forever hold your peace.” This might be something you’ll hear at a wedding, but it’s also something I’ve been saying about the LIRR’s Third Track Project for the past year. The Public Comment Period regarding their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) ends on Wednesday February 15th and after that, the LIRR is not required to address any of your concerns. So if you are worried about the impact this will have to your property value and taxes, or how construction will affect your home or your business, or will this project enable more freight to be transported through New Hyde Park, it’s time that you stand up for yourself and your neighbors and demand that mitigation to these issues be part of any final plan.
And for the people who are convinced that this is already a “done deal”, your lack of comments will enable the LIRR to do whatever they please, and because you didn’t tell them that contaminated dust from the construction site may affect your health now or in the future, or that aspects of the project may not be addressed in the way you believe that they should be, the LIRR is going to move forward and will not need to provide any solutions.
Without question, this project will have the most radical impact to our village than any project we’ve seen here in decades. So access the web site at amodernli.com, read your way through the extensive marketing spin they have layered above the hyperlinks, read the DEIS document and develop your comments for input to the Public Record. The DEIS document can also be found at the Hillside Public Library or at Village Hall during regular business hours.
So, “Speak now, or forever hold your peace.”
In other news, the Village has again received the impressively high AA+ Rating from Standard and Poor’s Financial Services which reflects the excellence of the financial condition of the Village. This has enabled us to borrow at extremely competitive rates to fund our large capital projects.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
What a GREAT Street Fair!! That was the buzz around town. And the weather was absolutely spectacular. I want to thank every one who attended and all the merchants who participated. I hope that you had an enjoyable day. The Village Board and I also extend our thanks to our sponsor Northwell Health; Superintendent Tom Gannon, Greg Romano and all the members of the Department of Public Works; the Village Clerk’s staff; our outstanding volunteer Fire Department; the volunteers from our Auxiliary Police Unit; and great thanks to our Street Fair Coordinator Janet Bevers. And the good news is that for the last few years the Village has made a profit after paying all of the street fair related expenses.
In keeping with the theme of good news, the 2016 Road Improvement Project, the largest we have ever done, is in its final stages and was substantially completed by the end of October. But the better news is that the end is in sight. In a few more years, every road in the Village will have been reconstructed or repaved. It has been a fifteen year process so far, but we remain committed to improving the infrastructure of our Village roadways.
Finally, you may have heard about the train derailment that occurred on Saturday, October 8th in Garden City between the New Hyde Park and Merillon Avenue Stations. What a horrifying scene to see these large train cars physically off the tracks. This accident could have been far worse if the train was travelling at a faster rate of speed, but fortunately, it was slowing as it approached the Merillon Avenue Station. We should be very proud and thankful to the First Responders from our volunteer fire departments, police, and other government agencies that helped the nearly 600 passengers evacuate the train safely.
We activated the Marcus Christ Community Center as the Family Reunification Center and were thankful it was available for the hundreds of uninjured passengers. The only negative criticism I have of the post-accident events is when the Governor and the MTA Chairman used this terrible accident to promote their Third Track Plan. It was poor timing and poor judgment because if we did have a third track, all three would have been out of service instead of the current two. That was not the time or the place to promote political agendas.
So, as the leaves on the trees turn colors and begin to fall, please know that your DPW staff will be out collecting them from our roadways and will continue to keep our Village clean and safe.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
For the past 18 years, improving the infrastructure of our Village roadways has been a primary objective of the Village Board. So naturally, we are excited to see the progress of the current road improvement project that will accomplish the reconstructing of over 1.5 miles of roads throughout the Village. From North 1st, North 3rd, and North 6th Streets to the north, South 11th Street to the south, Hoffman Road to the east, and South 2nd Street to the west, we are focusing on the roads that had been in the worst condition. But, we also know more work needs to be done and we will be budgeting and planning to complete the four or so miles that remain out of the 20 plus miles of roads in the Village. Ultimately, roadwork projects are never done because as we complete the repairs to the last roads some time in 2020, it will be time to start all over again from the very first road completed in 1997.
Excitement is building around our Village in anticipation of our 21st Annual Street Fair to be held on Saturday September 17th. It’s amazing how the years have passed by so quickly since our first fair in 1995. This street fair remains one of the most enjoyable community days of the year and has been described as the "premier" street fair by many. This years event will again be even more special with the recommitment of our community sponsor and neighbors from Northwell Health (formerly North Shore-LIJ Health System). On the day of the fair, they are again planning to assemble a large tent to house a Health and Wellness Pavilion on Lakeville Road at Jericho Turnpike. So come enjoy the day with Northwell Health, Village merchants, community organizations from schools and churches, member businesses from the Greater New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, and over two hundred vendors, artisans, and crafters. Unfortunately, there is some sadness this year as we remember our dear friend and key fair organizer Dr. Anthony (Tony) Ciuffo from our partners at Craft-A-Fair who passed away in early July. Tony had been helping the Village run the street fair since its inception. We’ll miss his smile and cheerfulness all along the Turnpike but will remain proud of the legacy he established.
And finally, a word about the Long Island Railroad’s Third Track Project. We are expecting they will issue the Draft Environmental Impact Statement Study in late August and strongly urge all residents to carefully review the LIRR’s conclusions in great detail. Unfortunately, the Lead Agency (LIRR) who has contracted engineers and controls the study is the same agency (LIRR) that reviews and approves the final document. Public Hearings will again be conducted, but if done in a similar fashion as the Scoping Hearings, will be rushed to the public with little time for in-depth analysis and comment by the public.
Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Well the hopes that we would go the whole winter with mild and unseasonably warm temperatures were shattered when Winter Storm Jonas rolled in. And, just like last January, almost exactly one year to the date when the Blizzard of 2015 hit, forecasters had prepared us for the snow that came. And like last year, your Department of Public Works met the challenge and performed wonderfully.
Now I can say they "performed wonderfully" with great pride, not only as Mayor, but as a resident who was also affected by the storm. As I stared out my front window watching the snow accumulate, I was delighted to see the bright white lights and blinking yellow caution lamps of Village plows as they rolled down the streets clearing the way for emergency vehicles to respond if needed. And driving around the Village the next day surveying our streets and comparing them to streets outside the Village, I clearly see the value of our Village. Or watching the news and seeing some streets in Queens untouched for days, or seeing NYC ambulances stuck in the snow, I am reminded why the DPW’s operation is so important to the health and well-being of our residents.
But I would also like to thank our residents, property owners and business owners for their part in the clean up. Mostly all the sidewalks were cleared and most snow was not pushed back into the street making pedestrian access and mobility open for those who needed to get to work, the stores, or their houses of worship. We did have some areas that needed attention and our Building Code Enforcement Agents were out to ensure these residents and businesses complied with the Village codes. We also responded to resident requests to resolve some problems they encountered as well.
On a different topic, the Long Island Rail Road is back with their Main Line Expansion Project and desire to install a Third Track next to the two we already have that currently run parallel to 2nd and 3rdAvenues. There will be much more information available on our web site, future newsletters, and in the local papers.
On January 5th, the Village Board authorized Dvirka & Bartilucci to design and prepare bid documents for the reconstruction of almost 2 miles of Village roads at a cost of up to $147, 300. We hope to begin the construction this spring.
And finally, we are in need of volunteers from our community to serve on Boards, Committees, and Task Forces to help organize and deliver the wonderful programs, projects, and services to our residents. Please reach out to me by email at Mayor@vnhp.org.
What I have learned during my many years as Mayor and Trustee is that the business of running the Village is not only centered in the big public works projects that we manage, but is more about handling the daily issues and concerns of our residents. Whether it is to remove a hanging tree limb, or the pickup of electronic waste, or obtaining a permit to park in the Village parking lots, or securing a permit for a new sidewalk, the way we deal with these individual requests sets the tone for resident (customer) satisfaction. Providing excellent service remains the main focal point for our board, our department heads, and our staff. We hope that your experience is a good one and we’re always happy to hear your thoughts and comments.
Thank you to the residents who responded to my request to assist with the establishment of a new committee that will be responsible for many aspects relating to the management of the Village trees. Our first meeting will be held in November and it’s not too late to join. If you’re interested in participating, please contact me by e-mail at Mayor@vnhp.org.
I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving.
April 27, 2015
It’s been a very busy Spring so far with the Village Board completing a number of tasks and objectives. We passed our 2015-2016 Budget, without exceeding the state mandated Tax Cap. This remains a great challenge as costs continue to rise, but with a much disciplined spending practice, we have been able to meet this requirement.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
February 15, 2015
As I write this letter, your Department of Public Works is still dealing with the clean up after snow storm JUNO. We are fortunate to have been spared from the most severe conditions that were experienced on the east end of Long Island and in the upper New England area. However, as a precaution, I declared a State of Emergency for the Village of New Hyde Park at 6 PM on Monday, January 26th in order to access all of the necessary resources to deal with the snow. We learned from Super Storm Sandy to listen to the forecaster, even if they miscalculate sometimes based on the computer models that they rely on. In this particular case, the storm was only about 50 miles further east than predicted. That is close enough.
The reviews of our performance were generally good, but we have a few areas where we need to improve. Firstly, the rubber blades on the bottom of the plows do not allow us to clear the snow down to the pavement. It leaves about a one inch layer of snow on the street, and that doesn’t enable the sand/salt mixture to melt the remaining snow and ice as effectively. Secondly, a longer duration storm along with strong winds also presents a challenge to our operation. The drivers get fatigued and we need to allow them some time to rest, which prolongs the cleanup process. And finally, some of our residents, your neighbors, add to the snow fall problems by shoveling and blowing the snow back on to the street. This is the single biggest obstacle we encounter in the post storm period. It requires the plows to be deployed again in the early morning hours to move that snow off the street for a second time. This has become a waste of our taxpayer’s money and a huge waste of our work force’s time and attention. And it’s equally frustrating to you to have to clear your driveway apron again and again. The Board will need to consider instructing your Code Officers to issue more summonses in order to curtain this illegal practice.
Let me shift gears and start thinking of Spring as I share with you some news about Memorial Park. We had issued bids to resurface the Tennis Court, the Basketball Court, and to repave the walking path along the fences. Unfortunately, the bid results all exceeded our budget. But, thanks to NY State Senator Jack Martins, he was able to secure a $150,000 grant in addition to the original $50,000 grant he obtained for us last year. This should certainly ensure we will be able to complete the project. We expect construction to begin in March and the courts to be ready to play on before Memorial Day.
The Village received a good audit from the accounting firm of Rynkar, Vail, and Barrett as reported by Bill Barrett at the January 20th Village Board meeting as well as in their printed report. And finally, we are also going out to bid for new Recycling trucks and for two road improvement projects supported by other grants secured by NYS Senator Jack Martins.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
November 15, 2014
As the leaves continue to fall and the temperature starts to drop, we begin to transition our operation from outdoor landscaping activities to winter preparedness and planning activities. That means capital improvement planning, budget preparation, and maintenance/winterization activities. We had hoped to have completed two additional major capital improvement projects before the start of winter. Those two projects included the South 14th Street & 6th Avenue Drainage and Village Hall Parking Lot Reconstruction Project,and Reconstruction of the Tennis and Basketball Courts at Memorial Park Project. However, the bids on these projects exceeded our budget. We will revise the plans and bid documents and reissue the bids early next year.
We expect to receive the Audited Financials for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2014, but our internal reporting reflects another good year financially. And with that result, we were again able to attain an AA+ rating from Standard and Poors for the new $1.2 million in bonds that we will issue this November. We are hopeful that we will receive a very low cumulative interest rate.
Once again, I appeal to our residents to volunteer your time and talents to help make our village a better place to live. Please email me if you are interested in serving on any of our committees or boards including Parks and Recreation, Beautification, Cultural, Zoning, and several others. Please help.
Finally, please read the informative articles in this Newsletter. I welcome your comments. You can contact me at email@example.com with your opinions and suggestions.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
September 1, 2014
Hooray!! We finally completed the major portion of our Operation Downtown (Jericho Turnpike) Project. A project that has created a more pedestrian friendly Main Street with traffic calming, streetscaping, and horticultural elements along Jericho Turnpike. How wonderful it is to drive along the turnpike and see the beautiful flowers, trees and bushes. And these improvements, along with the Village’s new sign code, which has introduced a new sign construction material, colors, and patterns, have also added to a more welcoming business district. We are hopeful this will continue to invite new businesses, shoppers, and visitors to our community. We now will need to ask the State to reduce the amount of No U-Turn signs that they have installed all along our improved areas. And very special recognition to Trustee Donald Barbieri, for his patience and dedication to make this vision a reality. His tireless work on this project is the primary reason it was completed.
We are also very excited with the completion of the 2014 Road Improvement Project. Our contractor Laser Industries has managed this project very efficiently and the timely completion is very satisfying to the residents and the Village Board.
We are also continuing plans for two additional major capital improvement projects, the South 14th & 6th Ave Drainage and Village Hall Parking Lot Reconstruction Project, and the Reconstruction of the Tennis and Basketball Courts at Memorial Park Project.
And finally, we would like to see more trees along our village streets and we ask for residents to call the Department of Public Works and ask for one to be planted in front of their home at no cost.
Please read the informative articles in this Newsletter and please reach out to us and provide your comments and opinions.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
April 29, 2014
Since the beginning of the year, the Village Board has been very busy with developing plans for three major capital improvement projects (2014 Road Improvement Project, the South 14th & 6th Ave Drainage and Village Hall Parking Lot Reconstruction Project, and the Reconstruction of the Tennis and Basketball Courts at Memorial Park Project), working on the budget, proposing an offer for a new contract with the CSEA Union, developing reorganization plans for the Building Department and Clerk’s Office, and finally, continuing to manage the Operation Downtown (Jericho Tpke) Project.
But let me start with the Operation Downtown (Jericho Tpke) Project. A project that will create a more pedestrian friendly Main Street with traffic calming and horticultural elements on Jericho Turnpike. But this project, which for years has been government bureaucracy at its worst, has now turned into an tremendous inconvenience for our local businesses, shoppers, and residents. The constant setbacks we are having with the pace, schedule, and methods of our contractor who is performing the work has been nothing less than a total disappointment. We truly apologize, but look to celebrate when of the work is finally done. We’ll try even harder to get it right.
And finally, the Village Board adopted a new budget that holds taxes within the State mandated 1.8% Tax Cap. We had our Bond Rating upgraded to AA+, which will help keep interest costs down on future debt issues. And thank you to State Senator Jack Martins in securing several grants that will help with our capital improvements in several areas of the Village
Enjoy reading the informative articles in this Newsletter and please reach out to us and provide your comments and opinions.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
As I write this letter, another heavy snowfall has moved over our village and will be followed by bitter cold temperatures. And when all you hear and read in the news is “stay inside” and “don’t go out unless you absolutely have to”, I always have great confidence that our Department of Public Work’s crews will be out in the elements to assure your safety and clear the way for you to move freely. Additionally, your garbage and recyclables will be collected as well. Too often you hear people say “I pay a lot in taxes and I expect great service”. Well, I think we delivered and I hope you agree. Your village employees care a great deal about the work they perform and that is evident throughout the year. But if by chance we missed our objective, we are always open to your feedback and will do whatever we can to correct the situation.
But I must also thank you, our neighbors, for all of the work that you do to make our village safe. The clearing of snow from your property and insuring your sidewalks are passable for pedestrians has been outstanding and greatly appreciated, even if many people still choose to walk in the street.
It’s been a tough winter so far, but spring will be here soon enough and the hundreds of the donated daffodil bulbs that were recently planted by our Boys Scouts will soon rise and make New Hyde Park alive again. And all of the new plantings on Jericho Turnpike will also bring beauty to our Main Street, which has been a never ending project, but should be completed in May.
And finally, look for our massive 2014 Road Improvement Project that will reconstruct almost two miles of village roadways that hasn’t seen new asphalt in over thirty years. Some lifetime residents say they can’t remember their road ever being done. Well now they will.
Village of New Hyde Park
Our kick-off to Fall started with our great Annual Village Street Fair. And despite a brief period of heavy rain in the morning, everyone hung in and made the day another outstanding success. A big THANK YOU to our Street Fair Coordinator Janet Bevers, the men of the Department of Public Works, the staff of the Clerks Office, our NCPD and Auxiliary Unit, our Craft-A-Fair partner, and all of the local businesses and Community Groups for making this year’s fair one to remember.
As you will read in this newsletter, there is lots of good news to report including our receipt of funds from FEMA and The Dormitory Authority of the State of NY. This was much needed revenue and we are thankful to deposit these funds into our treasury.
Our portion of the construction for the Operation Main Street Project continues to limp along due to so many bureaucratic hurdles we needed to complete. We are also beginning to plan for the 2014 Village Road Improvement Project. We hope to construct another 1.5 miles of Village roadways, however, we also know there is still much more to be done.
And finally, we encourage our residents to join the Village Board at our Public Meetings to listen or participate in matters of local importance.
Village of New Hyde Park
Mayor’s Letter to the residents
Mayor’s Letter to the residents
With this being my first letter as your new Mayor, I would like to start by thanking all of my family, residents, friends, and colleagues who had encouraged me to run for this office. For all that know me; serving this village has been such a fulfilling experience and a true passion.
Next, I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of former Mayor Dan Petruccio, who represented our village in such a positive way and was truly instrumental in so many of the significant accomplishments that were made during his tenure. Thank you for your service.
So as you can read in this Spring Issue of the Village Newsletter, there is so much activity going on. With the annual appointment of key Village personnel, members of our Boards and Committees, these individuals will help with the effective management and operations of our Village and we are grateful for their work and dedication.
The Board was also able to adopt a new budget with a very modest increase that will enable us to maintain a high level of service. And so many other project continue to progress, like the Jericho Project, Operation Main Street, Road Improvement Projects, Park Improvements, facility repairs, and equipment replacements.
But we could always could use new volunteers to help us achieve our goals, so I ask that anyone who might be interested in serving in some capacity in our Village family, please email me or give me a call.
Mayor Bob Lofaro
Robert Lofaro is sworn in as Mayor on April 1, 2013
Former Mayor Dan Petruccio's Letter to the residents
So here I sit putting my last Mayor’s message together and I am wondering where I should begin. The first lesson I learned upon being elected Mayor of this wonderful Village is that in thanking any group of people it is important to thank my wife. While I was out handling Village matters, my wife was attending parent-teacher conferences and basketball games and dance recitals. She made it possible for me to dedicate the necessary time to handling the responsibilities of my office. So in beginning my litany of thanks I begin with the most important person in my life, my wife Roseann. I would also like to acknowledge the support and enthusiasm of my daughters: Elyse, Caitlin and Lianna. They have truly enjoyed being the “Mayor’s daughters”. I am so proud of the type of young women they have become.
My fellow Board members: Bob, Larry, Donnie and Rich have made my Tuesday nights rewarding and enjoyable. Over our twelve years together we have developed a mutual respect for each other which has translated into effective government service for the residents. We have argued and debated, we have compromised and cooperated and most of all we have presented a singular vision for the future of the Village that is a by-product of hard work and a spirit of public service. These men are the embodiment of the idea of “public service”.
When I first started attending Village meetings over fifteen years ago, I was fortunate enough to get to know a trio of men that educated and encouraged me in my knowledge and love of the Village. Kevin Gormley, George Sakowich and Fred Brown were my mentors and I was their pupil. They understood the value of Village government and the benefits it provides to the residents. They understood the concept of treating taxpayer’s money as if it were your own. Only spend what you have and always prepare for a rainy day.
The first important decision I had to make upon assuming the position of Mayor was to appoint a Village Attorney. The selection of John Spellman to represent the Village was the best decision I made. He provided guidance and stability helping to steer a group of government newcomers in the right direction. He has been a counselor and most of all a valued friend throughout these past twelve years. Thank you John.
The guys down at the Department of Public Works and the staff up at Village Hall continue to serve this community with pride and affection which is not part of their job descriptions. There are too many to mention by name so I won’t even try. One of the reasons that I feel it is the right time to leave my position as Mayor is that the administrative leadership is so solid at this time. Tom Gannon and Cathryn Hillmann have streamlined our operation and used prudence and financial discipline to put the Village on firm ground.
It has been an honor to serve as Mayor of this wonderful Village. Thomas Friedman once wrote; “When do we feel best about ourselves as Americans? It’s when we are
The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the Village and is elected for a four-year term. The duties of the Mayor are set forth in Village Law, Section 4-400. The first statutory power given to the Mayor is the authority to preside over the meetings of the Board of Trustees. In all cases of Board votes the Mayor has the right to vote, however, it is mandated that the Mayor vote in the case of a tie. The Mayor has no veto power over legislative action of the Board. One of the more important powers of the Mayor is the power to appoint all department heads and non-elected officers and employees. While the Mayor makes all of the appointments, the approval of the Board of Trustees is required. The only mayoral appointment, which is not subject to Board approval, is the appointment of one of the Trustees as Deputy Mayor. The Mayor may also fill vacancies in elected or appointed office without Board approval. The Village Law also gives the Mayor the responsibility to provide the enforcement of all laws, rules and regulations and to cause all violations thereof to be prosecuted. The Mayor has significant responsibilities regarding the ongoing business of the Village. He is permitted to perform Marriages within the confines of the Village. The specific requirements to be eligible to hold an elective Village office are : one must be 18 years of age or older, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the Village.
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