Village of Garden City’s Mayor Report

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The Mayor’s Update

Village Hall and administrative offices reopened for in-person inquiries and business on Monday, June 22. All full-time staff returned to on-site workplaces Wednesday, June 24. Office hours are between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visitors are required to wear a face covering, maintain social distancing of six feet and sign in to a Visitor’s Log outside of the office they are visiting. Furthermore, while multiple people can enter village hall, only one person will be admitted into each office space at a time and are asked to abide by employee instructions. All of our buildings have been sanitized since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, proper personal protective equipment in the form of masks and gloves are provided on an as needed basis. All reception desks have been modified to include Plexiglass panels to alleviate physical contact between visitors and employees to further the effort to stop the spread.

Village Court Reopens

Village Court reopened Tuesday, June 30, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for defendants to make payments and file paperwork. All sessions were canceled in March due to COVID-19. Contact Village Justice Clerk Greg Cutrone at 465-4080 or gcutrone@gardencityny.net for more information.

Identity Theft: Unemployment Benefits 

The Garden City Police Department reports frauds emerging in the midst of the pandemic. Imposters are filing claims for unemployment benefits, using the names and personal information of people who have not filed claims. It has been determined that some scammers are using information from old data breaches of private or government agencies. As of June 30, the department has investigated 12 cases of this fraudulent activity. Commissioner Kenneth Jackson states claimants should never:

  • Post screenshots of their claim or their claim status on social media;
  • Provide their Social Security number or unemployment benefit claim number to people on social media who offer to help resolve their issues;
  • Agree to pay a private firm or individual to file for unemployment insurance benefits on their behalf (the Social Security Department does not charge a fee for filing a claim); or
  • File a claim in a crowded setting where someone may “shoulder surf” and steal your data by looking over your shoulder.

According to Commissioner Jackson the indications that someone has used your information to claim benefits include: receiving information in the mail from the Department of Labor about a claim you did not file, or your employer receiving notice of an unemployment claim filed in your name. All unemployment fraud should be reported since unemployment benefits are taxable income. If this happens to you, it means someone is misusing your personal information, including your Social Security number and date of birth. All victims should act promptly by following these steps that can help you protect your finances and your credit:

  • Contact your employer’s HR Department;
  • Contact the NYS Department of Labor by calling (888) 209-8124 or emailing https://www.labor.ny.gov/agencyinfo/report-fraud.shtm
  • File a police report with the police department;
  • File an identity theft complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTC.gov;
  • Report the activity to the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Transunion), and place a fraud alert or credit freeze
  • Keep notes for future reference.

If you get benefits you never applied for, report it to your state unemployment agency and ask for instructions. Do not respond to any calls, emails or text messages telling you to wire money, send cash or put money on gift cards. Government agencies will never tell you to repay money that way. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer.

The Garden City Police Department’s Detective Division is working with the United States Secret Service in the investigation of fraudulent unemployment applications.

Library Preparing To Resume Limited Services

The Garden City Public Library Board, administration and staff are taking steps to resume services and lending materials at the library in the next few weeks. The board l6and administration have developed a plan following New York State and Village of Garden City guidelines to reintroduce services gradually, taking proper safety precautions and establishing procedures to mitigate the risks to staff and the public, and training staff accordingly.

Administration is overseeing cleaning and maintenance, while staff is ordering supplies and learning new safety procedures. Express pickup procedures began June 30 and are being offered Monday through Friday (please note the library is closed Friday, July 3 in observance of the Fourth of July). The Library Board and director will oversee the reopening schedule, plans and implementation, and will reintroduce services based on public-health conditions, building safety, staffing and support services. At the present time the library is taking the following steps:

  • Intense cleaning and preparation of the building and systems for employee and public safety
  • Coordinating workforce return and health-screening guidelines with the village staff efforts; and
  • Planning implementation of contactless pick-up and return of library materials.

During the pandemic, due dates on borrowed materials have been extended until September 1. Please do not return materials or worry about fines at this time. Both library book drops remain closed. Library cards that previously needed to be renewed before December 31 have been renewed until December 31, 2020. Digital library cards are available to Garden City residents who do not have valid library cards to allow them to utilize the library’s digital collection, the Nassau Digital Doorway, and online and virtual services. Apply for digital access today at http://nassaulibrary.org/digital-card-application. The library’s digital resources are available 24/7 with a valid library card. Digital cards can be converted to a valid Garden City Library card upon reopening. Please see the Library website for information about how to apply for a card.

All programs and meetings in the library building remain cancelled until further notice. Though the building is closed, the library is providing the community with information, education, and entertainment through its website, its Facebook pages, and virtual programs for adults, teens and tweens and children. Check out the library’s Facebook pages or the Library’s Calendar of Events on the website www.gardencitypl.org for updates on reopening services and for information on the Library’s online resources, services and virtual programs.

Summer In The Streets

The Village of Garden City and the Garden City Chamber of Commerce presents “Summer in the Streets” every Thursday through Sunday between 5 and 10 p.m. through September 6. The initiative kicked off Thursday, June 25. Seventh Street will be closed for pedestrians only for outdoor dining and shopping. Feel safe patronizing your favorite restaurants and stores in the outdoors.

A Message From The GCFD On Fireworks 

Each July 4th, thousands of people, most often children and teens, are injured while using consumer fireworks. If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries in kids and adults. The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home – period.

Fireworks are often used to mark special events and holidays. The only safe way to view fireworks is to attend a professional show. With many professional fireworks shows being canceled this year, it is important to know that fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers. Fireworks cause thousands of injuries each year.

  • Fireworks start more than 19,500 reported fires annually.
  • Burns account for 44 percent of the 9,100 injuries treated in emergency rooms seen in the month around July 4.
  • Half of all fireworks injuries seen at emergency rooms were extremities: hand, finger, or leg. One-third of injuries were to the eye or other parts of the head.
  • Children ages 10-14 had the highest rate of fireworks injury, with more than one-third (36 percent) of the victims of fireworks injuries under age 15.
  • Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold. Sparklers account for roughly one-quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.

A few ideas to get into the patriotic spirit, without fireworks:

  • Use glow sticks: They glow in the dark and are a safe alternative to a sparkler.
  • Noisemakers are sure to make a statement. They can be found at local party supply stores or make your own.
  • Outdoor movie night: Set up a screen and projector. Don’t forget the bug spray!
  • Red, white and blue silly string is fun for all ages.
  • Make a patriotic craft with the family.
  • Throw a birthday party for the USA, and don’t forget the cake.

For more fire safety tips, or information on how you can join the Garden City Volunteer Fire Department please visit www.gcfdny.com.

Village Offices Closed July 3, 2020 

As a reminder, village offices will be closed Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day. Offices will reopen on Monday, July 6 at 9 a.m. Residents are reminded that there is normal weekly sanitation collection.

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