THE MAYOR’S UPDATE
Village Hall and the administrative offices are open for in-person inquiries and business, and all full-time staff has returned to the on-site workplace. Office hours are between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 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. Please don’t forget to wear a mask and to practice social distancing.
The Board is considering seeking out proposals for qualified law firms to possibly institute litigation, and take any other appropriate steps, so as to require the MTA/LIRR (and/or any other appropriate defendant) to remove and/or relocate certain utility poles now installed on the south side of the railroad tracks, between the New Hyde Park station and Garden City High School.
The Village previously engaged the nationally recognized environmental law firm of Beveridge and Diamond, PC as its special counsel to advise it in connection with the recent MTA/LIRR placement of utility poles on the south side of the railroad tracks within Garden City. Further efforts were made by representatives of the Village to persuade the MTA/LIRR to remove and/or re-locate the offending poles. Unfortunately, efforts to date have been unsuccessful.
In April, the Village’s Third Track Committee of the Board of Trustees sent a letter to the MTA/LIRR raising several grievances with respect to many project-related issues, including the fact that the Village was “never asked or consulted with respect to the placement of the 4-5 metal 120-foot high utility poles between the bridge at Nassau Boulevard and Weyford Terrace” and its understanding based on prior MTA/LIRR representations that “all poles west of Nassau Boulevard to New Hyde Park Road would be on the north side of the Main Line.” The Village asserted that the installation of the poles is in direct conflict with prior discussions and the EIS for the Third Track Project.
Earlier this month, the Board of Trustees met with REVAMP (Resident Voters Against Monster Poles), a group of concerned residents speaking out against the poles, during a public meeting at Cluett Hall. On Monday, Oct. 19, the Board met with Supervisor Clavin during an executive session at Town Hall to further discuss the issue.
“I personally now would support finding a good law firm and seeing what they had to say,” Mayor Theresa Trouvé said ahead of Monday’s executive session at Town Hall. “It would certainly feel good to know that Supervisor Clavin and his attorneys stand with us.”
COMMITTEE ON POLICE REFORM
The Village’s Committee on Police Reform held its first meeting earlier this month. The committee is comprised of Village representatives Mayor Theresa Trouvé, Police Commissioner Kenneth Jackson, Police Inspector Steven Braun, Village Administrator Ralph Suozzi, Trustee Mark Hyer, a member of each Property Owners’ Association, a local clergy representative, a defense attorney and a supervisor from the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office. “Even though our Police Department is exceptional, it’s always good to take a good look at yourself,” Mayor Trouvé said. The committee was expected to next meet this week.
Commissioner Jackson will be attending a leadership summit hosted by the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police and the New York State Sheriffs Association, to be held in Lake George later this month. Among the topics to be covered are pandemic issues, critical incident response and police reform.
STEWART FIELD UPDATE
The Stewart Field/Motor Parkway parking field project is essentially complete. There is one final step in the project—the installation of the lamppost lighting. There has been a delay in the delivery of the new lights, which are due to be delivered next week. The Village Parks Department has also cleared additional areas west of the new parking field exposing for view more of the original Motor Parkway. Lastly, we are awaiting the Village Historian’s contribution towards placing historical markers in the area to help educate visitors to the significance of the roadway.
The water tower project continues to progress. Crews have been busy sandblasting and priming the inside of the water tower in preparation for painting. The next phase involves performing the same steps to the exterior of the tower. Painting the interior and exterior of the tower is the final step; the Board decided on a light blue color. Public Works Superintendent Joseph DiFrancisco advised the Board that the cost of painting “Garden City” on the tower would cost approximately an additional $28,000. This change has not yet been presented to the Board for a vote to authorize the expenditure.
—Submitted by The Village of Garden City