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Locustwood / Gotham Civic Association
Elmont, Long Island, New York 11003

Next Meeting:

Next Meeting:
April 16
7:30 PM



October 18 Meeting Review

Date: Thursday, October 18, 2007
Time: 7:30 PM
Place: The New Elmont Memorial Public Library
Guest Speaker: Elected Officials: Nassau County Legislature Candidate for District 3, Ali Mirza

Our October 18th meeting was a very informative and productive meeting and we thank all the members in attendance. Additionally, we welcome all our new and returning members.

The meeting started at 7:45 PM with the pledge of allegiance. Executive board present included, Ruth Jakab, Bob Barker, and Isabel Rodriguez. Absent were Jean Lewis and Douglas Hannon.

Mrs. Jakab informed the members that Jean Lewis, the civic treasurer may not be able to attend meetings do to job obligations. She is a single parent, with a child who is in the first year of college. She will continue to serve as treasurer and the civic appreciates her time and skills in regard to finance and banking. Mrs. Rodriguez at the meetings will serve as the intermediary in collecting dues and serving as an acting treasurer position. Due to the work related absence of Mr. Hannon, and Mrs. Rodriguez other obligations, Mrs. Jakab announced that Xavier Rodriguez would serve as secretary for the meeting.

Mrs. Jakab, announced as tradition, the October meeting serves as an opportunity for election candidates to come and have their voices heard. Our doors are open, and the only thing requested was for them to contact the civic announcing if they were planning to attend. Mrs. Jakab noted that only one individual called, and that was Ali Mirza, who despite having a fundraiser in his honor at the same time, will nevertheless spend time to communicate with our members.

The recorded minutes of the September 20, 2007 meeting was read by Xavier Rodriguez. On motion moved by Mrs. Rodriguez and seconded by Mr. Barker, the minutes were approved as read.

Mr. Barker discussed the possibility of Belmont as a potential place for new businesses to take place, and made people aware that they are individuals who are interested in adding revenue such as VLTs casino, hotel and outlets. The community has had a lot of meetings, in that individuals were able to express their concerns and voice their opinions with this important matter.

In regard to Old Business, Mr. Rodriguez discussed about the October 1st hearing, and read the statement made by Mrs. Jakab. Correspondence letters in regard to the matter, from State Senator Johnson, and State Assemblyman Alfano were made aware to the membership.

Mrs. Rodriguez gave the financial report. Mr. Rodriguez, made aware to the members, that membership dues include a year subscription to the Elmont Herald. Mrs. Jakab then noted that out of the ten dollars, the civic only retains three dollars, and thank all the members who have contributed extra.

In regard to future development of a Supermarket, Mr. Barker made the membership aware that there is a plan to have one along Hempstead Turnpike, and the talks is to have it at the old Argo Theatre. Mr. Barker suggested to have the supermarket be constructed in the current Home Depot shopping center. Mr. Barker opened the floor for additional suggestions.

Mrs. Singh asked why did the Wauldbaums supermarket leave in the first place. The response was that, the answer isn't clear, but it had to do with not enough profit and the termination or discontinuation of the lease. Also noted was that Home Depot did also expand.

Mr. Piil noted that the welding place on Hempstead Turnpike was knocked down, and the rumor is to have Supermarket at its location. Noted was that the property isn't large, and it lacks sufficient place for parking. He agreed that adding the supermarket by Home Depot would be better.

Mr. Smith noted, that the idea of adding a supermarket at the Home Depot Shopping Center is a good idea however there is the issue of the buses. He is concerned about the health and environmental damages that the buses cause to the surrounding properties and the health of individuals around. He believed that Elmont should not be subsidizing a corporate bus company, and feel that the other communities of the high school district is taking advantage of us.

Mr. Piil noted that with NYRA, the Belmont Park has become a dinosaur who gives more importance to housing horses than caring about people. Senior housing could be an alternative plan.

Mrs. Jakab, then made the membership aware that Mr. Mirza has arrived, and reminded them that he was the only person to call, and thank him for his time to attend despite his other obligations.

Mr. Mirza presented himself as the Democrat and Working Family candidate for the Nassau County Legislature, Third District, and is a father, single parent of a daughter attending Northwestern University. He became more involved with government, in regard to the continuous increase of taxes, and made people aware that we are paying more taxes than in Garden City. He mentioned that he helped to bring in Sustainable Long Island to Elmont, to help revitalize the area and to help bring in new ideas and advancements for business. To decrease taxes, Mr. Mirza believes that we need to increase the county tax base, without increase the burden on residents by revitalizing business in return will bring in more taxes and increase in sales tax. He hopes to have more people come into Nassau County to shop.

As a businessman, and resident for more than fourteen years, he hopes to reduce property taxes, provide more funds for youth programs, an provide more police and code enforcement. He noted that we spend more money funding Sanitation 6, that the county pays for the Nassau County police department. He believes that consolidation of special services may help to reduce costs. Mr. Mirza then asked the membership if they have any questions.

Mr. Piil asked what he plans to do with illegal housing. Mr. Mirza responded that it is a town issue, due to town code, and that changes need to be done. Mr. Piil voices his displeasure in the county in tackling this issue. Mr. Nicolosi, continued in that Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy has been a strong leader and has had significant improvement made. Mr. Mirza acknowledged that Suozzi's attempt to run for governor has hurt Nassau County, and perhaps he was too ambitious, but noted Nassau County is moving forward.

Mr. Barker, asked what would his opinion be on a supermarket added to the Home Depot Shopping center, as previous discussed in the meeting. Mr. Mirza noted, that it largely has to do with zoning, because it is up to them to determine to see if it is possible. He embraces the idea of visioning, because ultimately the ability to express ideas will lead to results.

Mr. Mirza noted that when we wins the election, he will still attend civic meetings, church and other community functions. He will also establish a committee of community members, that will meet at least once every two months, and will provide at each meeting a progress report to the matters on hand.

Mr. Mirza noted that he had to go back to the Pompeii restaurant and return to the fundraiser in his honor, with people waiting for him. The civic thank him for taking his time to attend, and wished him luck.

The civic returned to finishing old business of the agenda. There was a sense of frustrating disappointment in the Town for not cleaning up the construction debris, and garbage left behind on Wellington, Heathcote and 106. The lack of police enforcement on Wellington Road, by the Mobil Gas Station in regard to gang, and potential drug trading is demoralizing. The civic urge people to call the county police and report immediately these issues.

Committee Reports:
School District, nothing to be reported. Many of the members stop attending the meetings due to their displeasure of the atmosphere of the meetings and the tension portrayed.
Sustainable Long Island, Mr. Nicolosi reported that Walmart and other corporations are meeting with local officials, including our school superintendents, in regard to their interest in building in Elmont. Also mentioned was the report that Albany is looking into changing the way schools are funded by the state,
Civic Coalition Council, Mr. Nicolosi reported that a letter was sent to Town Supervisor Kate Murray, and State Senator Dean Skelos, individuals who represent us, to ask them to show up at a community meeting.

Mrs. Davidson, noted that Elmont is at a critical point. Our streets are dirty, many of our children are out of control, and large number of cars parked on the streets, even with properties having empty driveways.

Mrs. Jakab, mentioned that another issue, and perhaps the root to the problem with our streets filled with cars, is the issue of illegal apartments. There needs to be greater enforcement in preventing the use of basement apartments that are illegal, and a safety hazard.

There was a debate in regard to over night parking. There was no consensus, however the membership felt that permitting only one car per house to park on the streets will be acceptable.

In regards to illegal apartments, the system is broken. There are only 8 building inspectors, and the court system is a joke.

The resolution in regard to illegal apartments, was to hold a special meeting with the East End Civic and the Locustwood / Gotham Civic to present possible solutions, and concerns. Information to be gathered and then be presented to the District Attorney to ensure the codes and laws are being met.

In regard to parking, Mr. Rodriguez noted that in our area there is currently no parking between 10am to 4pm. He felt that enforcement of current codes should take priority over adding something like no over night parking. A return to the parking sticker, and enforcement of it is necessary. Once progress is met, then we can advance in regard to over night parking. The membership agrees that this is an appropriate step to take in the manner.

Mr. Rodriguez made the motion, that in regard to various complaints in regard to garbage, and businesses not cleaning, it perhaps be of interest to invite a representative from Sanitation Six to attend the meeting. The motion was moved by Mrs. Davidson, and seconded by Mrs. Jakab, and approved unanimously.

Mr. Claude won the 50/50 with $12, the civic gain $11.

There was concerns about our next meeting being close to Thanksgiving, however the civic will still hold its next meeting on November 15th.

The meeting adjourned at 9:35 PM.


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