Petitions are in and village elections are set for March 16. In New Hyde Park the positions for mayor, village justice and two trustees are up for grab.
This year, it’s exciting to see a few new parties established—The Unity Party, The Beautification Party and the Common Sense Party. I wish all the candidates the best. I am personally committed to help with a smooth transition and look forward to working with all the reelected and newly elected board members.
What I do find disturbing during this election season is the negativity, false statements and accusations put out on social media about the current mayor and some of the board members that I sit with. I get that not everyone may agree on decisions, codes, etc., but to demoralize members that have dedicated countless years and hours to serve their community is wrong and disrespectful.
Despite what you may read on social media, every member that currently sits on the board has one primary purpose—to selflessly serve the community and make New Hyde Park a great place to live. No hidden agendas; no political aspirations; no personal gain.
Niche.com confirms that we have achieved just that and lists New Hyde Park as a great place to live. It gives New Hyde Park an A+ rating with the median home price up by 4 percent since 2019, completely contradictory to comments on other social media platforms.
Granted, is there room for improvement? Always. Have mistakes been made? Yes. But when there were mistakes, corrective actions were taken. An example of this is the previously created Development Incentive Bonus Overlay District. Following the legal proceedings of the hearing, the board listened to the residents. The project was stopped, we took a step back, scrapped that development, took the community input and now will be stepping out to develop an overall master plan with intense input.
What our voting residents need to understand are the real facts and accomplishments that have been achieved the past few years. These include:
- Successful acquisition of a $75,000 grant for an emergency generator for the village hall
- An excellent financial state rating on an external audit, with a surplus of $300,000 for fiscal year ending May 31, 2020. The best since 2011
- A financial cash reserve built up to $2,426,573 that will now help the village remain financially sound despite the COVID-19 shutdown
- Awarded Tree City USA for three consecutive years based on the village’s Beautification and Tree Planting Landscaping program
- Reconstruction of South 9th St., 5th Ave. and North 6th by MTA/Third Track Project based on what the board negotiated in a Memorandum of Understanding
- Acceptance by the MTA of a Village Beautification Committee developed landscaping plan that will rebeautify our village with trees and bushes in areas impacted by the Third Track Project.
- Upgrades to our village parks that includes new pickle ball, basketball and bocce ball courts and benches. This included the creation of Purple Heart Way at Memorial Park
- Funding and grants in process for the design and construction of a new DPW garage
- Implementation of “My VNHP” app for residents to report issues, receive news, etc.
- Upgrades to both the interior and exterior of village hall, currently in process
- Elimination of Covert Avenue and New Hyde Park Road grade closing, reducing traffic on residential streets, increasing safety and reducing train noise.
An ongoing objective by the village has been to maintain and keep the suburban look and feel. This is a challenge as the world continues to expand and modernize. The Third Track Project directed by the state is a prime example. Other times we have been successful, such as the Harley Davidson dealership withdrawing its application.
I am glad to read that the new parties share the same objective, but they must be committed and hold to this objective. The mayor and village board members must remain objective and operate under the guidance of federal and state laws. Members cannot be influenced by who they know or where they live. This becomes difficult at times.
One of the comments I hear is “The board just falls in line and does whatever the mayor wants.” This is completely inaccurate. What you see at public board meetings is a unified front, after much work and discussion.
Negativity, false statements and accusations are not what New Hyde Park is about. As the elections nears, I encourage residents to get educated, understand the true facts and know your source. The time is now to get involved. Visit the village website at www.vnhp.org, download our new “My VNHP” app and join us at the village board meetings. An educated voter understands the true facts and will vote for the right candidate.
—Village of New Hyde Park Trustee Rainer Burger