Last Monday, the new village trustees took their seats on the village board for their first public meeting via Zoom conference.
“Before I get started I just wanted to say how honored and how proud I am to be chosen on this village committee,” trustee Arthur Savarese said. “I look forward to my four years working with everybody. I think we can do really well together.”
Savarese will be the village liaison for Parks and Recreation, Little League, Public Information and the Department of Public Works.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who supported us,” Deputy Mayor Madhvi Nijjar said. “I do want to say thank you to Mayor Devane for giving us the opportunity. I think without him and his passion, we would not be here. I think we make an awesome team. We’re going to show you how working together is going to make this place a place that we all want to live in for years.”
Nijjar will be the village liaison for Revitalization Commission (formerly the Beautification Committee), Cultural Commission, Tree Committee, and Schools.
Lastly, Mayor Christopher Devane thanked everyone for their support and that he looked forward to the next four years. Devane quickly got down to business.
“At the organizational meeting, we tabled the appointment of the village officials and [people who serve on] the committees and boards,” he said. “Something that is vitally important to us, and to me, was that there be new ideas and new set of eyes on how village government is run. To that degree, what we’re looking to do and with all due respect to everybody who has served on boards and committees…there is a golden opportunity for different members of our village to come and volunteer and partake on committees and boards.”
Devane explained that everybody—for the most part—who is currently up for appointment on a board or a committee is not automatically being appointed back to their position. Devane added that certain people have received a letter thanking them for their service and if they want to interview for the position, they can. He added that even if people aren’t on a specific committee, they can still come down and volunteer on any committee they want at any time.
“We have positions available for the Parks and Recreation [commission], for the Cultural Committee, for the Tree Committee and for the Revitalization Committee,” Devane explained. “We are starting a new committee called the Citizens Council, which will meet and act as a constructive advisory committee that will assist this board and the village in furthering the improvement of the village. We have positions available for that. We also have two board member positions available on the Zoning Board and Appeals, and one position available for the Planning Board.”
Devane urged people who are interested to apply and is putting a 30-day limit for people who are interested. Interested people can email Devane at Mayor@vnhp.org or the village clerk at NHPClerk@vnhp.org. You can also call village hall at 516-354-0022.
On other agenda items, Devane said that the village is looking to start a New Hyde Park Civilian Patrol. Devane added that he has spoken to various police officers and the village attorney about the idea.
“We will get there, but we need the volunteers” he said. “We will train you to the best of our abilities. We’re not asking you to step out of your car. We’re asking you to be another set of eyes and ears. I think it can be enormously successful. I would like someone to be present at New Hyde Park Road School at dismissal, if we can, every single day. I’d like someone to go to our two parks to make them as safe as we possibly can. There are opportunities abound.”
Devane will be the village liaison for the Auxiliary Police, Fire Department, Nassau County Police Department, Facilities, LIRR Task Force, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning and ARB Board.
For facilities, Devane said that the village is currently looking into the funding for the 93-year-old DPW garage. Devane would also like to see an extreme makeover happen at Marcus Christ Hall by making it a real community center with community input. Village hall is also on Devane’s list for getting a makeover that would include a revamp of the board of trustees room.
Third Track Project Halted
“We are currently on what the MTA and 3TC call a ‘safety pause’,” trustee Rainer Burger said at the meeting. “There were two major events that occurred within a weeks time period. The first one was a demolition that was taking place on Willis Avenue where the building collapsed outward instead of inward. Shortly after that we had a tragedy at the Mineola station where a station worker was electrocuted. As far as we know, she is still in critical condition in the hospital and our prayers are with her for a quick recovery.”
Burger added that after reaching out to 3TC to see when construction of the third track project would resume, he was told it would be at least another couple of weeks.
“We will keep our residents posted as soon as we hear what’s happening,” Burger concluded.
Next Village Board Meeting
At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, the village board will be having its tentative budget meeting for 2021-22. For more information, visit www.vnhp.org on how to listen to the meeting. A public meeting will be held at 8 p.m. following the tentative budget meeting.