Volunteers make Sands Point ‘wonderful’

Volunteers make Sands Point ‘wonderful’

Peter A. Forman, president of the Sands Point Civic Association, said volunteers are the foundation of a small community, so in 2009 he started getting involved on a local level, while emphasizing the importance of putting community first. 

“I don’t live in Sands Point just because it’s a small community,” said Forman, a Sands Point village trustee and deputy mayor. “I live there because its volunteers make it a wonderful place to live.”

Forman, 54, moved to Sands Point in 2000 from Lake Success in search of another small, beautiful community. 

In 2009, he was appointed the emergency manager of Sands Point, his first job in public service.

While attending emergency-planning meetings, Forman said he realized that there was a separation between Nassau County and the local villages and that there wasn’t any structure. Everything was too broad-based, so he figured out a way to bridge the gap, he said.

“Emergencies rarely occur in any one village,” said Forman. “So, I wanted to explain this to the villages.”

He began talking to villages, boards and towns, trying to configure a new organization. 

As a result, Forman started the Port Washington-Manhasset Office of Emergency Management,  a support organization. As the commissioner, which is a volunteer role, Forman said his main concerns are assisting the towns and villages and getting important messages out to the residents. The  organization acts as a mass communication system, texting, calling and emailing residents emergency messages.

As a recently re-elected village trustee, Forman is the board’s commissioner of finance and treasury, where he is responsible for overseeing the village’s finances. 

When Forman isn’t attending board meetings and creating emergency-planning strategies, he said he’s  putting together programs and guest speaker sessions through the Sands Point Civic Association.

The association focuses on the issues and interests of the residents of Sands Point by planning social and educational events, bringing in guest speakers, reaching out to new residents and planting trees and flowers, Forman said.

Recently,  District Attorney Madeline Singas spoke at one of the events, giving a speech to over 100 people on public corruption and drug abuse. The speech was an example of the message the civic association is trying to convey, Forman said.

“Living on Long Island is different than living in New York City,” said Forman. “The city is wonderful, but I love how the local community, churches, groups and villages are staffed by volunteers.”

Forman’s connection with volunteerism and community is evident in his daughters, too, he said. 

“My three young-adult daughters recently told me that they want to live in Sands Point when they’re older,” said Forman. “And that’s great, because it’s different. It’s on the waterside, it’s a really unique community with a lot of diversity and it’s a safe place for families.”

As the newer generation inherits Sands Point, Forman said, he encourages younger people to take interest in their community. He also said he hopes that people continue to join groups and pitch in, continuing the tradition of volunteers running the community.

“Public service is tough because of raising kids, but there comes a time when it’s possible to get into all different roles in the community,” said Forman.

His public-service career started later in his life because of his commitment to his family, Forman said. But he believes that once the younger generation gets more involved in the community, Sands Point will stay on a good course. 

“The fabric of Sands Point is significantly woven by the volunteer-staffed organizations,” he said.

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