DeSena meets with Lakeville Estates for town updates, Q&A

DeSena meets with Lakeville Estates for town updates, Q&A
Lakeville Estates Civic Association President Bill Cutrone, left, presents North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena with a check. (Photo by Joseph D'Andre)

By Joseph D’Andrea

Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jennifer DeSena visited the Lakeville Estates Civic Association meeting at Manhasset-Lakeville Fire Department on Feb. 15 for a question-and-answer forum with town residents.

After recapping her State of the Town given on Jan. 27, which included highlights of her administration in her first year, as well as what is planned for 2023, she fielded questions ranging from public safety to project funding and other town concerns.

In response to a resident’s question regarding the cleanup of the center roadway medians in the Town of North Hempstead, DeSena spoke on the caution required for the full efficiency of the maintenance, saying: “I imagine we’re doing the same cleanup that we always do.

Again, it’s labor intensive because the state requires us to shut down Hillside Avenue, and I do believe there were times when our highway crews were being — how should I say it —yelled at because it causes traffic and problems for the local businesses… I expect the regular maintenance to be done.”

Another New Hyde Park resident inquired about Stepping Stone Lighthouse, asking if the to-be-refurbished dock, which will use town funds, will be open to the general public, or strictly limited to Great Neck residents only.

“A few years ago when the lighthouse was taken on,” said DeSena, “it was said that no taxpayer money would be spent on it—it would only be through grants and fundraising by private entities. Somehow, a few years ago, that was changed… No recovery was sought of the money spent.”

She continued: “Since the dock was supposed to [come] first, that was supposed to provide the answer to [how much it will cost to renovate it]. It seems like the original plan where it would be funded by private entities and grants and fundraisers is the plan we should be talking about. Where’s the fundraising? Where’s the private money that was supposed to be raised and the grant money? So I think that a lot of people are asking those questions… So we’re asking some questions about whether the taxpayers now should be responsible for that burden.”

The supervisor was also prompted to give an update about survey results regarding climate change energy costs to plan the development of a community climate action plan, which DeSena said the planning division is in the process of compiling.

The introduction of a policy to make code enforcement officers more proactive about public safety also arose, to which DeSena responded by saying she “can always urge our Commissioner of Public Safety to be more responsive.”

A town resident also urged the supervisor to spearhead the development of a veterans clinic, but as was clarified by Desena and LECA President Bill Cutrone, a higher representative would have to look into working with a Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic.

Speaking on what she has done within her power, DeSena said: “I have been in contact with someone from the VA hospital in Northport and have told them how anxious we are to have a [VA transportation vehicle] back, and he said they just don’t have it yet.”

“We will keep advocating on the behalf of veterans,” Curtone said, “and hopefully the supervisor will do the same.”

Prior to DeSena’s forum, a series of checks were presented to the Town of North Hempstead and other local organizations. 

The civic association donated $500 to the Turkish Consulate for support following the country’s recent natural disaster. “While we did the drive for Ukraine,” said Cutrone, “all the [supplies] that were going into Ukraine were going via Turkey, so it is important that we contribute and help out the people who were helping others during their own disaster.” 

Additionally, New Hyde Park-Mineola Runners Club members Stephen Cipot and Harold Axelrod distributed checks to several organizations, using proceeds they raised through their races.

The donations included $750 to LECA, $750 to the Nassau County Firefighters Operation Wounded Warrior, $500 to the Garden City Park Fire Department, as well as a donation to Boy Scout Troop 298, which often helps out to volunteer in Runners Club’s races

Speaking on their decision to donate to the local fire department, Cipot said: “Every year, the Garden City Park Fire Department very graciously gives us an ambulance. We’ve never had an issue, but just in case something were to happen, it’s very important to have an ambulance [at our races]. And this year, the Garden City Park Fire Department offered traffic cones in case we needed them, and they’re always very glad to help.”

The civic associaton’s presentation also included a $2,788.38 check given to the Town of North Hempstead for the purpose of CGM beautification.

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