Winter is just around the corner, but the Village of Manorhaven Board of Trustees decided at Thursday’s meeting to suspend alternate-side street parking for the first month of the season.
Under the new pilot program, which lasts from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15, alternate street parking would only be required if the village declares a snow emergency.
“We’re going to try it and it will save us from another month of alternate street parking,” Mayor Jim Avena said.
He said that residents could receive alerts via robocall, text or email if a snow emergency was declared. Information would also be posted on the village’s website. Under the old rule, alternate street parking was required from Dec. 15 to March 15.
The board spent a lot of time considering the change and there were still some reservations.
“I am totally against this,” said Trustee Rita DiLuca. “I’m very nervous but because the board sat around and negotiated, we came up with this compromise. I’m still a little hesitant, but I think it’s going to work.”
The board accepted a bid from PSL to add underground piping at Morgan’s Dock. It also approved an extension to the waterfront moratorium until June 30. One of the concerns is development of the Thypin Steel property. Avena said the village should receive a preliminary waterfront report next week but no action on the property was imminent.
“It’s a long way coming before anything gets done, that I can assure you,” Avena said.
The meeting began with a presentation from two Nassau County police officers about crime in the village, and the topic of policing was circled back to later. Manorhaven’s board is considering a switch to the Port Washington Police, a move that some attendees felt was unnecessary. According to the police report, crime in the village was very low. Why fix what isn’t broken, a few residents argued.
Avena stressed that the board was only looking into the matter, and that public hearings would be held before any decisions were made. Trustee Ken Kraft, a retired police officer, said he felt that Nassau County’s policing was inadequate, citing a reluctance to stop illicit drinking in the Manorhaven Preserve.
“It pisses me off, because I did this for a living and I cared,” he said. “These guys don’t work too hard and that bothers me… I said to Jim, maybe a change wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
The back and forth between the board and residents in attendance continued into the public comment session. Avena started by reading a statement saying he felt unfairly attacked by the Manorhaven Action Committee.
“I am troubled by the actions of a few individuals that don’t offer solutions or ideas, only opposition,” he said. “Even more problematic is that they mask their actions under the guise of a civic association despite not having any public meetings.”
MAC members such as Caroline DuBois said the group had a legitimate purpose in allowing residents to express their concerns.
Other attendees expressed frustration with the sometimes chaotic meetings, with several referring to a zoning board meeting earlier this month that they considered especially egregious.
“It was appalling, it was embarrassing,” said resident Barbara Ruemenapp. “The attempt at intimidation and the bullying that went on… residents of Manorhaven were trying to speak and they were not allowed to.”
Despite that, the attendees agreed that the meetings have been run much better recently than under past administrations. Even those who had criticized the board minutes earlier offered praise for their patience.
“When I first moved here, I attended a board meeting where people were shouted at and… told to shut up and sit down,” Ruemenapp said to Avena. “Since you and this board have taken over, and I ran against you, it has been heated… but you have run a wonderful meeting.”