2 board seats keep Kenneth Vey busy

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Kenneth Vey had never run for public office before his first bid for the Shelter Rock Public Library Board of Trustees in 2006, but he’ll now likely stay on two special district boards for at least five more years.

Requests from neighbors got Vey, an Albertson resident, to run for the library board and for the Albertson Water District Board of Commissioners in 2012, he said.

Now 77, he won his third five-year term on the library board Tuesday in an unopposed election, and is running unopposed for a third three-year term in the Dec. 13 Albertson Water District election.

Though they deal with very different issues, Vey said he doesn’t struggle to balance the two jobs. 

Both require the same management and communication skills, he said.

“I’m retired, so it keeps my mind active,” Vey said. “You always have to think about things we’re doing and meetings you have to go to.”

Vey retired in 1999 from his job as a line supervisor for Con Edison in New York City, where he oversaw staff and budgets for electrical crews. 

He stayed with Con Edison as a contractor for another 12 years, and is still on the company’s list of emergency electrical workers.

Vey has been active in the Albertson/Roslyn Heights Republican Club since his retirement and served as its president for about four years, he said.

Learning how to manage budgets and talk to people at Con Edison has given Vey “a lot of insight” as a member of the governing boards for two special districts with combined 2017 budgets of more than $7.5 million, he said.

On both boards, he often asks questions of accountants and lawyers and talks with other trustees and commissioners to solve problems, he said.

“When somebody calls me with a question, if I don’t know the answer, I get back to them and give them a good answer that they’re looking for,” Vey said.

Vey said he is proud of his work to develop the Shelter Rock Public Library’s senior technology training programs, an initiative he wants to expand in his next term.

The library offers daytime and evening courses that teach seniors how to use computers, smartphones and other devices. 

Herricks High School students also volunteer at the library to teach those skills, Vey said.

“I’ve gone through a few iPhone classes with them myself and I love it,” he said.

Vey also touted the water district’s work to install electronic water meters, update its pipe system and repaint one of its five water storage tanks.

When Vey goes door to door to talk with residents, they usually don’t know the position he’s running for even exists, he said.

“It’s just like electricity — people take it for granted,” he said. “All they want to know is when they hit the switch, it goes on.”

The Albertson Water District and Shelter Rock Public Library District are among more than two dozen commissioner-operated special districts in the Town of North Hempstead. 

They provide services primarily for residents in the town’s unincorporated areas and are mostly funded by property taxes.

The Albertson Water District serves Albertson, Searingtown and parts of Roslyn Heights, and has a 2017 budget of about $3.4 million. Its election will be held Tuesday, Dec. 13, from 3 to 9 p.m. at the Albertson Fire Company firehouse at 100 I.U. Willets Road in Albertson.

The Shelter Rock Public Library serves Albertson, New Hyde Park, Manhasset Hills, Roslyn Heights and Garden City Park, and has a 2017 budget of about $4.2 million. Its election was held Tuesday.

Vey is paid $100 for each Albertson Water District commissioners’ meeting he attends. His post on the Shelter Rock Public Library board is unpaid.

By Noah Manskar

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