North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and members of the Town Board are wrapping up 2017 this week and looking forward to a productive 2018 for the Town, but not without looking back at some of the accomplishments of the past year.
“This past year really has been a productive year that was highlighted by significant legislation, innovative environmental initiatives, and important public works projects that stretch Town-wide,” Bosworth said. “In 2017 the Town put great emphasis on increasing openness and transparency and maintaining our stellar Triple A financial rating. I believe that the Town of North Hempstead can be held up as a model of ethical and financial excellence for other municipalities.”
- Bosworth and the Town Board begin 2017 with a moving memorial ceremony at Michael J. Tully Park marking the 75th Anniversary of the Jan. 1, 1942 fatal plane crash in New Hyde Park, which claimed the lives of five heroic servicemen. The North American B-25A Bomber had taken off from Mitchel Field when an engine failed. The pilot was able to diver the plane away from the homes of what is known today as the New Hyde Park community. The memorial service is attended by several local veteran’s groups, residents and aviation historians.
- January also marks the start of the planning process for the redevelopment of North Hempstead Beach Park in Port Washington. Bosworth invites residents to several visioning meetings held throughout the Town so that their ideas for the park’s future could be incorporated into the design plans.
- In March “Tobacco 21” legislation takes effect, prohibiting anyone under 21 from buying tobacco products in the Town. North Hempstead is the first municipality in Nassau County to enact this age restriction and throughout the year many other villages and towns followed suit.
- The Town is recognized for its financial stability and fiscal responsibility in March when the independent Wall Street bond rating agency Moody’s Investors Service upgrades the Town to AAA, the highest rating a municipality can earn. A higher bond rating means lowers interest rates for borrowing and saves taxpayer dollars.
- Bosworth and Town Clerk Wayne Wink announce that passport services are now available at the Clerk’s office. Residents can easily get a new passport or renew existing passports at the Town Clerk’s office.
- The supervisor and Town Board unanimously approve a slate of ethics reforms and a new anti-nepotism law to bolster and clarify the Town Code of Ethics. The reforms include a more competitive procurement policy with a greater focus on participation by minority and women-owned firms, the hiring of a senior level procurement officer, a more expansive financial and nepotism disclosure, and a working ethics reform group.
- The much-anticipated opening of Alvan Petrus Park takes place in Port Washington. Hundreds of community members turn out for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and barbecue at the new park.
- The Town Board was announces a new initiative to use quieter gas powered landscaping equipment in Town Parks. The initiative starts with a pilot program at Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson.
- In May, the Bosworth and Town Board members join with community leaders from across Long Island to take a stand against hate crimes, violence and intolerance. The event, ‘Not In Our Town: A Unity and Anti-Hate Conference’ is a part of a Town-wide “Not in Our Town” campaign to raise awareness and put an end to intolerance.
- Construction begins at Clinton G. Martin Park as the $23 million renovation of the pool begins. The project is set to be completed in June 2018.
- At the end of June, the Town’s new stormwater unveiled a new educational campaign, “Only Rain in the Drain,” which uses rain-activated sidewalk art to help people connect that what goes into the storm drains also goes into our waterways. The Town also produced a public service announcement featuring a fictional Stormwater Police Officer who educates people when they attempt to pour pollutants down the storm drain.
- The Town of North Hempstead became the first municipality on Long Island to successfully conduct a “quail pilot program” designed to re-establish Northern Bobwhite Quail to the area so that the birds can combat disease-carrying ticks, without the use of pesticides. Bosworth, Council Members Lee Seeman, Peter Zuckerman and Dina De Giorgio and Wink join with Ranger Eric Powers, the host of the North Hempstead TV’s nature show “Off the Trail” to release the home-raised quail at the end of July into the Town’s Hempstead Harbor Trail and other locations.
- In September, the ribbon is cut on a new outdoor classroom at Martin “Bunky” Reid Park in New Cassel. The classroom is a playground that promotes learning, while incorporating playing outdoors with musical instruments.
- 2017 was also a big year for the Town’s “aging in place” program, Project Independence, as its radio show hits the sixth anniversary milestone and the fourth “Regional Project Independence Aging in Place in Suburbia Conference and Expo” attracts over 500 senior residents to learn about health and wellness.
- In November, the U.S. Geological Survey officially approves the naming of a portion of Hempstead Harbor after former Town Supervisor May Newburger, five years after her death. The official name, “May Newburger Cove,” will now appear on federally published navigational charts and Google maps.
- Bosworth and Seeman announce the restoration of the Schumacher House is moving forward, as historically-accurate siding is installed, making the structure more stable and watertight and the house more visually appealing. The Schumacher House, which dates from around 1750, is located at Clinton G. Martin Park in New Hyde Park.
- The Town approves a collective bargaining agreement with the Town’s Civil Service Employees Association Unit 7555, the union that represents the Town’s approximately 345 employees. The agreement gives the Town stability with its workforce for the next six years.
- In December, the Town combats foreclosures with a seminar targeted towards relators who do business in the Town to help them identify and properly deal with foreclosures. The Town also releases a public service announcement regarding foreclosure prevention help available for homeowners, which can be viewed at http://northhempsteadny.gov/foreclosureprevention.
For more information on the Town’s 2017 accomplishments, log on to www.northhempsteadny.gov and click on ‘News and Press Releases’ under the ‘Government’ tab.