Warmest Wishes for the Holiday Season

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Expressing Our Warmest Wishes: At holiday time, our Village Board, including Deputy Mayor Manny Zuckerman, and Trustees Clara Pomerantz, Brian Meyerson, Stacey Siegel and myself, send you and your family our best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year!

Creating a Community that is “Beyond Compare!” – It’s our residents who create a strong sense of community; it’s our volunteers who give of their time. It’s the beauty of our neighborhoods. It’s our outstanding services, programs for the young and old, and the fine schools for our children. It’s our willingness to embrace what’s new, and a desire to always surpass and improve what’s been done. It’s seeking out the novel and the new. It’s a dedication to preserving our enviable lifestyle, and a strong commitment to make every resident proud to live here.

Promoting Security: In the first few weeks of 2017, we will be sending out new static clinging East Hills security stickers for your car windows. These new stickers are one of the several positive steps the Security Commission recommended be taken to further protect against crime. We also will be acting to implement suggested minimum lighting standards for new homes that are constructed and under construction, and continue to consider the possibility of installing security cameras at all of our entrances while seeking a substantial grant(s). In the meantime, and particularly over the holidays, please stay safe. Keep the lights on, in and around your homes at night, and your alarm systems on when you leave your home. We have enclosed an overview of safety measures which can be taken.

Ensuring Road Safety: We will continue to consider all means to curtail speeding in our Village. Please drive carefully in our Village. In many areas, the speed limit is 25mph. Children are riding bicycles, people are jogging and walking their dogs in the streets. Please abide by the speed limits and observe all street signs.

A Time to Celebrate: In 2016, we celebrated our 85th Anniversary in the grandest of styles. I thank the members of the 85th Anniversary Committee for making the most spectacular event we ever held. It was special, fun-filled, and now becomes a hard act to follow. Congratulations to all who contributed and allowed us to remember the past and celebrate an exciting future.

Always Bigger and Better! We are always looking to tweak our building laws to protect our environment and ensure the character of the community. Our Zoning and Tree Review Committee (ZTR) has recommended changes that will apply only to new construction and homes where substantial improvements, for example, more than 50% of the market value of the structure has been altered. The Board of Trustees will consider design and other proposals recommended by the ZTR Committee as early as February.

Great Success for Our Community: We also saw our real estate values continue to rise, the reputation of East Hills continue to climb, and perhaps, most gratifying, many younger children of East Hills’ parents move back here to raise their families. In 2016, our community was selected as the “14th Best Place Among Suburbs” in all of New York State by Niche Rankings.

Publishing a Unique and Unsurpassed Calendar: Once again, our calendar features the fine work of Dr. Alan Sloyer. We thank him for his artistic talents. We also thank Rallye Motors for being the Sponsor of the Calendar, “one of the finest traditions in East Hills.”

Expressing My Greatest Appreciation to my Fellow Board Members: Deputy Mayor Manny Zuckerman for overseeing our security program, security systems and for handling utility and installations, and employment matters. A thank you to Trustee Clara Pomerantz for heading up our environmental efforts, our “Wellness Day”, “Green Day”, “Neighbors for Neighbors”, a program for residents to help other residents when they are in need, “Friends for Friends”, a program to help plan events for children in our community with special needs, and Krav Maga, an Israeli self-defense class. A thank you to Trustee Brian Meyerson for overseeing our sports programs, being involved with compliance matters, assistance on administrative matters, and for overseeing the volunteer firemen’s retirement program which serves eleven villages. A thank you to Trustee Stacey Siegel for continuing to help build the Kids in the Park program, for serving as Supervising Trustee on the 85th Anniversary Celebration and serving as Co-Chair of the LOSAP Investment Advisory Committee.

Unparalleled Record of Containing Taxes. Once again, in 2016 we had no tax increase for a sixth year in a row. In the New Year, we will once again make every effort to continue this longstanding record.

Highest Fiscal Ratings: We are proud that Moody’s has awarded our village one of the highest ratings of any municipality of its size, (Aa1). Moody’s made this determination because “the Village has a sound financial condition” with “healthy reserves” and “sound budgeting practices.” East Hills remains on the highest fiscal footing. We continue to ensure our residents will enjoy the finest services, programs, events and facilities. For the last three years, when the NYS Comptroller examined our finances for fiscal stress, East Hills received extremely high ratings (3.3 percent with the lowest percentage being the strongest).

Village News Around the Clock: We will continue to provide “Messages from the Mayor” and “Messages from the Village” at all times relevant, and of interest to our residents. In fact, we ensured that we now can operate this feature from remote locations if an emergency requires. We continue to send regular bulletins on developments from home invasions to other local problems. We also are sure to update you on weather emergencies. Please sign-up if you want texts during emergencies on the enclosed form.

Answers When You Need Them: Our Instant Access Program thru our website continued to allow immediate answers to questions, concerns and suggestions. The Mayor and/or Village Attorney principally give you a response, often within minutes.

We Publish a New Monthly Schedule of Events Called “UPDATES:” At the beginning of each month we compile, email and post on FaceBook a list of the programs, events, seminars and meetings to be held during the upcoming month to all residents on the Village email list. This is a handy guide for our residents to use and was actually suggested by a resident. Please sign up and LIKE our FaceBook page.

Replaced our Decade-Old Website: The East Hills website was redesigned with a better format and a new look and style. The site contains the latest news, information and photos of events, programs and initiatives in our community. Important notifications, dates and information are updated regularly on the website’s main page, as well as on the calendar.

Re-paving More Roads than Planned: We continued our road repavement project at an all-time, record-breaking level for our village. This program is necessary to respond to the extreme weather conditions. As more roads are affected by the harsher weather, the useful life of roads is shortened. Fortunately, the public bids came in under budget and we were able to spend $500,000 more on roads this year. Indeed, this was a welcomed development.

Continuing to Offer Open Government and Accessible Government: We invite open and available meetings with the Mayor through another feature on the homepage on our website called “Meetings with the Mayor” at www.villageofeasthills.org.

Offering the Finest Services by the Public Works Department: We continue to ensure that our sanitation services are running efficiently and effectively. During snow storms, the members of the Department of Public Works work tirelessly to clear and keep our village streets clean. They have been given the highest kudos for their work in emergencies. It is well deserved.

Ensuring the Finest Park Facilities: We continue to maintain our Fitness Center, Tennis Center, Basketball Courts, Community Lounge, the largest Municipal Pool on Long Island, the Park Grille, Snow Mountain, Nature Trails, Dog Park, walking, jogging and biking paths, and playgrounds. We now own a $70,000,000 asset by adding and developing our Park and its facilities.

Holding the Most Spectacular Events and shows: This past year we held unsurpassed events including the Fourth of July Parade and Festival with fireworks, and the 85th Anniversary Celebration on Labor Day Weekend.

Special Committees: We applaud and appreciate the highly successful Committees which include: Kids in the Park, Senior Activities Committee, The Mayor’s Trophy Softball Tournament and the Roslyn Women’s Softball Team, tennis competitions, a baseball program for Roslyn Little League Challengers, the games for the Albertson Soccer League Challengers, and other programs which include Friends for Friends, Shooting Stars and Go Long for Luke.

Outstanding Kids in the Park Committee: This upcoming year, the committee will continue to excel by holding outstanding programs, such as: the Annual Halloween Spooktacular, Character Breakfast in the Park, Kids’ Day – Party at the Pool, the July 4th Parade and Festival, and The End of Summer Celebration.

Excellent Senior Activities Committee: In 2017, the exceptional committee plans on holding the following events and feature them in their outstanding newsletter: Military Bridge Night, museum visits, tours and trips to shows, art galleries, Brunch at Belmont Race Track, technology workshops, current events sessions, water exercises, The Pool Party which features vendors, and a barbeque with live entertainment, cultural field trips, and a Chinese feast at a local restaurant.

Enacting New and Creative Reforms: We continue to update, through new legislation, our building and zoning codes. Other reforms in the past have included new legislation to govern electrical inspectors, ensuring beautification by eliminating front lawn storage, eliminating fees and encouraging the dates to complete the installation of permanent generators at homes, and other needed initiatives. The Park Rules Review Committee, composed of dedicated residents, continues to accept input and proposed changes to the Park Rules. We also created a Park Fund to plant trees and flowers, shrubs and greenery in our village.

Involving the Finest Resident Leaders and Volunteers: Costs are also contained because the Village is fortunate to have over 100 residents who volunteer to serve on committees. We continue to enlist extremely talented and highly qualified residents to volunteer their time and effort. The boards include the Board of Zoning and Appeals, the Planning Board, the Architectural Review Board, the Security Commission, the Zoning and Tree Review Committee, the Senior Activities Committee, Tennis Committee, Kids in the Park Committee, Power/Energy Committee, Tree Subcommittee, Health/Medical Commission, Environmental Committee, the Mayor’s Softball Tournament Committee, Canine Activities Committee, Traffic & Safety Committee, Park Rules Review Committee, Airplane Noise & Air Pollution Abatement Committee, Friends for Friends Committee, Women’s Softball Committee, Playground Committee, Neighbors for Neighbors Committee and many other efforts.

Guaranteeing an Open and Transparent Government: A “Meetings with the Mayor” program was instituted which offers weekend conferences with the Mayor. If you have a unique problem, have an idea you want considered, or want to discuss any issue of importance to the Village, you are welcomed to schedule a meeting. The request can be filled out on-line at www.villageofeasthills.org

Ensuring Best Lifestyle: The Village’s Code Enforcers work very hard to guarantee that our residents enjoy an excellent lifestyle and are protected against loud noise, improper building during early and late hours, and unlicensed contractors, among many other issues.

Keeping An Award-Winning Community: East Hills has been the winner of first class, Class 1 award for design of our Park by the New York State Parks and Recreation Society, and the AAA for the high degree of safety on our streets. We are also, twice the recipient of first prize for Local Government Achievement from the New York Conference of Mayors. The Mayor has also received a commendation from the Nassau County Police Force for leadership.

Supporting Village-wide Causes: The Village hosted another Blood Drive to help supply blood to people in need, and during emergencies. We offer a program for children with special needs, a program to help neighbors when they need assistance, and many other valuable efforts.

Continuing the Popular Special Pick-up Program: We will, once again, offer a one-time free special pick-up for free disposal of discarded items in residents’ homes in our village. The timeframe for pick-ups is listed in the Village Calendar. Including important dates in our calendar is another major use for the publication.

Fostering Beautification: Through our Department of Public Works we continue to maintain all public areas in the Village and keep them clean. When trees fall on roads, the situation becomes extremely dangerous and present potential liabilities for our village. Homeowners are responsible for trees, even on their property where there is a right-of-way. Please examine trees on your property to see if they need feeding and/or should be removed because they are very unhealthy or dead.

Providing Convenient Passport Services: A staff member continues to process passport applications as a convenience for residents.

Holding New Residents’ Day: We will, once again, welcome our new residents through a brunch in their honor. Our program for the new residents includes providing them with information on the Village’s facilities, programs, and services. We also explain the regulations and requirements that apply in the Village.

Complying with Federally Mandated Storm Water Requirements: Our Village participates and

complies with all federal mandates on runoff and spill programs.

Appreciation Again to Rallye Motors, for once again being our prime Sponsor. Personally, we thank Nick Toomey for his unwavering support, both for the Village Calendar and for the July 4th Fireworks Display in 2016, which Rallye also sponsors.

Summary: We had a highly productive and eventful year in 2016. It was a picture perfect Anniversary Year as you can see from our four page collage in the Village Calendar. We look forward to another cutting edge, creative and upbeat year in 2017 with new changes, programs and innovations. If you are not involved with our programs, please join in. Together, we will continue to succeed; together we will continue to keep our community “Beyond Compare.”

With Warmest Holiday Wishes,
Michael R. Koblenz Mayor