While enjoying Memorial Day weekend barbecues in Garden City's west end, Leo Stimmler said the noise from low-flying planes made it difficult to have a conversation with somene just feet away.
The quality of life issue has been ongoing for many village residents, reaching its peak during the summer, as the frequency of planes come in for landing at JFK airport increases.
Stimmler praised trustee Laurence Quinn's "candid and civil" leadership as chairman of the village's Environmental Advisory Board (EAB), which has been battling the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Port Authority to more fairly distribute the frequency of low-flying aircraft over the village with other surrounding communities.
"I don't go to all of your noise abatement committee meetings but the meetings that I do go to - you know you're science background, your persistence and your diligence and the hard work I see with those sheets you bring and you have a very candid and civil way of advocating for all of us," Stimmler, an EAB member himself, said. "I especially like the fact that there are a number of people in this village who are upset with the airplane noise and you have a wonderful gift of bringing us all together."
Quinn said a "good core of individuals" have been relentlessly working on this issue - not just him. "There are several people that you will hear me praise fifteen times over when we finally get a resolution to this issue, which is rapidly coming to a head," he said.
Quinn was poised to meet with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy to discuss the issue but a cancellation on the congresswoman's behalf has put the meeting on hold.
"The meeting was imminent but did not happen," said Quinn, who also attended a recent [Town-Village Aircraft Safety and Noise Abatement Committee] meeting, where FAA and Port Authority representatives were not in attendance.
"They promised us they'd be at the June meeting," he said. "We've posed all of our questions and they now have a full month to gather their information and respond to our queries."