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Letter to the Editor: A Clear Choice for Village Trustee, by Francine Ryan

You have a clear choice when you vote for Village Trustee from the East next Tuesday, January 29th.  Here’s my vision for The Garden City we all want: it relies on its citizens to solve problems, not expensive outside consultants, and remains a village that sets the standard as a leader in innovative, forward-thinking solutions reached by the courteous and open exchange of ideas.  

That’s what I’ve heard from residents of the East during my trustee campaign walks.  It’s what I want and why I need you to vote for me.
 
Here’re some ideas worth exploring to help save money, increase revenue and productivity for a better Garden City:  
1.  Clinton Road, Central and Edgemere Firehouses open 24/7 with the optimal mix of paid and volunteer firefighters. 
* If we’re willing to discuss a 2013 budget of $22.5 million for Garden City police and $9 million for Garden City Parks and Recreation, isn’t spending $6.9 million on the Garden City Fire Department just as important?  
* Example: Garden City can apply for a “Safer Grant” (Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grant) from FEMA.  Port Washington just received a $500,000 Safer Grant for their fire department.
2.  Communication in good times and bad. 
*  Work with a media partner to stream/broadcast the Garden City Board of Trustees’ and POA meetings and allow residents to send questions in live time. 
*  Proactively assemble every resident’s e-mail/mobile phone info, so the village can easily send helpful information in times of crisis and get feedback from residents about their needs.
*  Partner with a local radio station that becomes “The Voice of Garden City” and can be heard by residents on their solar/battery-powered radios.
3. EMS services provided by Garden City firefighters/police for Garden City residents.
*  Currently all our EMS services are handled by Nassau County, which collects hefty fees from the person’s insurance provider.
*  Example: Long Beach’s paid firefighters are all certified to handle EMS.       
*  This could be a win-win for the residents and the revenues of Garden City.
4.  Muni-meters for the parking fields northwest of Country Life Press Station.
*  A large number of people now park everyday for free, since it’s a short stroll to the train station, while our residents pay $150 a year for a sticker. 
*  Example: Mineola collects $6.00 per day for train parking.
5.  Green/sustainable energy. 
*  Garden City can be a model village for generating power for village offices and schools that cuts our dependence on LIPA and saves money.
*  Example: Kate Murray’s solar, wind, etc., initiatives in the Town of Hempstead.  

You have a clear choice for your village trustee from the East. The central issue is what’s best for Garden City.  I’ll bring a fresh, optimistic perspective, the right experience and energy for finding new and successful solutions to solving our problems and moving the village forward.
 
Please vote for RYAN on Tuesday, January 29th @ Stewart School, from 4:30-9:00 pm.
   
judy courtney January 24, 2013 at 10:46 PM
I continue to find it amazing that someone can post a "letter to the editor" (either through the Patch or the GC News) with completely false information that no one checks. Ms. Ryan, in both this "letter" (or should I say campaign brochure) continues to repeat factual errors that are indicative of her lack of knowledge. For example, she states the $22.5 million dollar GC police budget - it is actually $9 million (including benefits); the recreation budget is $5 million (not $9 million as she states) and the fire dept budget is about $5 million - (not the Ryan figure of $6.9 million) Her suggestion for a SAFER grant fails to explain that by accepting that grant the Village would have to agree to fund 2 additional fire fighters for two additional years - from our own budget, not the grant. And, the Trustees voted 8-0 to turned down this grant for that very reason! I could go on and on with similar examples, but hopefully the point is made. Ms. Ryan, a "marketing expert" has shown us all what political marketing is really all about - don't let the facts get in the way of a good story! BTW - has anyone noticed that the very expensive color flyers from both Ms.Ryan and Mr Blair are virtually identical? Wonder whats going on here?
Francine E. Ryan January 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM
The Garden City Submitted 2013 Budget facts are: The Police budget, which was obtained from Mr. Olivo, is the "all in" number (the true cost) and is $13,832,000, plus the "Headquarters Tax", which the village (and therefore its citizens) pays to Nassau County, is $8,763,684, for a total of $22,595,684. The Parks and Recreation budget of $9 million is from from Mr. Moody's overview last week at the EPOA meeting. The Fire Department budget, also "all in" and also from Mr. Olivo, is $6,923,000.
dennis donnelly January 25, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Mrs. Ryan analysis is not even close. The headquarters tax is paid to the county. The village budget is managed by the Trustees. If the village were to disband our police department and utilize the county police force as Mrs. Ryan has suggested the headquarters tax would still apply plus the patrol tax(which our residents do not now pay). If you think that our village would be better served by the county force with severely limited resources I would disagree. The Garden City PD is the best department on Long Island. We have multiple patrol units on the streets at all times. Our coverage and response time are among the best in N.Y.State. When unfortunately crime occurs our detective division has a stellar record in solving the crime and arresting the perpetrator. I am a firm believer in Commissioner Jackson and the GCPD.
GCBob January 25, 2013 at 09:05 AM
What the numbers that are being questioned should not be the issue, the main issue should be you Mrs. Ryan, your lack of knowledge pertaining Village issues and particularly your lack of public service and involvement, until now, with any public support group, other then the CSSP. You have no track record to base your claim for the position of Trustee. We know that your background is in Marketing, to promote and to help sell a product or service to the public, but in your case I'm just not buying what your selling and neither should anyone else.
GC Joe January 25, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I find it telling that instead of actually addressing issues and laying out visions for the future Mr. Donnelly and his supporters have been hyperactive in assailing Mrs. Ryan. It would be nice to see a platform, some ideas and some respectful discourse appear at some point. That's the discussion I actually look for from politicians, friends and neighbors. It would be nice to have a serious discussion of the issues as opposed to trashing our neighbors.
GCBob January 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM
GC Joe, if you would have attended the last EPOA town hall meeting you could of asked your questions of the two candidates and heard their replies. It is nice to be open, truthful and above board with nothing to hide Mr. GC, or is it Joe.
GC Joe January 26, 2013 at 02:19 PM
And so you're saying the discussion should occur in one night and the productive dialogue ends there? Just want to be clear on your assertion.
GCBob January 26, 2013 at 05:29 PM
The lack of a productive dialogue is the fault of Ms. Ryan and no one else. She started late giving no though to the time line. If you listened to her at the EPOA town hall meeting it sounded like she was in need of a new couch with regard to Village issues, the term clueless came to mind. Read today's Garden City News and you will see that she has been endorsed by no one and that sounds about right.
GC Joe January 26, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Very productive and respectful commentary on your part ("clueless"). It's nice to note the GC News Letters to the Editor is the arbiter of truth and support in the Village. However, when you peel away the layers and analyze who is making the endorsements they are rife with preconceptions and biases. To neglect that fact is blissful ignorance.
john ertle January 27, 2013 at 01:09 AM
GC Joe Trustee Donnelly has been outlining issues as well as his ideas for the future at BOT meetings twice a month since being elected years ago as well as at the numerous budget meetings. He also speaks at Public EPOA meetings and has always addressed resident questions and concerns. While you may characterize his supporters, I'm one of many, as hyperactive in assailing Ms Ryan, perhaps you would understand this position if you had witnessed her public appearances, both last year when she supported challenger John Segherdahl as well as this year at the town hall meeting. That combined with her public criticism of not only Trustee Donnelly but the entire BOT on just about every issue have seemed equally hyper. I would hope you could understand the frustration that is mounting since Ms.Ryan has not attended public meetings, knows little about the village operations or the budget, is not being truthful to residents regarding her ties to the CSSP or her being the founder of a group who's main goal is to Save St. Paul's. she has not listed or addressed these affiliations in any of her online information. To neglect these facts is arrogance.
GC Joe January 27, 2013 at 05:27 PM
John, Thank you for the thoughtful response. I sense frustration on both sides. I agree it is good, and something, that Mr. Donnelly laid out some ideas/plans in meetings. Given this is an election it would be helpful to hear his beliefs in a more wide-reaching avenue. That's like a Senator running for re-election and his supporters citing the Senator's positions in Senate Committee hearings. I am, and likely many other people, are eager to hear Mr. Donnelly lay out his plans in a broader public forum.
judy courtney January 27, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Interesting comments. I do, however, have to challenge GC Joe's assertion that Mr. Donnnelly only gave his views in "Senate Committee hearings". The EPOA's Town Hall was open to all residents of the Village. It was well advertised in the GC News, on the Patch, on the EPOA website and in the EPOA newsletter. Every person in attendance was encouraged to submit questions to either candidate. I cannot think of a more open and inclusive forum for either candidate to share their views. Plenty of supporters for both candidates were in attendance, as it should have been. I cannot think of any way to have a more "wide-reaching avenue". or a "broader public forum". If people chose not to attend this meeting to hear what both candidates had to say, that is their own fault. I find it continually frustrating to hear that there is little communication or people don't know what is going on. Besides this recent EPOA Town Hall, there are public Trustee meetings, interactive websites for resident questions, public POA meetings in all four POAs, etc. There are ample opportunities for information and dialogue - but residents must take responsibility themselves.
john ertle January 29, 2013 at 01:27 AM
Judy, it's interesting how Joe is questioning the lack of widespread communication by Trustee Donnelly. I would ask him to provide us with all he knows about Francine Ryan and what she plans to do if elected as aside from the town hall meeting and a couple of inaccurate submissions on this blog, she is basically invisible and unknown.
GC Joe January 29, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Ms. Courtney, what century are we operating in? I mean, you are posting on the Patch aren't you? How often does the EPOA and the Trustees post information about votes and issues on the Patch prior to the election cycle? I presume you may even utilize email, a smartphone, websites, Facebook, Twitter, etc. etc. Information from an elected official and now a candidate for re-election should be readily available. Anything other than exploring all means of reaching residents cuts against what it means to effectively communicate, run for office and hold an elected position. Mr. Ertle, your token question is devoid of genuinely desiring a discussion. Her posts here you have deemed "inaccurate." Everything? Portions? Which parts? Anything Ms. Ryan does, says or explains falls on your deaf ears. Do not pretend to be something other than predisposed/tied to Mr. Donnelly.

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