Five new officers join police department
The village police department last month swore in five new officers to fill vacancies and increase the size of the force by two.
The force now totals 54 officers.
Three of the new officers are former NYPD members: Nicholas Bamonte, Kyle Coppola and Michael Farrell. Stefanie Balos is expected to graduate from the Nassau County Police Academy in August, village officials said. Jeremy Diaz is to graduate from the Westchester Police Academy in June.
"Police officers in our village make significant sacrifices every day to ensure our safety and maintain our peaceful neighborhoods," Mayor Francis X. Murray said at the swearing in by Rockville Centre Police Commissioner Charles Gennario. - SID CASSESE
No tax increase in budget proposal
Huntington Bay Mayor Herb Morrow proposed a $1.94 million budget for 2015-16 that -- for the third year in a row -- would not raise village taxes.
Morrow said he does not use the tax cap as a starting point when building a budget.
"We ignore that and think it's a gimmick," he said in an email. "Our goal is zero [tax increase]. We will keep that as our goal every year, starting our budget at zero and working our way up."
Morrow's proposal is $46,850 less than last year's budget. Huntington Bay is on track to underspend the current year's nearly $2 million budget by about $17,000.
Morrow said projected revenue is roughly the same as the spending budget. Taxes would account for $1.6 million of the proposal for next year's spending.
Police spending, at $1.25 million, and roads, at $168,000, are the biggest expenses, Morrow said.
The village restructured the police department in 2012 and reduced one full-time administrative employee, helping hold down budget growth.
Morrow noted that the proposal for next year is lower than 2009 spending levels of $1.96 million. He said the village has focused on controlling costs in the past six years.
The village will have a meeting on the budget in late April, but the date has not been set. - VALERIE BAUMAN
Tax grievance talks set for this month
Brookhaven Town officials have scheduled three property tax grievance seminars this month.
First District Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright said in a news release she plans to host a workshop at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Setauket Fire House, 394 Nicolls Rd., Setauket. She said she also would sponsor a seminar at 6:30 p.m. on April 15 at the Comsewogue School District office, 290 Norwood Ave., Port Jefferson Station.
Second District Councilwoman Jane Bonner said a grievance seminar would be held at 6 p.m. on April 21 at the Rose Caracappa Senior Center, 739 Route 25A, Mount Sinai.
Brookhaven Tax Assessor James Ryan is to explain how property owners can file tax grievances. Residents will be able to ask questions of Ryan and his staff. The seminars are open to all town residents.
"So many property owners are over-assessed and they don't even know it," Bonner said in a statement. For information, call Cartright's office at 631-451-6963 or Brookhaven Town Hall at 631-451-8696. - CARL MACGOWAN
Students to walk for autism awareness
Students with autism from the West Hempstead-based Gersh Academy will walk tomorrow for Autism Awareness Day.
About 80 elementary and high school students are to walk around the school to raise awareness and funding for the national organization, Autism Speaks, school officials announced.
Students, as well as teachers and parents, will walk laps for an hour selling candy made by students.
Elementary students will walk at Gersh Academy, 307 Eagle Ave. in West Hempstead from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. High School students will walk from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. - JOHN ASBURY