Village Board Notes: May 13, 2011

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A regular meeting of the board of trustees was held on May 3, at 8 p.m.

The meeting opened with a Pledge to the Flag. Present were Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy, Trustees James E. Rhatigan, Mary-Grace Tomecki, Kevin M. Fitzgerald, Village Administrator Patrick E. Farrell, Village Clerk Susan E. Walsh, Superintendent of Building Department and Superintendent of Public Works Stephen L. Siwinski, Police Commissioner Stephen G. McAllister and Village Attorney John E. Ryan.

Trustee Dominick A. Longobardi was excused from attending the meeting.

Mayor Tweedy opened the meeting by welcoming family and friends who had come to village hall for the presentation of Cop of the Month awards for January and February.

On the early morning of January 1, 2011 at 1:30 a.m., as residents were enjoying their New Year’s Eve or asleep in bed, Floral Park’s finest were, as always, on patrol. A call was received at police headquarters of a loud altercation and shots fired. Arriving officers knew they were walking into the real incident and as they entered the foyer they knew the defendant on the opposite side of the door was armed. The officers used good police tactics, professionalism and bravery to achieve entry to the apartment.

PO Christopher Timm was assigned to the call. Sgt. William Doherty directed all available units to the scene. PO Joseph Lauria and PO Robert King arrived on scene and were directed by Sgt. Doherty to back up PO Timm. Upon entering the apartment, the officers were met by a male who resided in the apartment and a female who stated she was his wife. An investigation was conducted during which a loaded 9MM Beretta semi-automatic pistol was recovered. This loaded weapon was a mere two feet away from the subject, which had just been discharged in the direction of his wife. This put the  officers, in fact all on scene, in extreme danger. Sgt. Doherty directed the officers to conduct additional searches, which uncovered an additional 9MM, a 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, the recovery of two spent 9MM casings and a simulated handgun. Both subjects were placed under arrest and the female was additionally found to be in possession of glassine envelopes containing heroin and other drug paraphernalia. The defendants were charged with four felony and three misdemeanor counts.

Therefore, it was Mayor Tweedy’s distinct honor and deep appreciation that he presented Cop of the Month awards to Sgt. William Doherty, PO Christopher Timm, PO Joseph Lauria and PO Robert King.

On the afternoon of Feb. 19, 2011 the quiet and calm of that Saturday afternoon was quickly broken as a Floral Park resident entered police headquarters to report she was in fear for her life. A short time earlier her 21-year-old former boyfriend had threatened to “take off her face and kill her and her family.” The resident also stated that the subject owns a shotgun and a military-type knife. While the resident was at headquarters, a call was received from her father stating that the subject’s car was parked in front of their house waiting for her to come home. Police were immediately dispatched to the west end location but the subject had left.

PO Pedley, PO Naughton, PO Wilson and PO Scanlon conducted a search of the area. Approximately 7 minutes after the call was received, PO Pedley stopped the subject at the corner of Mayfair and Daisy Avenues. When questioned, the subject admitted to PO Pedley that he was returning to the complainant’s home.

Through excellent police work, the subject was found to be in possession of a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, a large military-style knife and additional shotgun ammunition was found in the subject’s pocket. PO Robert Pedley, assisted by PO Brian Naughton, placed the subject under arrest. PO Pedley and PO Naughton conducted an interview at headquarters during which they obtained consent to search the subject’s premises. PO Pedley and PO Naughton arrived to the subject’s house in Valley Stream, where they recovered additional weapons, including a modified assault rifle. The subject was charged with felony weapon possession, and four misdemeanor charges.

Within 28 minutes after a resident walked into police headquarters a subject was apprehended and arrested. Through the professionalism, training, instinct and investigative skills exhibited by PO Pedley and PO Naughton the real possibility of a tragedy was averted.

Therefore, it was Mayor Tweedy’s distinct honor and deep appreciation that he presented Cop of the Month Awards to PO Robert Pedley and PO Brian Naughton.

Department of Public Works

Trustee Fitzgerald reported that there have been concerns from residents and employees regarding operating issues with the air conditioning unit at the library. An engineer has been obtained who has come up with a cost effective solution. Repairs were to take place on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, at which time the library was to be closed.

Air Traffic

Trustee Tomecki reported that there has been an increased volume of air traffic over Floral Park in the last two weeks. Trustee Tomecki confirmed that the increase can be in part attributed to closure of Runway 31L for repair and maintenance. However, repairs are usually only two to four days in duration. Another reason for the increase is the warmer air currents from the south that we have experienced over the last few weeks. Mayor Tweedy thanked Trustee Tomecki for her diligent work.

Police Department

Trustee Rhatigan congratulated the police department and those officers who were honored at this evening’s board meeting for the professional manner in which they conduct themselves.

Building Department

Trustee Rhatigan reported that the building department is fully ensconced with the start up of pool inspections and they are currently sending notices to those residents who may be required to renew their pool permits.

Mayor’s Report

This past Saturday Mayor Tweedy had the pleasure of attending along with the village board, the Floral Park Fire Dept Chief’s Installation Dinner. In addition to receiving citations and presentations from the village board and department companies, outgoing Chief Everett Ulmer also received a citation from County Executive Edward Mangano who was on hand to personally present the county citation to Chief Ulmer. With the installation of our incoming Chief John Kelleher, the FPFD now has had three sets of brothers who have served as chief of the fire department: Former Chiefs James and Ken Fairben, Mike and Former Mayor Kevin Greene and John and Kevin Kelleher. However, the father-son tandems still outnumber the brothers by one: father and son pairings are former chiefs Ed and Chuck Zuba, John and Peter Bilardello, John and Paul Szymanski, and Frank and Frank Wakely, Jr. What a noble accomplishment for each family and an historic achievement of excellence by Floral Park’s bravest.

Mayor Tweedy also attended the opening of Belmont Park at the Community Leaders Luncheon hosted by NYRA President Charles Haywood. Belmont Park’s racing season continues until July 17. LIRR service has been restored and many programs in addition to racing are offered at Belmont Park. Why not enjoy a day in the sun at our neighbor’s backyard, beautiful Belmont Park.

Lastly, trustee Longobardi, our public works commissioner, while away on a conference called and provided the following report. He is proud to report that Floral Park has again been recognized as a Tree City USA designee. This is the 17th consecutive year that the village has received this honor. Our trees are a beautiful and majestic renewable resource. This year, we have just completed planting more than 120 trees throughout the village. The value of our homes is indeed enhanced and our lives enriched by nature’s carbon dioxide filter.

Trustee Longobardi also reported that the Landau Avenue Road Restoration Project requires only line striping, which should be completed by week’s end, if Mother Nature cooperates. The professional coordination among our contractor, Valente Construction, our retained professional, Dvirka & Bartilucci, and our Department of Public Works Superintendent Steve Siwinski, General Supervisor Richie Albertson and Highway Supervisor Mike Naylor made this complicated project look easy. A final example of that was seen as the binder and asphalt work was completed while Sewanhaka High School and our local schools were all on spring break. The cooperation, coordination and on-site supervision of Valente along with the competent management by our department of public works all contributed to the excellent quality of this soon-to-be-finished on time and on budget road project.

On motion by Trustee Rhatigan, seconded by Trustee Tomecki, and carried unanimously, Mayor Tweedy recessed the meeting at 8:25 p.m.

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