A Village of Stewart Manor Board of Trustees meeting turned into a lesson in the values of community engagement on Oct. 6. The regularly scheduled village meeting was attended by a group of Boy Scouts working toward a merit badge who witnessed new laws enacted and speeches from Fire Chief Tom Skinner and members of the Elmont School District Board of Education.
Members of Troop 134 attended the meeting to gain an Eagle Scout-required merit badge for Citizenship within the Community. They were required to go to a town hall-style meeting and witness a little democracy in action.
“It’s a great thing to learn about this little microcosm of the American community,” explained Assistant Scoutmaster Michael McGoldrick. “An open town hall meeting like this, where the boys can listen to the fire chief talk, they can listen to people talk from the school board, it’s a lovely thing.”
The Scouts were also present for a public hearing prior to the meeting in which 11 village laws were amended and enacted. The laws varied from changes in licensing requirements for landscapers, plumbers and electricians around the village to updates on dumpster permits.
Several new traffic signals and signs were approved to be installed around Stewart Manor with the ratification of Local Law 3 of 2014, an amendment to Chapter 180 of the Village municipal code. A new metered parking zone will be created on Covert Avenue from a point 188 feet north of Covert Place to a point 105 feet south of the Long Island Railroad tracks.
Additionally, a new traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Stewart Ave and Dover Parkway North. Seven new stop signs at four intersections will also be installed.
Chief Skinner appealed to the Board and the community at large on behalf of the fire department asking for some new, younger volunteers. According to Skinner, many men in their early 30s recently moved away from the village leaving a dearth of able bodies. He described the current numbers as “reaching a critical point.”
Trustee William Grogan stressed the importance of giving back to your community and pointed out that help of any kind would be appreciated. The Village does not only require firemen. Volunteers are also needed to drive ambulances and other trucks.
“It’s a great place and we help people every day. It’s a great feeling,” Skinner added.
Stewart Manor resident Raymond Sims was recently elected to the Elmont Elementary School District Board and spoke briefly at the end of the meeting about the importance of giving back and creating a good dialogue between the school board and the Stewart Manor Village Board.
“I too am a former Boy Scout and I like to get involved in community events,” said Sims as he thanked the Stewart Manor residents who voted him onto the school board. “Being a trustee is how I am doing my community service and I feel very honored and privileged.”
Board of Education president Michael Jaime also spoke and promised to keep the village in mind while the district draws up the budget for the 2015 school year.