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More Immediate Issues Than Rezoning Main Street

Storm Sandy should be the biggest eyeopener of the century. This might change the way local government takes precautionary measures.

Our area was pummeled by Storm Sandy and we all learned some very valuable lessons.

The first lesson should be that the Town Of North Hempstead and Nassau County needs to spend considerably more energy focusing on problems such as lose of loss of electricity and lost phone service. When power went out, many found their cell phone service became spotty if at all. This was more alarming after residents learned that cordless phone do not work without electricity. This is why I have three old fashioned corded phones which when plugged into the phone jacks made up for the spotty cell phone service. This was important considering some residents did not have Cablevision's triple play service after power went out.

So while everyone was focused on the rezoning of Main Street local government seemed to forget that we were in the season where a major storm or hurricane could cripple Long Island. Whammy, it happened and few were ready for it. Gas stations had no back-up plans for getting fuel or  generators. Only a few stores operated on generators without running freezers or any refrigoration. LIPA prtoved to be totaly incompetent to offer adequate information. Out of state crews offering time and labor could not be adequately depolyed to the most needed areas of the Island. Even Cablevision was left in the so-called dark as to where they could come in and performed much needed repairs.

Town Of North Hempstead executive John Kaiman should have teamed up with every other county municipality to come up with a long overdue plan to overide the poor services which other companies were offering Long Island. Too bad Kaiman did so little to aid is constiuents especially after he has been said to be the top choice to take over the failing LIPA.  This is the very same individual who has led some of the most horrendous meetings concerning rezoning Main Street in Port Washington and angered many residents.

In retrospect we should look back and learn a lot from the past storm and what should have been done and what was not done and who is responsible for prolonging the problems we faced. Even after I try to convince myself that this was a storm like one we never saw in this area there still is the shadow of doubt of whether or not some of the present officials should remain in their positions.

Had this been a private company I know heads would have rolled so fast that the media would not have had time to cover the issue.

For those who suffered, my heart goes out to you and those who fared better I think it is time to take a hard look at what others went through and why they suffer so much.

Anyone wish to comment? The leaders need to hear from us as soon as possible.

Jonathan Winant

Port Washington

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Local Resident November 26, 2012 at 04:55 PM
You haven't heard? Per ToNH and RFMBPW the rezoning originated in 2005 during the visioning process and is something the Port Washington community wants. No Owner or Developer has approached the ToNH or RFMBPW and stated they would develop their property / properties to include 2-floors of residential. This is all a do-good effort by ToNh and RFMBPW to beautify Main Street on behalf of all residents of Port Washington.
Local Resident November 26, 2012 at 04:58 PM
And agreed, there are much more important issues than rezoning...but this is where we are.
Laura Johnson November 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Local Resident, of course you are being ironical in your 11:55am statement. Mixed use was described to the citizens who attended visioning as a way to allow vacant commercial spaces to be used as live/work spaces for artists. Who could be against that idea? But Presto Chango, now the ToNH aka the Residents for a MBPW says they meant to say that their mixed use was also for new luxury apartments on top of retail. Oh and did you notice that the new overlay district would exclude restaurants as a permitted use, or at least those restaurants who wanted to operate past 7PM. Read the code and weep. Big changes coming to a Main Street near you.
Local Resident November 26, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Yes, my "ironical" font failed me...would not be the first time ToNH and RFMBPW misrepresented the facts. Probably not the last time either.
jonathan winant November 26, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Everyone has lost sight of why I started this posting! My intentions were simple, as we and the Town Of N. Hempstead are spending too much time on the revisioning, Rezoning or beautification (whatever the heck they wish to call it) project when some REAL serious issues need to be handled. The list includes. Pushing LIPA/National Grid to modernize and come into the 21 century so we do not have nearly as big a fiasco as we recently had to endure. Tree triming by whomeever is responsible to do so (Private, ToNH, LIPA, Nassau County) so we do not has the same enormous outages we recently had. Garbage problems which a rezoning will not change. One problem trash receptacles along Main Street are innefficient in size. Policing issues and what the Police needd to do to make Main Street a little safer for pedestrians and drivers. IE; Cell phones, texting, illegal u-turns and running red lights, double parking and parking in "no parking" zones. Graffitti problems which in the past year have become more prevalent. Anyone wish to add to the list?
Local Resident November 26, 2012 at 07:49 PM
No one has lost sight of your original post. We agree with you and many of us have emailed Dina DeGiorgio's office to request that the ToNH reschedule the town hearings in order to concentrate on the more important issues. I would like nothing more than to not have to discuss rezoning any further, but rezoning is like that gnat that won't go away.
Laura Johnson November 26, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Ignoring the rezoning is exactly what the ToNH would like us to do, so they can quietly vote for it. Your post is not going to take the issue off the ToNH Agenda on Dec 11.
jonathan winant November 27, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Laura Johnson Whether your against the rezoning plan or in favor of it I do not think many would just ignore it. The intentions behind writing my blog was to stir up some interest in the fact that ToNH, Nassau County and Port Washington has to stand and speak out about the other issues facing our community which are clearly being left unaddressed. Forget burying power lines it aint going to happen for numerous reasons. Too damn expensive (many might say money has better use), To distruptive to the community for the amount of time it wil take to complete. To name a few reasons. Maybe other measures can be taken to make the delivery of electricity, Cable Televison and verizon service more reliable.
Stephanie Hall November 28, 2012 at 11:03 PM
What can we do to make sure that this is not quietly voted through? Are we allowed to attend the Dec 11th meeting? Do we have any recourse if this is passed?
jonathan winant November 29, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Stephanie: The best thing is to contact ToNH and speak out loud and clear. Any meetings of the ToNH or the rezoning groups are supossed to be open to the public.
Laura Johnson November 29, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Stephane, please try to attend the public hearing on Dec 11, 7:30PM at Town Hall and voice your concern. If you can't attend please send an email to Dina DeGiorgio or John Kaiman to express your opposition in writing. If you would like to join your efforts to a grassroots organization, please send an email to portwashingtonvoice@gmail.com. Thanks Jonathan for the space. The issues you raise are very important as well.
Rebeca November 30, 2012 at 03:06 AM
"If they persist in disrespecting the will of the majority they will quickly be dealing with a recall election." Disrespecting the will of the majority has been the trademark of Kaiman , just look at his handling of the Country club issue .
port citizen December 01, 2012 at 10:08 PM
This whole concept of luxury apartments on top of stores on Main Street - magically resulting an an influx of disposable income that will be a boon to the local restaurants, nail salons, and antique shops? What a joke. It will result in low rent, cramped apartments on top of stores. Nothing more, nothing less
port citizen December 01, 2012 at 10:17 PM
What bothers me about this process is the fact that our elected representative is not seeking to collaboratively come up with a solution that will work for everyone. Rather, she and the local lobbyists at FFMBPW (Because at the end of the day, that is what they are) have long ago decided that they want this thing passed, and are doing whatever they can to push their agenda. Our "representative" does not represent the people of PW - she represents a small group of lobbyists, builders and chums - and all of them will benefit from this rezoning.
jonathan winant December 01, 2012 at 11:53 PM
The frecent storm which crippled much of our area should have been the wake up call that many needed to see. Rezoning Main Street was an issue which needs to take a back seat to what we the ToNh, Nassau County, Nassau County can do to solve some very basic issues which caused the local residents significant suffering. Rezoning Main Street might create more problems then we can handle. Last month Port Washington learned that tree LIPA failed us. The cut back in tree trimming cause significant outages in our area. Restrictions on generators might have created problems for those who could have had generators on their properties. Gas rationing should have been implimented as soon as the line started to form. The only thing which did not fail us was the Port Washington Manhassett Office of Emergency Management which being a volunteer operation did a superior job of keeping us informed. Every other service which we should haqve relied on failed misserably John Kaimain needs to be impeached as soon as possible and his name needs to be taken off any list of those being considered for office at LIPA. My recommendation is that Peter Forman be nominated to take over the CEO of LIPA. Peter has proven that he is a person of deep concern for our area and someone who can be relied on when the going gets rough. Thats what LIPA needs not someone who screw up at the worst possible time.
jonathan winant December 01, 2012 at 11:54 PM
sorry for the spelling issues. I hope readers will get what I was saying and will post their input. Thanks
Love My Town December 02, 2012 at 08:10 PM
It's time to step up and put your name on the "line" Please sign the on line petition to the Town of North Hempstead telling them to vote no to mixed use on Main Street. http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-the-redevelopment-of-main-street-port-washington.html
Laura Johnson December 04, 2012 at 04:55 AM
They are trotting out disinformation like - "this is not a change in zoning" - when the ToNH resolution clearly states that they are discussing the adoption of an "amendment to Chapter 70 of the Town Code entitled Zoning." Someone needs to brush up on their language skills.
jonathan winant December 04, 2012 at 10:16 AM
The entire way in which the rezoning proposal is being handled is an insult to every resident of Port Washington. It will take alot to change my opinion. Whether I am for or against the proposal The ToNH is trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Obvious that at some time the zonng laws along Main Street were changed as we have mixed use buildings and some over three stories high. No One ever explained why the change came about. Maybe those reasons need to be diswcussed before the Town possibly reverts back to allowing tall buildings with mixed uses. No one has adeqwuately discussed the impoact rezoning might have on municipal and private services which residents rely heavily on. Example nore residents, more cars impact Policing which does not adeqwuately adress traffic and driver along Main Street. That opinion comes from the countless comments on this issue seen in the Patch. Garbage, presently it is an issue along Main Street. Wait until more residents and businesses move in. Parking, this issues speaks for it's self. Schools,can they handle more students? The big question is if we had this much trouble getting through a major storm how can we handle the matter ater there is possibly more residents living in the middle of Port Washington? First things first as I was taught.
Laura Johnson December 04, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Agree. First things first. Take care of what you have.
jonathan winant December 04, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Right now the Town Of North Hempstead is taking on far moe then they can chew. Major concerns should be getting rid of John Kaiman (keeping him away from LIPA position), Road safety (rethink Policing),Storm prepardnes.
Laura Johnson December 04, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I am trying to stay civil. In any case the RFMBPW need to stay out of the planning process. And perhaps the BID should take over the beautification of Main Street business.
Local Resident December 04, 2012 at 01:36 PM
It's like the movie "Groundhog RESIDENTS"...keep hearing the same thing over and over and over and over. And the more you hear it, the less sense it all makes.

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