Sheryl Goodine, the president of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Commission and a former Glen Cove School District administrator, shared her insights about the importance of Black History Month and its relevance to Glen Cove at the Feb. 14 city council meeting. Goodine’s remarks discussed the origin of the month (formerly Negro History month) and its founding father, historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, and how African-American history is integral to American history.
“It was black history before there was American history,” said Goodine. “My ancestors were not immigrants, they were brought here in shackles and chains and forced into slavery, where they were seen and treated by their slave masters as less than human, less than the lowest animals. My ancestors brought their African history with them.”
She continued, “Their history, from the moment they were kidnapped and brought to the new world in chains, became an intrinsic part of American history, so closely and intricately entwined that it is impossible to discuss one without at least providing a mention of the other.”
She said the only time she read about African Americans while learning history in school was the mention of them as slaves.
“Imagine sitting through years of hearing about the accomplishments of other ethnic groups in America, whose accomplishments helped to make our country the greatest country on Earth, only to hear your people get a slight mention, that was only as slaves,” said Goodine.
She also recognized a number of Glen Cove’s unsung heroes who broke down barriers by becoming the first African-American mail carriers, firemen and individuals who continue to set new precedents as important members of the Glen Cove community.
“We have a moral obligation to remember, for to remember is to raise up and honor, but to forget is to cast down and disrespect and thus deprive ourselves and our children of a rich and ancient legacy that gives grounding in eternal life,” Goodine said.
Following Goodine’s remarks, the council held two public hearings. The first hearing was regarding proposals for activities for inclusion in the city’s Community Development Program, pursuant to Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, which will remain open until Feb. 28. The vote will be taken on March 28.
The second public hearing was to discuss amending the summer camp fees, with a slight increase in the cost of the Pee Wee Camp, Regular Camp and Crazy 8’s.
Darcy Belyea, director of the parks and recreation department, spoke about the program and how it has more than doubled in size in the past 20 years. She compared the costs to others in the area and said that even with the increases, it is significantly more affordable.
“The city subsidized $100,000 for the summer camp program and we’re trying to recoup costs and put it on those whose use it,” said Belyea, adding that it will not impact anyone’s ability to attend since there are assistance programs available for those who qualify.
The council passed the resolution for the rate increase as well as a resolution to enter into a contract agreement with Municity, Software Consulting Associates, to allow tax payers to pay their tax bills (city, school and county) online and view their account status.
“I’d like to offer tax payers a way to pay property taxes online,” said the city’s controller Sandra Clarson. “It’s a nominal fee to those using the service and an annual service charge of $900 or $300 per tax.”
During public comment, Deborah Orgel Gordon, president of the Glen Head Glenwood Business Association and a page administrator for the Glen Cove Neighbors Facebook group, asked whether or not the rumor about a Costco coming to Glen Cove is true and raised her concerns about the impact it would have on local businesses.
Mayor Reggie Spinello said there is a venture firm that has the option to buy it that is “entertaining the idea” of putting a Costco on the property off of Sea Cliff Avenue. He noted that the property is a Superfund site that needs a lot of remediation and that the prospect of a Costco is in “such an infant stage” that is not worth discussing the impact it will have on local businesses at this point.
“There will be lots of public hearings,” said Spinello.
To view the full meeting, residents can go to the City of Glen Cove web site (www.glencove-li.us) and click on the City Council tab and then on the “Meeting Live Stream” link.