Mayor’s Column: Improving Quality Of Life

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By Reginald Spinello, Mayor of Glen Cove

Extreme Winter Recovery Operations
I am proud to say that the city’s Department of Public Works and all of Glen Cove’s first responders have done an outstanding job this winter season. It has been one of the toughest winters on record, but Glen Cove DPW and all of our police, fire and EMS crews were up for the challenge. Our department of public works instituted a new organizational strategy aimed at reducing expenses and enhancing services. My office, in conjunction with DPW, remediated 34 winter-related residential issues using a mayor’s issue log, which is tracked to ensure accountability. The city implemented a 24-hour live phone operator hotline to help mediate residents’ issues during this January’s winter super storm. All of the city’s staff worked together effectively to ensure residential safety during this long winter season.

Code Enforcement Reconfiguration and Illegal Housing Remediation
My administration has reconfigured the code enforcement department and Deputy Police Chief Chris Ortiz has taken responsibility in overseeing the newly reconfigured department. These changes will allow the department to focus on improving maintenance of department logs, additional training, and increased surveillance. These changes in code enforcement only act to strengthen our already robust efforts to curb illegal housing issues in the city. In the first two months of 2015, the city has issued $28,000 in fines and has approximately 35 pending prosecutions. My administration will not tolerate dangerous and illegal housing in our city.

Making the City Safer For Our Seniors
Senior citizens across Long Island have been the target of scammers and Glen Cove is not immune to this new trend. I have initiated a “Senior Outreach Safety” (S.O.S.) program for our seniors. This program will work to build a relationship between the police department and our city’s seniors by establishing a police department liaison to the senior center. The liaison officer will stop by the senior center each week to keep them apprised of happenings around town along with responding to their concerns. The initial meeting resulted in nearly 100 seniors signing up for the city’s emergency notification service. The safety of our senior citizens is a top priority of my administration.

Preserving Our City’s History
As our city continues to grow it is important to preserve Glen Cove’s rich history here on the Gold Coast. For the last several years our city’s Landmark Preservation Commission was inactive. I have taken a proactive approach and reconstituted the commission. The commission is made up of volunteer members who are appointed and voted on by the city council. With an impressive group of volunteer commissioners, I am confident that they will provide guidance in maintaining our history as we move Glen Cove into the 21st century.

Panera Bread Opening This Spring
This April is targeted for the grand opening of a Panera Bread eat-in and drive-through restaurant in our downtown community. This welcome addition is the first phase of the Piazza Project, which after being dormant for many years, is finally moving forward. In addition to creating approximately 25 jobs, the new restaurant will add much needed pedestrian foot traffic to our downtown. Clearly, Glen Cove is open for business.

50 Glen St. Development
Our downtown has for too long been blighted with empty storefronts and buildings. I am pleased to announce that 50 Glen St., a previously empty office building, has been renovated. The upper levels of the building are now home to 40 state of the art satellite offices, offering small business startups affordable office space with pooled amenities. The ground floor is also being remodeled for rental to several potential upscale retail brands helping to create a vibrant business community including a browse factor for shopping and increased recreational opportunities that entertain locals and attract visitors to Glen Cove.

Coles School Update
The former Coles School property has been one of the city’s most underperforming assets. Our recent request for expressions of interest (EOI) has been answered with enthusiasm from a plethora of developers and organizations interested in investing in Glen Cove. The city has received nine proposals of possible uses for the 4-acre property at 27 Cedar Swamp Rd. The various proposals include transit-orientated development, a dementia care center and a high end soccer training and dormitory facility. As per my campaign promise, my administration will continue in their efforts to return underperforming assets back to the tax rolls to assist us in improving our city’s overall financial position. Expanding our tax base is a key component to holding the line on taxes for our residents.

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