I hope all are enjoying a Happy New Year. 2017 was another successful year for Lake Grove. Staying under the Tax Cap and remaining fiscally sound, we still were able to provide a high level of services and maintain our standard of living. This has been accomplished by creating and maintaining budgets with a keen eye on eliminating any possible waste and tightening our belts.
Every department is required each year to create departmental budgets based on needs and prior year’s expenditures. These are then reviewed by our budget committee and further massaged and trimmed for the most prudent use of taxpayer dollars. This team has many, many years of experience.
Trustee Felix Wienclaw, Trustee Richard Kick, Village Clerk Carmela Constant, Receiver of Taxes James Loeffler and myself aided by our very dedicated Account Clerk staff spend countless hours to come up with a budget we can be proud of. A budget that not only keeps us under the Tax Cap, but also allows us to continue to be a Village that is the envy of many other communities.
While remaining under the Tax Cap each year, we have still been able to accomplish many things. Deputy Mayor Rick Cohen and I have worked together to replace most of our older trucks and equipment in our Department of Public Works. The benefits were obvious during the last snow storm. Providing the finest quality tools to experienced employees resulted in an outstanding clean-up and a high level of public safety. The practice of selling off our older equipment while it still has value and upgrading has been quite successful.
Along with the positive accomplishments above, there are still matters to be addressed that need our undivided attention and efforts.
Illegal rentals and so-called Zombie homes continue to be very frustrating to deal with. This challenge is not unique to Lake Grove. Exchanging legal knowledge with other villages and towns is helpful. We have also recently acquired the services of a prominent municipal attorney who has already afforded us very positive results. This individual does not back down from a challenge and does not accept the premise that we can’t move forward with eliminating these blights within our community. We will win this battle.
Going forward our goals for 2018 are all very achievable. With this being the year we celebrate our fifty year anniversary as an Incorporated Village, we are working together for continued success. We will not rest on our laurels. That is why developers continue to build and sell very high-end homes in our very desirable Village, raising the value of all of our homes.
We, as a team, shall continue to remain within the requirements of the Tax Cap, keep our highway department working like a well maintained machine, and work tirelessly to assure that no homeowner shall have to live with the frustration of homes in our neighborhoods that take away from what we work so hard to maintain.
Robert Scottaline, Mayor