Larry Nedelka: Using experience to make a difference

Larry Nedelka

Larry Nedelka, independent candidate for Board of Trustees

Going back to 1964, when my parents moved our family into the Village, I remember getting involved in different activities. From scouting, Little League, helping the Community Fund, participating in the school bands from elementary school through high school, I got involved because it helped make a difference.

I learned a great many things from my parents, including those characteristics I consider the hallmarks of my foundation. My mom was a Den Mother for my Cub Scout Pack, 243, and my dad was a Boy Scout Leader when I was in Troop 56.

They lived by example. When my younger brother co-founded the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps, my dad, taking time from his busy workload on Wall Street, studied for and became an EMT to support my brother’s efforts.

Together, my mom and dad participated in Rotary, the University Club and the William Bradford Turner Post of the American Legion. My mom served as President of the Ladies Auxiliary and my dad held different positions, including Post Commander.

Dedication and commitment to our community and country are big in our family. My dad arranged for community groups to place our American Flag along Seventh Street during holidays. He was also responsible for the Legion’s collection of worn American flags for respectful disposal.

Then, on Palm Sunday, April, 2020, my mom passed away from Covid followed by my dad’s passing from Covid six days later, the night before Easter.

Even though my dad is gone, without a missed beat, the organizations still continue to put up the flags in town, and flags for disposal are still collected.

In their honor, I donated a drop box to the American Legion, which stands to right of the monuments and the gazebo across from the hotel, for residents to dispose of their worn flags.

fire department officers with mayor

Former Garden City Fire Chief Larry Nedelka, center, with Garden City’s former mayor Barbara Miller during Memorial Day Services.

While I have been involved at different levels in the community, my most significant contribution is my 50 years of active volunteer fire service, having served seven of those years in the Chief’s ranks.

As an independent candidate, I am not beholden to one rigid platform or another. It allows me the freedom to meet with all people in the Village, listening to all ideas they may have.

It seems to be a pretty confusing political landscape this year in the Village election. The Community Agreement Party, whose main focus has been the Community Agreement’s equal representation on the Village Board among the four property sections.

Yet this, year, they abandoned that entire premise when they fielded two candidates from the East, thereby ignoring the West.

We’ve seen sitting Trustees sue the Mayor and the Village. Last year, we saw the mayor from one party run for election as Trustee with the same party he campaigned against. This year is no different, with a candidate, yet again, running now on the party they ran against last time.

I do not have a profession that does work for or needs Village approvals for my income.

Professionally, my career has centered around public service. I have been fortunate to have held various positions at all levels of government, and it is with this experience in hand that I seek the support of residents for the position of Trustee.

It’s about using that experience to make a difference.

For example, when I was Deputy Commissioner of Jurors, a woman came to me to say that her unemployment benefits were suspended because she was on jury duty. After looking into the situation, I drafted a proposal to exempt jury service as a disqualifying reason to receive benefits. That proposal eventually amended NYS Labor Law. Moreover, when I discovered that the same problem existed on the Federal level, I collaborated with a Congressman from Massachusetts, and the same exemption became part of federal law.

As Finance Commissioner of the Town of North Hempstead, I was instrumental in revamping the Town’s Workers Compensation coverage, saving the Town close to $1 million the first year. Operationally, I looked to other areas for improvement. I discovered that, prior to my taking office, the Town was making lease payments on a telephone system they long since owned. After securing a $60,000 refund, I also changed the system that provided phone service to the Town. That saved the Town $5 million over the life of the contract.

There were other actions taken that helped the Town improve its finances.

During my years working in the field of economic development, I managed federal and local funds to create private sector jobs for the region.

Presently, I am the Fiscal Manager at the Nassau County Board of Elections, managing the agency’s budget and various grants, so the elections are seamless and without issues.

Now, with my experience at the federal, state and local levels, I want to bring an independent, fresh perspective to Village governance.

I am running on the Common Ground line because I believe we will make more progress on issues if we shake hands on those things we agree on, and work to resolve those we don’t.

It’s been decades now since the Village acquired St. Paul’s. While there has been movement to a resolution, it has been too long. We seem to be throwing good money after bad. Let’s get together and see if we can incorporate some of the ideas from various opinions instead of stalemating ourselves with one agenda over another.

These days, everything seems to be handled online, which one would think should render libraries obsolete. I believe the opposite. I believe that the library still provides a valuable service to this Village and I would work to make sure the building stays is a well-maintained condition and programs for our children and youth increased. This kind of enrichment is important in their development.

After all, what would they do if the internet goes down and they have a report due for school. It also encourages interaction among the children, helping their social skills that seem to have disappeared in this electronic age.

So, after a lifetime of service to the community and the public, I am seeking the position of Trustee to make a difference in the Village and for its residents.








One response to “Larry Nedelka: Using experience to make a difference”

  1. Barry McCaulkener says:

    Thank you for submitting this article and allowing us to become familiar with you, our neighbor. Mr. Nedelka seems like an excellent candidate for trustee. Good luck in the election!

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