Need strong leadership

To the Editor:

On Tuesday I hope all residents go out to vote, and for the future of Garden City I hope you all vote ROW C.

Why Row C :  Much has been said about FABGC in the last couple of weeks, and I hope you don’t fall for the campaign rhetoric. If you know me, Mike Sullivan, Bruce Chester or Richard Williams, you know the passion we have for the village and that we will work tirelessly to protect the quality of life and strong sense of community that make Garden City so special. You know we are honest and straight forward, and that we are all our own people and not controlled by any party or person. We will always listen to residents and act in the best interests of the village.  Our village needs strong advocates now more than ever as we face the threats of a Las Vegas Sands Casino just a mile from our border and an unprecedented attempt to take over our local zoning. We also need strong leadership committed to complete transparency to bring to a community vote the issue of the St. Paul’s Main Building.  If these things matter to you, vote ROW C.

As others have said, governing isn’t easy, and I have learned this first hand.  But I have also learned how important local government is to communities, and how critical it is to have leaders committed to serving the community.

Changes over Last Two Years:  Two years ago we heard residents angry with how leaders spoke to residents at meetings. We have worked to change that. We heard residents upset over a lack of transparency about BOT decisions whether it was the Edgemere Firehouse or the Garden City Casino. We have worked hard to be more transparent with residents and to support community organizations like the Garden City Casino which received the long term license agreement after we were elected. We heard complaints that the BOT was pushing organizations out of town in an attempt to raise revenue, and not recognizing the value these organizations bring to our community. That has not happened since FABGC leaders were elected. We heard residents upset with the practice of no bid contracts. We have opposed that and when we saw Cosmo Veneziale falling into the same bad practice, we have spoken up.  We heard residents frustrated with the Village’s handling of traffic complaints. Residents often had no idea where to go with traffic complaints, and the response seemed to depend on which POA you were in and how they felt about your particular request. As other villages were hiring experts and studying traffic village-wide, we had a broken system where band aids were being put on  problems and complete and accurate information on traffic was not making its way to many residents. Through efforts of the FABGC trustees, we are moving towards finally addressing traffic village-wide and with expert advice.

Working Together for GC: I have always recognized the importance of working with my colleagues on the Board of Trustees and it has never mattered to me whether someone ran as a FACGC candidate or a POA candidate.  I know that we are better working together.  During my first year as a trustee, when Cosmo Veneziale attempted to delay the vote on the Village’s opt out from the marijuana sales law, I joined with Trustee John Delaney (not a FABGC member) to move the matter towards a vote. We both knew this issue was important to residents, and we worked together for the Village.

When Veneziale suggested that the Village Treasurer be added to the audit committee, I listened to the objections of Trustee Colleen Foley (not a FABGC member), and I joined with her and other POA candidates to vote the measure down.  I have always recognized that what matters most is making decisions that are in the best interests of the Village.

I don’t just talk about transparency, I am living up to that promise, even when it is difficult. Opposing Cosmo Veneziale’s secretive style of governing has not been easy, but for the future of our great village it must be done.

It has been an honor to serve as your trustee over the last two years, and I hope you vote for me for Mayor on Tuesday.

Mary Carter Flanagan

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