Park District: No Budget Increase


Receiving a lot of praise for and very little opposition to their proposed “no tax increase” budget for 2015, the Great Neck Park District Commissioners voted their approval last Thursday evening at the conclusion of a public hearing at Great Neck House.
“We’re very pleased with the budget this year because we’re able to propose a budget with no increase in taxes, no increase in fees and continued services at the same level,” said Commissioner Bob Lincoln at the beginning of the evening. “We have a number of programs that are self-sufficient and they operate in the black.”
“We’ll see an increase in revenue,” he continued, “and we’ll hold the line on expenses. Over the past several years we’ve been able to operate with expenses lower than income. This year we’re able to give a million dollars back to the taxpayers.”
That surplus “give back” figures prominently in the $17.5 million budget, which is next up for consideration by the Town of North Hempstead at its Nov. 6 meeting. Combining the surplus with increased anticipated income allows the money that has be raised by taxation to remain the same as last year, even though the new budget is over $700,000 more than last year’s.
“We have been very frugal, very prudent in the use of our funds that we get from our taxpayers and the people who use our facilities,” added fellow Commissioner and District Chairperson, Dan Nachmanoff. “We’ve tried to increase our revenue…and we’ve been able to do that.” Lincoln also complimented Superintendent Peter Renick and Renick’s deputy, Lisa Goldberg, and their staff for being very frugal and very conservative with their purchases. Ruth Tamarin, the district’s other commissioner, was not present.
“If you look at the budget you will see that we are anticipating approximately 4 million in revenue this year as compared to last year when it was about $3 million (actually 3.6), said Nachmanoff. “I think we’ve got a good budget and I think we’ve got a great staff that’s worked very hard to keep things in line. We were mandated by the state to keep (any increase) it under 2% and we did that and at the same time we were able to create the surplus.”
“It’s a good budget and I like the fact that a lot of the activities and programs are sort of paying for themselves,” said resident David Zielenziger, who asked about whether the funding for some of the activities was based on attendance figures and was told that they were.
“I think that this is a very strong budget in the sense that it protects the public interest and it makes sure that all activities are maintained,” said another resident, Leon Korobow. “We all know that the Park District is a very valuable asset to the community and adds to the value of our homes. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of activities that go on. It’s quite remarkable that these services are delivered in such an efficient way. My hat’s off to the district for the things that they’ve accomplished.”
Answering a question from long time community observer Karen Rubin as to whether or not anything had been left out of the budget, Commissioner Lincoln answered, “We didn’t leave anything on the table that we actually need. What we’re not going to do is spend money just to spend money.
“I’ve been attending park meetings for years,” commented Neil Lieberman. “I’ve never seen a park district run as well as you guys and Ruth Tamarin have. The low turnout tonight is a testament to the fact that people are happy with what’s going on in the parks. If they weren’t you’d have this place packed.”
“I agree that we have a very fine budget here,” said Lieberman, who mentioned that he was going to run again against Nachmanoff in December as the Commissioner’s seat is up for election.

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