Seeing the volume of traffic each day as he left Lawrence for the commute to his Manhattan law office 15 years ago spurred longtime resident, recent trustee and newly elected village Mayor Martin Oliner to become civically involved several years ago.
Oliner has said he wants to get right to work as he begins his two-year term, and he has dived into the middle of several local issues, including the push for improved traffic flow and the search for a new site for the Peninsula Public Library.
From getting everyday agenda items and reports filed to more efficiently using the village board's time at public meetings to upgrading the Lawrence Country Club, Oliner is looking to jump-start ambitious plans in his first 45 days in office. "I am a very decisive person," he said in his nearly 100-year-old home on Central Avenue, across from Village Hall.
His house, he said, was built by one of the Gimbel brothers. Which seems only fitting for the new mayor, who appears to have as many different issues on his plate as a department store has lines of merchandise.
With regard to the library, Oliner, initially as a trustee and now as mayor-elect, has wanted to help library officials find the best possible new site, and has suggested some alternatives. One of them was Zion Park, though it appears that there is not enough space for parking there. Acreage at the village pumping station is also a possibility.
"The village is more than willing to set aside land for the library," said Oliner, who added that the village could use its power of eminent domain if necessary.
New incentives for Lawrence Country Club membership and ironing out issues with kosher and non-kosher caterers are also on the mayor-elect's list, with a Request for Proposals circulating among kosher caterers. "I want to grow the country club and make sure it stays very usable to all residents," said Oliner, explaining that he wants to make it more of a "premier" club with what he describes as "continued upgrading."
When it comes to traffic, Oliner is constantly pushing for improvements in the flow of cars along the Nassau Expressway with State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), and he also keeps in touch with Sam Schwartz of New York City's Department of Transportation. A project to improve infrastructure with roadwork on Brookville Boulevard and Rockaway Turnpike is expected to continue until the first week of next month.
Oliner's long wish list also includes the creation of a community center, improving the quality of the area's water, reducing noise pollution from John F. Kennedy International Airport and improving garbage collection. "I want to be at the cutting edge of village government," he said, adding that it is an honor to serve, but he wants "to get things done."
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