Mayor Tim Tenke held his first of three town hall meetings in the Connolly Elementary School gymnasium on April 22. The event was structured like a talk show, with Tenke as the host, and although there were no plush chairs or sidekicks delivering one-liners, the casual format was a welcome departure from the often stuffy biweekly council meetings at City Hall.
The town hall also provided an opportunity to hear updates from, and put questions to, the leaders of the city’s many agencies, including Lou Saulino, director of the department of public works, Darcy Belyea, of parks and recreation, and Chief William Whitton and Deputy Chief Chris Ortiz of the police department.
The city has been fielding some criticism regarding the condition of East Beach Road, a Pryibil Beach access road, closed in January due to dangerous potholes. Belyea said that she had been working with her counterparts in the Village of Lattingtown — who actually own the road — to secure repairs to a collapsed drainage pipe underneath the asphalt.
On the issue of potholes, which Lou Saulino, the relatively new director of public works named as a top area of concern, the city is in the process of aggregating a list of streets in the worst condition, and creating a list of potential road repairs, organized by urgency. Potholes, Tenke said, are an expensive problem to remedy. “It costs about $1 million per mile to repave a road,” Tenke said, explaining that in any given year, the city only gets to repave six or seven of them.
Tom Cardile, the deputy director of the DPW spoke about the city’s response to the discovery of Freon 22 in two of the city’s wells. As soon as the water department’s testing showed levels nearing five parts per billion, Cardile said, emphasizing the “B,” “we shut the wells down ourselves. We didn’t even wait for Nassau County.”
After going over the comprehensive compliance plan that the city had submitted to the county in late March — upon which the Herald Gazette has reported on often — Cardile noted that the city has been extraordinarily transparent about its water system. He cited specifically the numerous interviews he and colleagues at the water department had given to local news outlets.
“Our water here in Glen Cove is safe,” he said. “Period.”