At the request of Laura Munafo, the Nassau County coordinator for the state’s Community Reconstruction Zones program, the Island Park chamber of commerce on August 28 recommended three of its members to be seated on the local committee.
As part of the “ground up” process that Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated for the program, local organizations in each of the four communities — Oceanside, Island Park, Harbor Isle and Barnum Island — have been asked to make membership recommendations. Those organizations included chambers of commerce, civic associations, fire departments and the like, officials say.
The three men recommended to the committee by the Island Park chamber of commerce are:
Michael Scully, 51, a realtor who has lived in Island Park for his entire life and has a successful business there. Scully, who is a chamber vice president, said, “My wealth of knowledge about this community and my community activism would be very valuable to the planning committee;”
Todd Yovino, 45, an Oceanside resident who owns a realty company in Island Park. Yovino said, “I feel that I can contribute my knowledge of how to make the most of the money allocated to our community so that it will pay dividends and profits for the community in the years going forward;”
And Glenn Ingoglia, 44, an attorney and chamber president who has lived his entire life in Island Park. Ingoglia said, “I feel that my knowledge of this community and the deficits in our infrastructure and commerce will be a helpful addition to the planning committee.”
According to guidelines promulgated by the state, each local committee will have approximately 9-15 members. Those members, the guidelines say, should be planning experts, zoning experts, economic development experts, representatives of commercial, environmental, housing and human services organizations, transportation experts, representatives of vulnerable populations, emergency management personnel and public works experts.
Members of the committees will not be paid, and will have to follow a detailed code of ethics, the guidelines say.
Through the CRZ planning process, communities will asses their vulnerabilities, identify where funds should be spent to address those vulnerabilities and then develop projects that will increase resilience while also protecting vulnerable populations and promoting sound economic development.
The process calls for local CRZ committees tasked with spending the federal money on both recovery and insuring that the next storm will not wreck such havoc.
The committee representing the four local communities has been allocated up to $25 million and, working with experts provided by the state, the committee members will decide just how that money will best be spent.
There are already three members appointed to the committee, two co-chairs: Island Park residents Steve D’Esposito, a chief in the Island Park Fire Department, and Tommy Asher, a resident whose day care center got wiped out by Sandy and who is also a retired New York City firefighter, and member Raymond Pagano, the president of the Oceanside Civic Association and an engineer with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Officials from other local organizations say that they have not yet chosen who they will recommend to Munafo.