While thousands of people were hunting for Black Friday bargains at the Green Acres Mall, a few blocks away at Village Hall a pair of sixth-grade students were learning about local government. Eddy Clarke Alexandre and ToniRaquel Spota, who attend the Robert W. Carbonaro School, won the village’s second annual Mayor for a Day essay contest.
Since the students were off from school last Friday, along with Mayor Ed Fare who teaches at South High School, it was the perfect opportunity to show them what makes Valley Stream tick. The honorary mayors didn’t issue any executive orders, but they did get a comprehensive look at the village’s operations.
Eddy and ToniRaquel met in the mayor’s office at 9 a.m. After Fare finished up a quick meeting with his staff, he invited them in and talked a little bit about what the mayor does. After the pair took turns sitting in the mayor’s chair as proud family members snapped pictures, it was time to move on.
Fare took them on a quick tour of Village Hall, walking Eddy and ToniRaquel through the clerk’s department where much of the day-to-day management of Valley Stream takes place. They then hopped in a silver Crown Victoria, normally driven by Village Clerk Bob Barra, and headed to Arlington Yard, the village’s public works facility.
At 9:40, they pulled up to the complex and went into the fleet repair garage. That’s where the village’s 200 vehicles, including fire trucks, garbage trucks and Auxiliary Police cars, are serviced. Fare and the honorary mayors then walked over to the Public Works office where Eddy and ToniRaquel got to meet Wayne Mastrangelo, supervisor of the Sanitation Department.
Mastrangelo talked to them about how all the garbage gets weighed, and allowed ToniRaquel to call one of the trucks onto the scale after coming back from its route. They then went outside where the children were enthusiastically greeted by dozens of sanitation workers in bright orange sweatshirts. Eddy and ToniRaquel each got to operate the controls of a garbage truck to dump the trash into the compactor, then took a ride around the complex in one of the trucks where they saw the large pile of trees and branches collected in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.