Valley Stream civic group sees change at the top

Long-time Mill Brook president is moving out


The Mill Brook community will soon be losing a familiar face, as Civic Association President Marc Tenzer moves out of the community this weekend. After raising his family in the small, 811-home neighborhood behind the Green Acres Mall, he will be passing the torch off to Peter Hunter, who has years of bringing up his children ahead.

Board members of the Mill Brook Civic Association recently passed an amendment to the by-laws that allows Tenzer to stay on as co-president for up to two years to help with the transition. He and Hunter will lead the organization together, with Hunter taking on more and more of responsibility over time.

Hunter moved to the community eight years ago. He lives in the Woodland section in the northeast corner, the oldest section of Mill Brook where homes date back to the late 1930s.

“It’s actually very similar to where I grew up,” said Hunter, who was raised in Coram in Suffolk County. Among the similarities he said, are taking care of a yard and forming relationships with neighbors.

Hunter has been on the Board of Directors of the Civic Association for the past two years, and was nominated to take the reins from Tenzer. He was a driving force behind the first community picnic last year at North Woodmere Park, leads a weekly Saturday boot camp-style exercise program at Brook Road Park in the nice weather, and also helps plan regular neighborhood clean-up days.

He is an advocate for beautification efforts in the community, and has done plantings at the community’s northern entrance on Old Central Avenue. Hunter explained that he wants to show residents of Mill Brook there is value in the dues they pay to the Civic Association. “These are tangible things that they can actually see,” he said of the new flowers and greenery.

As president, Hunter said he wants to increase dues collections by getting more residents to join the Civic Association. He also would like more people to come to the general membership meetings at the Forest Road School.

Hunter is a PTA board member at Forest Road where his daughter is in second-grade and his son starts school next year.

Overall, his goals as Civic Association president are to keep the neighborhood safe and clean, which he said has a positive impact on property values. He admits that he has “big shoes to fill” in taking over for Tenzer, the president for the past 14 years. “He’s been doing it for a while and knows a lot of people,” Hunter said.

Tenzer has lived in the community for 32 years and is moving to Cedarhurst. He will remain the chairman of the South Valley Stream Community Reconstruction Program planning committee, which is considering projects to protect the area from damage in future storms.

He was recently honored by Congressman Gregory Meeks for his service to the community. Tenzer, over the years, has brought in several high-profile speakers to Mill Brook Civic Association meetings including Sen. Dean Skelos, District Attorney Kathleen Rice, Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, as well as representatives from the town, county, LIPA, Police Department and Sanitation District No. 1. “Knowing all the politicians from Governor Cuomo down to the local level has helped me a lot,” Tenzer said.

Additionally, he has worked with the Town of Hempstead to get streets repaved and tennis courts repaired at Brook Road Park. When BJ’s opened up in the Green Acres complex, he made sure the community’s concerns were addressed as the building abuts Mill Brook.

Tenzer says Mill Brook will be in good hands under its new leader. Hunter added that he wants to work with the entire Board of Directors to keep the momentum going. “My motto is ‘never get comfortable,’” he said. “There’s always more to do.”