I want to start off by wishing everyone health and happiness for this year. The year 2021 continued to be a challenge for all of us in the Village of Islandia and across our country. I expect 2022 will present more challenges that we will also overcome.
On the bright side, we once again passed a budget for 2022 that continues to freeze taxes. We also eliminated the garbage tax for the twelfth year in a row, saving residents an average of $500 per year, compared to what they would expect to pay if they lived outside the Village. This, combined with the 50% tax cuts in 2017 and 2018 still in place, thanks to our Taxpayer Relief Agreement with Jake’s 58, saves residents over $1,000 per year on average, depending on the assessed value of their home. Together, we continue to demonstrate that local village governments can lower the tax burden on residents while, at the same time, can improve the quality of life.
On other matters, I wish to welcome Raymond Bush as our new Trustee. Raymond has lived in the Village for 50 years and will fill the role until the next election. He is a man of high standing and has served as Past Commander of the Col. Francis S. Midura VFW Post #12144. Ray is replacing Burhan Kisla, who is retiring after serving for eight years on the Village Board. I would like to wish Burhan the best of luck in all his future endeavors. He is a dear friend and colleague of ours, and we will miss his wisdom and passion for the Village. We also would like to welcome Kevin Peterson as our new Fire Marshal. His 27 years of professional experience and integrity are impeccable.
Four new vehicles were recently purchased for Public Safety and Code Enforcement. Once all of the aging vehicles are replaced, there will be eight new vehicles in total serving our Village. While all employees in the department are on the lookout for public safety issues affecting local quality of life, code enforcement is focused on educating property owners and ensuring the safety of our homes. Public safety focuses on quality of life and public safety issues in our community.
I am also proud to report that the Village of Islandia Senior Center has fully reopened. The Senior Center was closed during the pandemic and reopened afterwards, but only for a limited time. Since the most recent reopening, our older residents have come back to enjoy spending time with one another, watching movies, playing board games and socializing. We also celebrated the full reopening by having Pizza Night for the seniors every Thursday night. The Senior Center is open every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Our park continues to be one of the focal points with respect to improving quality of life in our Village. The First Responders Recreational Ball Field is a true state-of-the-art complex featuring ball fields for youth and community baseball and softball games, a concession stand, restrooms, a playground, and an exercise path with ten different exercise stations. I look forward to once again hosting our Village events, such as our Easter Egg Hunt, Annual Village Bar-B-Que — which 950 residents attended in 2019 — and the Pumpkin Fest on the grounds. We are also looking to bring back Music Under the Stars in front of the gazebo and Family Movie Night on the big screen.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you as your Mayor and remember: this is only the beginning! Please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com or call me at (631) 348-1133 with any questions.
Allan M. Dorman