Senator Martins Discusses Issues With Elmont Community Leaders

Jack M. Martins

February 07, 2011

State Senator Jack Martins met with Elmont leaders today in an ongoing and consistent discussion about issues and challenges facing the greater community. Economic development, pension reform, education and creating jobs were a main thrust of the discussion.

The discussion, according to Senator Martins, was, “proactive, collaborative and a real positive starting point in making things happen in Elmont.” Joining Senator Martins at the meeting was School Board President and Argo Civic Vice-President Michael Jaime, Elmont East End Civic President Patrick Nicolosi, CCC President Joyce Stowe, Parkhurst Civic President Cheryl Lee, Elmont-Online Creator Aubrey Phillips, Elmont Coalition for Sustainable Development Chair Sandra Smith, Jamaica Square Improvement League President Claudine Hall and Elmont 3-on-3 Tournament Executive Committee Member Barbara Reynolds.

The meeting talked about the Elmont visioning plan and evolving plans for the Hempstead Turnpike corridor. In addition, different strategies were explored in moving plans forward to expand the tax base and creating sustainable jobs were a focal point of the discussion. Senator Martins expressed his desire to work with Governor Cuomo on the budget and insure that the 7th Senate district receives its fair share of resources.

The grave State fiscal situation was also a flashpoint of discussions. Senator Martins discussed his mandate relief initiative as well as his personal efforts to move forward the Restore New York Grants awarded to Elmont. “We must have real mandate relief that gives meaningful tax relief to families,” said Senator Martins.

The Elmont revitalization plan was also a topic that was explored by the group. Senator Martins expressed his strong support for the work the Elmont Coalition has spearheaded to date. “The grant funding that has been targeted towards Hempstead Turnpike is moving,” said Martins noting, “we have to stay focused and make sure that these critical state dollars make a real difference so that we can revitalize the community.”

Civic leaders noted their great desire to partner with Senator Martins on economic development projects. Specifically, the group was very interested in moving the Belmont Racetrack “South Lot” development plan to fruition. The plan calls for a walkable mall concept that would create jobs and expand Elmont’s tax base.

“Elmont needs to expand the tax base and the only way you do that is through revitalization efforts the community has identified like that in Belmont. When you expand the tax base, you cut property taxes on homeowners. That has to be our goal,” said Martins.