Lawrence considers term limits for trustees

New law would limit service to six straight years


The Village of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing at the Jan. 9 meeting to discuss limiting the election or appointment of a trustee to the board to six consecutive years.

Presently there are no term limits on Lawrence trustees. The mayor is limited to serving three full terms. All terms are two years.

Current Deputy Mayor C. Simon Felder, who was the previous mayor before Martin Oliner’s election in 2010, has served as a trustee for several terms and said feedback from the residents is the primary reason for this proposed law. “People don’t want to challenge an incumbent,” Felder said, adding that it is difficult to attract new people to serve if entrenched board members are always running for re-election.

Oliner, who also served as a trustee before becoming mayor, thinks the length of service is too brief to comprehend the scope of the job. “Six years is a very short time to understand contracts and the issues,” he said.

Trustee Michael Fragin, who was re-elected for his third term, thinks the proposed measure is “restrictive” to people who want to continue to serve the village. “I don’t know why we would entertain it,” he said. When asked why he opposes it, he answered: “I don’t believe in making bad legislation.”

The meeting will be at Village Hall at 196 Central Ave. in Lawrence at 8 p.m.

Improving its technology

Resident Jeffrey Hirth, who runs a technology consulting firm in Valley Stream, reviewed the village’s computer infrastructure, including its website. Hirth said that two different vendors have been contacted concerning the website, but the priority is getting a handle on security and recovery systems to avert problems, especially during a disaster such as a hurricane.

“You want a managed service provider who will be proactive and look out for problems,” Hirth told the board during the Dec. 12 meeting, “ adding that the village should look to rid itself of its “server sprawl” that has been created by noting syncing up Village Hall with the system at the Lawrence Yacht & Country Club. Hirth said that a managed service provider could cost about $3,000 per moth, while major upgrades could cost between $30,000 and $50,000.

Digging up Sealy Drive

It is anticipated that the cost to repair Sealy Drive after it is dug up to fix the underground water pipes will be $300,000. Lynbrook-based Long Island American Water will perform the pipe repair and they are also expected to bear the cost of fixing the roadway using concrete instead of asphalt. Oliner said that he has spoken to company officials about the needed repair. He said he doesn’t want it done “in a haphazard fashion.”

More free parking?

Due to the success of free parking in village lots Nos. 3 and 4 during the holiday weekends, Lawrence will review the idea of having it year-round and possibly make a decision at the Jan. 9 meeting.