As residents establish resolutions this month, elected leaders in Sea Cliff are also looking forward to the prospects the new year could bring. Members of the Board of Trustees touched on a variety of topics they hope to address in 2019, with a concerted focus on village “programs, policies and people,” according to Mayor Edward Lieberman.
A major improvement that is already underway is streamlining village services, which began with gradual updates to the building code last year via Sea Cliff’s Subdivision Committee. Deputy Mayor Kevin McGilloway, who chairs the committee, said, “While Sea Cliff is doing great, the reality is we’re rapidly changing, so the goal is to keep changing for the better without changing our charm and uniqueness, and that’s easier said than done.”
Some of the committee’s goals for the new year, he said, are to ensure the village’s subdivision statues are up to date and allow building department forms to be processed electronically on Sea Cliff’s website. He added that the new website would be up and running “at the end of the first quarter.”
Another hope of the trustees is to enhance programming in the village. Trustee Henriette Rohl said the board has discussed developing a speaker series to be held at Sea Cliff Village Museum. “We want to do a lot of activities that cover more people’s interests and make it a good place to come and hang,” she said.
They’ve also discussed developing a similar program with the village’s Environmental Conservation Commission, she said, to continue the board’s focus on protecting Sea Cliff’s natural surroundings. “We’re working on a list of experts who could do programs that would be valuable to the community,” Rohl said.
Another goal for the new year, Lieberman said, is to revitalize the village’s youth services. Last month Sea Cliff’s Youth Activities Board was reconstituted with five new members and a liaison, Trustee Deborah McDermott. The mayor indicated that the board is mulling plans for a community center, and whether such a facility is needed.
“We have discussed utilizing the basement of the children’s library and developing that, but I don’t want to do something without [having] the programs in place,” he said.
Lieberman said he envisions a “coordinated effort” between the village and its existing youth groups — the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Little League — to see what additional resources they require, and use their services to expand programs and increase youth involvement.
Before the new year, Lieberman was sworn in to serve on the executive board of the Gold Coast Business Association. His involvement with the organization, he said, would help bring Sea Cliff’s business community to residents beyond the village’s one square mile. He referenced his first run at the board 10 years ago, a time when Sea Cliff Avenue was studded with vacant storefronts. Today, the main street is flourishing with new business.
“I’d like to continue that progress with even more diverse, user-friendly retail stores, and making sure the restaurants feel that they can blossom,” he said.
Lieberman added that the village’s partnership with the business association could enhance Sea Cliff’s music scene, too. “It’s kind of a symbiotic relationship we have between our vast number of talented musicians as well as outside performers who are finding Sea Cliff a wonderful venue to display their talents,” he said.
Quality of life
Lieberman said he would like to continue to make strides in the arena of public safety by working closely with the Nassau County Police Department to increase law enforcement in the village. “Whether it’s [people running] stop signs or speeding on Prospect Avenue, we’re always looking to see how we can improve this with either more signage, electrical speed indicators or enforcement,” he said.
McGilloway, acknowledging the county’s property-tax reassessment and North Shore’s battle for public water service, said the board would make the upcoming budget process “as efficient as possible.” “We’re looking to change our internal processes so that it remains affordable [to live here] and help keep Sea Cliff’s expenses as low as possible.”
Lieberman said, “The bottom line here is for our administration to implement programs and policies that are reflective of our residents’ needs and wants, and to act upon [their] suggestions, comments and concerns.”
The board will reconvene at its public comment meeting on Jan. 14.