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Minutes of the General Membership Meeting of the Westmoreland Association
May 15, 2006
The meeting was called to order at 8:05 p.m. by President Walter Mugdan.
Secretary Susan Keenan read the minutes of the March 20, 2006 meeting. Upon
motion, duly seconded, the minutes were approved as read. Treasurer Frank Keenan
gave the Treasurer�s Report, indicating a balance on hand of $16,900.69 as of
May 15th. A motion was made to accept the Treasurer�s Report, the motion was
seconded, and the report was unanimously approved.
The first order of business was a formal thank-you along with the presentation of Certificates of Appreciation by Mr. Mugdan to Susan and Frank Keenan for their tenure as Secretary and Treasurer of the organization. Their replacements will be Charles Manna and Gary Savage respectively. Bank records are slated to be changed on May 20th and all files presently in the possession of the Keenans will be delivered to Mr. Mugdan on that date.
With respect to old business, Vice-President Sheldon Rosenblum updated the members on the status of the R2A zoning proposal. Based on his discussion with Councilman Tony Avella, it appears that the R2A proposal will be certified to Community Board 11 by the end of May. The Community Board has 60 days by law to review the proposal and it appears indicated that the Board will take the full 60 days to do so. Mr. Rosenblum said that a public hearing will probably take place on the matter before the end of June, and he urged the members to be ready to attend such a meeting and, since it is essential to be well-represented in this type of situation, to be pro-active in enlisting the attendance of friends and neighbors. He believes that the matter is important enough to perhaps warrant a special mailing to the membership so that the proper show of support will be forthcoming, and he advised that it is necessary to call and pre-register in order to be able to speak at the hearing.
On other matters, Mr. Mugdan announced that the Little Neck � Douglaston Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 29th and asked the members to join the Westmoreland Association in marching. He advised that the group will assemble shortly before 2:00pm in the area of the Starbucks on Northern Boulevard. Member Junko Savage, in an effort to keep the group well-informed of the many accomplishments of their President, advised that the Parade Committee�s Douglas MacKay Community Service award was presented to Mr. Mugdan recently for his many efforts on behalf of the betterment of the community.
The meeting continued with the introduction by Mr. Mugdan of Dino Oranges, Jr., the president of the Little Neck-Douglaston Community Ambulance Corps, and Harry Dietrich, a long-time member and spokesperson for that organization. Mr. Dietrich began his presentation with a brief history of the Corps from its inception in 1957 and the use of an old Buick hearse as its first ambulance to the present day operation which consists of two N.Y. State certified ambulances and a crew of 20 riding members and four dispatchers. At the present time, the Corps needs help in two specific areas: dispatchers are needed for weekends and evenings, and volunteers are being solicited for help with fund-raising activities. Their present budget is $88,000, and $36,000 of this amount goes to pay insurance premiums so financial support for the organization is a top priority. Member Thomas Dent gave a personal testimony to their ability and caring attitude and other attendees with personal experience of the Corps agreed whole-heartedly with his assessment. Mr. Dietrich closed by noting that the organization consists entirely of volunteers and help is needed in order to ensure that the �neighbors helping neighbors� philosophy can continue. Informational brochures with details of the operation were distributed among the members.
After thanking Mr. Dietrich and Mr. Oranges for taking the time to address the meeting, Mr. Mugdan then called on member Charles Manna to discuss the operation of CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) in the community. Mr. Manna explained that, after the events of September 11th, it became evident that there was a need for trained volunteer personnel to act as adjuncts to the first responders in emergency situations. He stressed that the CERT operatives are not first responders but regular citizens with emergency training who know their community and can be of assistance to police, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians etc. in an area-wide disaster. CERT is still in developmental stages but the goal is to eventually have a CERT team established in every Community Board in the country. Anyone interested in being a part of this valuable service should speak to Mr. Manna or contact Community Board 11. The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month and their members will be handing out brochures and available to answer questions at the Memorial Day Parade. Copies of Ready New York, the New York City Office of Emergency Management�s informational guide to emergency preparedness, were distributed.
Member Tom Dent advised that he had availed himself of the household security check services provided by the 111th Precinct and was very impressed with the results. The person to contact at the precinct is Officer Faith Carter at telephone number (718) 279 � 5215.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm.
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