Members of the Stewart Manor School community came to thank New Hyde Park Deputy Mayor Lawrence Montreuil during the Aug. 20 public meeting for reaching out over a parking dispute at the school.
“We just want to express our appreciation of support for your community spirit that you emphasized during that meeting,” Stewart Manor School Principal Hope Kranidis said of the most recent Stewart Manor village meeting which Montreuil attended.
For the past 59 years the Village of Stewart Manor had allowed teachers to park on the public streets across from the Stewart Manor School. However, earlier this year the Stewart Manor Village Board passed an ordinance creating a special parking district on North Dover Parkway, directly adjacent to the Stewart Manor School which imposed parking restrictions on teachers and their vehicles. The ordinance stated that teachers can only park on the street if they buy a permit for $50 per space per month. Stewart Manor has allocated approximately 35 spaces to teachers at the K-6 school. Only teachers and employees of the school can buy the permit.
“It’s a village street but the teachers have used it to park; it’s never been a problem,” New Hyde park resident Anna Barbagallo said. “It’s an unnecessary hardship that they’re imposing on everyone. They don’t have to do it and we feel they’re not working in good faith with us.”
Said Montreuil: “I was speaking in objection to the law because their parking restrictions on the nearby streets are much more restrictive than ours.”
New Hyde Park Village regulations restrict parking to four hours on public streets unless otherwise indicated. The school is located on the south side of Stewart Avenue while the New Hyde Park Village border is directly across the street where the four-hour rule would be in effect.
“So naturally what would tend to happen is these teachers that had free off-street parking in these spots could park in front of residents’ home throughout the day which is a nuisance to the homeowners there,” Montreuil said.
The deputy mayor said that he told Stewart Manor Village officials that “perhaps there’s something we can do collectively, maybe there are some synergies, maybe if we compare your budget to our budget, let’s get together, lets see if we can come up with an alternate means of revenue instead of taxing these (teachers).”
The Village of Stewart Manor has cited additional expenditures and costs such as state mandates, health insurance and pension costs coupled with the small size of the village as the reason for the fees as opposed to raising taxes overall.
“We don’t understand why the Village of Stewart Manor has turned their backs on us,” Barbagallo said to Montreuil during the Aug. 20 New Hyde Park meeting. “We appreciated that you came there, that you offered in good faith to reach out and come up with a viable solution that would work for everyone; I’m just sorry and embarrassed that they didn’t accept your offer.”
Calls to the Stewart Manor School requesting comment were not immediately returned.