LYNBROOK— CSEA members employed by the Village of Lynbrook provide essential services that keep the village in the pristine condition that residents enjoy.
Whether it be repairing potholes, sanitation duties, building maintenance or keeping up the street lighting, CSEA members in the nearly 50-member unit take pride in their work and are never intimidated by large projects.
“We do a lot of things that workers in other municipalities don’t do,” said Village of Lynbrook Unit President Scott Keller. “We pave road shoulders and do cement projects. One of the guys in the Maintenance Department just built a huge, custom desk for the police chief.”
Maintenance department workers also recently completed the huge undertaking of installing new street signs in the village.
Parks Department workers spend their time reconditioning fields and fulfilling planting and drainage projects.
“They’re [Parks Department employees] not just cutting lawns,” said Keller. “Our unit members enjoy having different kinds of projects because it keeps our days from becoming monotonous.”
“There’s no such thing as a typical day,” said Keller.
The Village of Lynbrook also has a full-service fleet maintenance shop, where our members recondition all of the village’s vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks and payloaders.
CSEA members are also responsible for providing Lynbrook children with two new playgrounds.
“We removed and reinstalled playground equipment and putting in drainage,” said Labor Supervisor Peter Gerbi. “The planning behind the projects can sometimes be as involved as performing the job.”
In-house work saves money, boosts quality
Unit members commit themselves to keeping all projects in-house. Doing so doesn’t just provide semblance of job security; it demonstrates their sense of pride in their work.
“A lot of our members live in Lynbrook,” said Keller. “It gives you a lot of pride to drive around the village and see a project that you helped complete.”
“There’s a park down Peninsula Boulevard that I worked on and it’s really nice when I drive by with my daughter and she says, ‘That’s the park that Daddy built,’” said Gerbi. “My kids were the first ones to use the slide in one of the bigger parks that we built.”
Keeping the work in-house also helps the village financially.
“Within 100 yards, I can probably point out [hundreds of thousands of dollars]worth of work that our unit provided,” said Lynbrook Parks and Recreation Aide Tommy Lamoreaux.
“Our salaries are built into the budget,” said Christopher Kenny, a laborer and the unit’s vice president. “If the village administration pays an outside contractor, they have to pay us and the contractor. Financially, it makes sense to keep the work in-house.”
Unit members not only address the needs of Lynbrook residents, but also help nearby communities as needed. Never was that more evident than after Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which hard hit many of the village’s surrounding communities.
“After Hurricane Sandy hit, Bay Park in East Rockaway was under water,” said Kenny. “We took all of our trucks over there and we helped them out.”
“It was a really emotional day. People were on the streets crying because they lost everything,” said Kenny. “We removed waterlogged couches, mattresses and other damaged goods. It was about helping out our neighbors.”
More than anything, Village of Lynbrook Unit members want to express why their jobs are so important to them.
“We work here, we live here, our kids go to school here and we’re proud to be here,” said Lamoreaux.
“We’re all in this together.”
— Wendi Bowie