Category Archives: The Rancher

“OR ARE THEY!” Early Squabbles from the Civic Association, January 1952

“The Civic Association seems to have become the Uncivil Association. It would seem that the organization was dedicated to dividing the community, to fomenting unrest continually, to a setting of neighbor against neighbor.”

Community organizations are always a challenge. Everyone comes to them with different backgrounds, ideals, hopes, fears, and financial situations. How we come together and find the best for all is where the challenge always remains.

In 1952, the Civic Association was going on its third year. Each January, by the bylaws, new elections are to be held for new officers. This issue discusses the past years success, and the nominations for those for the new term.

There is a heated discussion between Bert Lange, who is nominated for positions in the new election, and Carl Lundquist, who was on the board of the Civic Association and active in The Rancher. Bert’s letter starts on Page 2, and continues on Page 18, followed by Carl’s response.

There is much else that is well worth reading in this issue, especially as rumors of a resurrected Civic Association are being discussed. Roslyn Country Club remains a diverse neighborhood, with many families of different backgrounds, ideals, hopes, fears, and financial situations. How we come together and find the best path forward is where the challenge still remains.

70 years ago…Incorporation? (The Rancher, December 1952)

Read the December 1952 issue of The Rancher in full

The… evening was devoted to a detailed discussion of the question of Incorporation. It was emphasized at the the outset that the Board of Directors of the association has no preference officially in the matter, other than to educate the members of the community regarding all phases of incorporation.

In the absence of Larry Roman, chairman of the committee for the incorporation of Hicksville, Walter Wild, a member of the board of the Civic Association, presented Roman’s report.

Wild said in general, incorporation of a community had such specific advantages as establishment of a community center, invoking of health control measures, zoning of the area for business, and elimination of grade crossing hazards.

He stated that by not being incorporated the community now loses vital state aid which is allotted to incorporated areas on the basis of $6.75 per capita for

cities, $3.00 for villages, and $3.55 for townships. The township of Oyster Bay, he said, received state aid of $196,000 last year in the amount of $3.55 for each resident. It also was noted in the report that under incorporation the estimated tax rate would be $1.28 whereas the current rate for the area is $1.63.

Revenue for the community which could be derived but which now is lost would

include the state aid, and funds from building permit and licenses, traffic fines, and dog li[censes.]

[Potential c]osts of incorporation would be [construction] of a community headquarters, [maintenance] of highways, garbage disposal, [street lighti]ng, traffic control, and collection of village taxes.

There would be no change in the fire and police protection for the community which cannot be changed except by statute, Wild concluded in his report.

Guest speaker Dr. Charles Miller, president of the North Levittown home owners

association, spoke at length against incorporation which he said “has been a real danger to us.”

He said that despite the fact that on the surface it would not appear that incorporation would increase the cost of living, past experience had found it to be the case.

“You will pay more as an incorporated community, even if you do not ask for additional services,” he said. “In the beginning you must have a place of business to carry on the operation of the community. And you must staff it with people capable of carrying on your work, clerks, secretaries, stenographers, in addition to a Mayor and councilmen. The Village clerk, who is the actual business manager of the community, is the most important [person] in an incorporated area and with [their] personal staff, could not be had for less than $20,000 a year. Dr. Miller estimated the overall minimum expenses of administration alone annually at $35,000. He also pointed out that there might be unusual and tremendous expenditures such as lawsuits through injuries for which the community could be held responsible. Other litigation would be almost constant, he said, and past experience had shown it to be so.

Dr.Miller went on to discuss street maintenance which he said would be low for the first few years, but which would increase in cost as the community became older. He said also that there would have to be snow removal equipment purchased at a minimum of $8,000 per unit with additional cost for storage and upkeep. The community also would be responsible for grass cutting along right of ways and would be charged for removal of trees and other obstructions.

Dr. Miller acknowledged that the only strong argument against incorporation was cost but emphasized that “if cost is no object then I should not have appeared before you.”

He said that one of the strong arguments for incorporation was that an incorporated community would have almost complete control of its own area of zone, although in the long run the plan of government is for virtually all of Nassau County to become a city in the manner of other areas of dense population in the state.

Excusing himself for a digression, Dr. Miller said he felt compelled to state that home owners in the Roslyn Country Club paid an “outrageous price for garbage collection” and recommended steps to remedy the high rates.

A similar situation prevailed in his section of Levittown, he said, where the rates 

went up and the service simultaneously became poorer. He said arrangements for community control of garbage could be taken without incorporation and that such steps were taken by his community.

“You can petition the town board for establishment of your own garbage district or for annexation into any garbage district which may be adjacent to your community,” he said. “In Levittown, after such action, our bills went down one-third and eventually they will go down more. He

said the bill there was 90 cents per month per family.” 

He reminded the association, however, that if you go into incorporation, you will have to buy garbage trucks at a cost of about $20,000 apiece.

In summation, Dr. Miller reminded the audience that not since 1932 had a village

become incorporated on Long Island, and that “you should not ask to incorporate unless you have the money.”

Don Ostrower, a member of the association, replied that the studies made by Dr. Miller’s group. would not apply to the Roslyn Country Club.

As a general rule, he said, our community with similar assessed valuations for property, would find families operating on a share and share alike basis, and that there would not be disparities such as are found in other communities.

It was moved that the board of directors of the association act on Dr. Miller’s report on the cost of garbage disposal and take steps to correct it, if possible.

The Ole Halloween “destroying rampage” of 1954, and a good bit of advice…

There is no greater fun-making holiday than Hallowe’en with its colorful costumes, apple ducking parties and witchcraft spoofing. Country Club residents were delighted to see the Hallowe’en spirit so widely manifested in so many homes. Dozens of lighted pumpkins dotted the area at night providing a welcome respite to people returning home from their business problems. For this short season—Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving, Christmas—we all like to escape into a holiday world reminiscent of our own childhood.

But something is taking place now that may doom the holiday dress our community puts on. Groups of older boys, seeking an outlet for their restless energy, went on a destroying rampage. It is hard to believe that they would get a lift from smashing pumpkins . . . or from breaking street lights . . . but they did both, in considerable number. One man found his car defaced by a bottle of ink which had been spilled over it. The lantern post outside of someone else’s house was destroyed.

Is this considered fun? Did it make anyone laugh?

Many of us moved here to give our children the benefit of better living than city life offered. If we want to prevent hoodlums from gaining a foothold here, then there is only one solution—We must keep in closer touch with our children. By and large the youngsters in our community are a nice bunch of kids. There isn’t a bad apple in the lot but like all adolescents there is a tendency to run wild unless they are cautioned a bit and taught to avoid excesses. No one wants to spoil their fun but there is no reason for destroying things or hurting people. We are all kind of proud of this community of ours and we don’t want anything to happen to spoil its good name.

from The Rancher – November 1954

Danny Abby, 5½, and Joanne Dembro, 5, were two of the best dressed ragamuffins at the Halloween party given by Gladys and Milton Lansky for their children, Donnie and Steve. Although 35 children were invited, the Lanskys were lucky—only 32 came.

“Let’s Fight City Hall!” – The Rancher, February 1955.

The year might have changed, but the idea is still as relevant as ever. If you want to see change, you must be involved. If you want change but expect someone else to do the work, expect nothing more than the status quo.

Nassau is one of the fastest growing areas in America and our problems keep pace with the development. We refer to such things as the local school situation; police protection; traffic conditions; tax assessments and a dozen other things that complicate suburban life. As an individual you are powerless to deal with these situations. You are all familiar with the expression “GO FIGHT CITY HALL”. A strong, alert and vocal CA can make City Hall sit up and whistle Dixe. Join the CA and make sure your neighbors do the same.

The Rancher – February 1955

The Rancher, December 1951: Santa To Visit R.C.C. Children

Sunday, December 22, [1951] at 2 P.M., is the big moment for the children of the Roslyn Country Club Community.
The Third Annual Christmas Party sponsored by the civic association, who will play host to one thousand youngsters. Candy-filled stockings, comic books and other gift will gladden the hears of the kids. Milt Lansky, of 39 Pebble Lane, will be in A-1 condition once again to play Santa’s part.
Santa Claus will be seated outside the club and will receive his gusts until 4 P.M.

The Rancher – December 1951

The Rancher, 1955: The Public Be Damned!

An Editorial: The Public Be Damned!

No one in this community denies the principle of Free Enterprise. Many Country Clubbers are successful businessmen who recognize the necessity of a fair return on an investment. But these men also know there is a big difference between a fair profit and gouging. They know that continued profits depend on customer goodwill, and that the policy of charging “whatever the traffic will bear” is not the American way of doing business today.
Those responsible for running the Country Club have seen fit to foist upon an unprotected public an increase of 33 1/3% in Country Club dues – an increase that is as outrageous as it is unnecessary. This is not a matter against Free Enterprise, since free enterprise does not exist in this case. The pool and tennis courts are a virtual monopoly; the choice is, take it or leave it. There is no competition in the usual sense, for these facilities have become part and parcel of our way of living. This is the “Country Club” we counted on enjoying when we bought our houses. It was offered to us by Levitt as one of the most attractive features of the community. How can the law of “supply and demand” be expected to apply in such a situation?
A great deal of resentment has developed in this community as a result of the unconscionable action on the part of these “business men”.
Resentment against the unnecessarily high boost of 33 1/3%.
Resentment against the insultingly offhand manner in which notice of the increase was made public (as a footnote to the Thanksgiving dinner menu!)
Resentment against their failure to give commensurate value in return for the increase.
Resentment against their refusal to reduce the number of members in the same proportion as the increase in rates
(Their offer: to lower the present 680 quota to 650).
Resentment against their failure to provide sufficient parking facilities to accommodate the big crowds.
Resentment against their arbitrary attitude and callous indifference toward members of our community.
Resentment of the possibility that the commercialized activities of the Club could affect the value of the entire community, by virtue of its almost unrestricted zoning privileges.
The management of the club would be guilty of even greater error if, in addition to their “Public Be Damned” attitude they adopted the smug feeling that “nothing could be done about it”. Stronger forces than they have been brought to bar by an outraged public. No one can safely ignore the anger of an aroused people, and this community, almost to a man, feels that it has been abused by the Country Club’s present management. Our demand is for fair treatment, not gouging; adequate return for our membership dues, not “whatever the traic will bear”; consideration for our comforts, not a “Public Be Damned” attitude.
Residents of the Country Club can rest assured that the RCC Civic Association will do everything within its power to protect their interests and does not intend to take this matter lying down.