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Supervisor Kaiman & Town Board Host South Korean Delegation

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Supervisor Kaiman & Town Board Host South Korean Delegation 
Manhasset, NY– In a get-together that was symbolic of North Hempstead’s growing cultural diversity and its willingness to share ideas with other municipalities, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the North Hempstead Town Board recently hosted a delegation, headed by Mayor Kang Un-tae, from Gwangju Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea.

The June 20 dialogue between the two leaders—the Mayor of the sixth largest city in Republic of Korea and the Supervisor of the seventh largest of approximately 1500 towns, cities and villages in the state of New York—largely revolved around a topic of concern to most governments: the environment.

“Just as you are a strong proponent of environmental conservation, we too, here in the Town of North Hempstead are equally committed to employing eco-friendly policies and initiatives,” Supervisor Kaiman told Mayor Kang through an interpreter. “We are honored to have you in our presence today.”

Elected as Mayor in 2010, Mayor Kang is preparing Gwangju—the City of Light—to host the 2015 World University Games. The summer event will revolve around four key themes: peace, information technology showcasing the city’s burgeoning optical industry, service (more than 20,000 volunteers are being trained for the occasion), and ecology.

Mayor Kang noted that one of his primary environmental initiatives now is aimed at reducing the emission of greenhouse gas in Gwangju, which is located in the Jeolla region known for agriculture.

“We want to reduce the use of electricity and gasoline,” he said, adding that a study of the carbon footprint of the city’s 50,000 household is being conducted. “Those who are successful in efforts to protect the environment we will give an award.”

Supervisor Kaiman shared with Mayor Kang Un-tae details of groundbreaking School Recycling Partnership Program launched in 2008. Kaiman mentioned that as the lead agency in local solid waste management, the Town recognized the potential of recycling to prevent large amounts of recyclables from entering the municipal solid waste stream, hence saving significant taxpayer dollars. To date, the program has been adopted by nine of the Town’s eleven school districts, and has recycled an estimated 450 tons of paper and an estimated 140 tons of plastic, aluminum & glass.

A study of North Hempstead’s carbon footprint would help show residents “the consequence of not doing their part to protect the environment,” Supervisor Kaiman said. “I thank you for sharing with us what Gwangju is doing to protect the planet. We plan to take some of the lessons learned to help increase awareness among our residents that they are stakeholders in their community.”

After a lunch featuring a menu of Gwangju’s diverse cuisine, the visiting delegation joined North Hempstead officials on a tour of the Town’s 311 Call Center.

The luncheon meeting was sponsored by the Korean American Public Affairs Committee and headed by its President, David Lee.

Supervisor Jon Kaiman welcomes Mayor Kang Un-tae to North Hempstead Town Hall.

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