The news last week that former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania was suspending his campaign gives former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney a clear path to the nomination, although Long Islanders who pick up a ballot at their regular polling place on April 24 will see four candidates’ names listed. Besides Santorum and Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas also filed delegate slates in each of the state’s 29 Congressional Districts (CDs).
The primary reason is that the NICE, operated on Nassau County’s behalf by Veolia Transportation, has a much better sense today about where, and when, its 35,000 riders travel. Moreover, Veolia calculated that its redesigned schedule will allow NICE to generate $106 million in revenue by year-end 2012. That’s how much money Veolia said it would need to operate NICE, a bus system financed through a combination of fare revenue (riders pay $2.25 per trip) and governmental subsidies. The county will contribute more than $2 million to fund NICE in 2012 whereas Nassau paid the MTA over $9 million last year to underwrite LIB.
Being a Mets, Islanders and Jets fan has always been a challenge but it is hard to recall the last time the Yankees, Rangers, and Giants were simultaneously riding this much higher than their cross-town rivals.
The Mets had their 2012 home opener on Thursday, April 5, at CitiField, a stadium built on the premise that corporate America’s spending habits, circa 2006, would continue for the balance of the 21st century. This epic miscalculation will hurt the team’s finances for the foreseeable future. As for the on-field product, I was very dry-eyed when the Mets traded outfielder Carlos Beltran during the 2011 regular season and made no effort to re-sign free agent shortstop Jose Reyes. The Mets had both Beltran and Reyes for years and made the playoffs once. The Major League Baseball Network, in its pre-season 2012 analysis of the Mets’ prospects in their five-team division said the Mets, if everything goes right, will finish no higher than third place. Still, the Mets do have some young talented position players, such as Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, as well as up-and-coming pitchers like Dillon Gee and Jonathan Niese, so all is not lost.
NIFA’s action means there will have been no wage hikes for the county’s 7,600 plus member workforce dating back to April 2011, and continuing through the end of March 2013. The dollar savings to Nassau’s general fund are significant: $35 million that would otherwise have been allocated for contractually mandated wage hikes is paying other bills.
Can you name the former Congressman who was the Republican Party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2010? Probably not, although you may know his daughter, one-time American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi.
Her father, former Rep. Joseph DioGuardi of Westchester County, won a three-candidate GOP U.S. Senate primary in September 2010, winning the right to face U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in November 2010’s general election, where Gillibrand prevailed with 63 percent of the vote. Senator Gillibrand is currently filling out the final two years of former Senator Hillary Clinton’s six-year term, and must run again in November 2012 to secure another six years in the U.S. Senate.
Two developers responded recently to the county’s Request for Proposals (RFP) for new construction on comparatively small parts of the Complex and the Mangano administration is reviewing both of them this month. The county executive will choose one, and then ask the county Legislature to review, and then approve, the favored proposal.
The New York Mets were born in 1962, which means that, if they were a person rather than a baseball team, they would be fretting in 2012 about being old enough to join the AARP.
Alas, the Mets as an institution have bigger problems today than turning 50 as media accounts of the team’s financial problems continue to make headlines.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano did not have the authority to terminate the county Assessment Review Commission’s (ARC) nine commissioners “in the absence of cause, prior to the expiration of their fixed statutory terms,” according to a unanimous decision rendered last week by the state’s highest court.
Yet only three of the nine now-former ARC commissioners remained as petitioners in the lawsuit against County Executive Mangano by the time the Court of Appeals ruled in the petitioners’ favor on the issue of wrongful termination, the decision indicates. The Court of Appeals agreed with Nassau County, however, when saying the petitioners had to pay their own legal bills, even though the petitioners wanted the county’s taxpayers to pay their attorneys’ fees, too. The ARC, an independent agency, is responsible for reviewing all applications for correction of assessment filed in Nassau County.
The county-owned Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale is a 67-acre site used extensively by high school and college athletes. Yet few others, outside of their fans, have reason to visit this venue, which is located west of the Nassau Coliseum.
The Mangano administration wants the complex to become a ‘destination location’ and, with that goal in mind, is seeking a private-sector developer to build, and operate, an indoor facility at the complex, which could host “youth recreation, amateur sports, exhibitions and public events.”
A primary election between Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) and Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Roslyn) could materialize this year, according to a story published last week in the Daily News.
One of the reasons for this potential showdown is that New York’s Congressional delegation must drop to 27 from the current 29 U.S. House Members. The U.S. House of Representatives consists of 435 Members, and the state-by-state seat allocation is made every decade after the U.S. Census report is released. The 2010 Census found that other parts of the country saw greater population growth than New York over the previous 10 years.
The Democrat-controlled state Assembly and the GOP-majority state Senate are charged with drawing the new Congressional District (CD) lines and conventional wisdom holds that one upstate CD and one downstate CD will be eliminated. The incumbents in those two CDs can either retire or seek re-election in a new CD that may have little in common with their old one.
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net