Editor’s note: This is a response to Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’s “County Financial Report Card,” published in The New Hyde Park Illustrated News, Sept. 11-17 edition. Howard Weitzman is running on the Democratic line against Maragos in the November election.
George Maragos continues to mislead the public by falsely claiming that the county’s financial condition has improved on his watch. During Mr. Maragos’s tenure as Nassau County’s fiscal watchdog, the county has undergone three bond downgrades by the credit rating agencies, the county’s fiscal outlook has been lowered from “stable” to “negative,” and the county’s debt has reached a new all-time high. No amount of “cooking the books” and issuing misleading financial statements and press releases can hide this truth, a truth which can be easily verified by outside sources.
In his article, John Owens criticized public schools for essentially being expensive bureaucracies that often fail in their educational mission. His criticism is well founded given recent test scores which clearly demonstrate that too many students are not taught at the highest level and lack the necessary critical thinking skills to function in our global economy.
The Financial condition of the County continues to improve by all fundamental measures, primarily due to the improving economy and cost controls instituted by the Mangano administration. From residents’ point of view, the County’s improved financial state is reflected in the county portion of their property tax bill, which has not increased in the last four years.
My brother, Adam Haber, is running for the Democratic nomination for Nassau County Executive in the primary on Sept. 10, 2013. Adam is fiscally responsible and conscious about social issues. As a private citizen and as a member of the Board of Education in Roslyn, Adam has demonstrated strong leadership skills. With creative thinking he saved the Roslyn school district millions of dollars. The district is now thriving. He is an astute businessman with a take-charge personality. Two of his major goals as County Executive will be to create jobs and restore fiscal competence in Nassau County.
Your “Raise The Age” story pointed out that 74.4 percent of crimes that 16 and 17-year-olds are arrested for are only minor misdemeanors. Of course, that means that 25.6 percent are felonies---including burglaries, robberies, muggings, assaults, molestations, rapes, torture, and murders. Yet D.A. Kathleen Rice is against arresting, prosecuting and punishing 16 and 17 year-olds as adults for these horrible crimes regardless of the offense. Similarly, Assemblyman Charles Lavine feels that “children should be treated as children regardless of the crime they chose to commit.
Fulton Trucks and the Property History
(Editor’s note: At the Village Pops Concert at the Farmingdale Village Green on Wednesday, July 24, Eric Goldschrafe, president of the Farmingdale-Bethpage Historical Society, delivered this speech. The “Minute of History,” is a series of speeches delivered at the Pops Concerts throughout the summer.)
If you were to go down Conklin Street and cross Broadhollow Road (Rte. 110), you will spot several piles of large tree trunk sections and mountains of wood chips on the left-hand side. To the right, you will see the Airport Plaza Mall. If only the ground could speak- what a history is there!
In 1916, William Fulton Melhulish, Jr. purchased the land between the Long Island Rail Road tracks and Conklin Street and constructed a 160-foot square building. Here, he began manufacturing trucks weighing 1-1/2 tons, powered by diesel engines purchased from the Buda Engine Company in Illinois. The sturdy chassis mounted several body styles, such as vans, flatbeds, and fire trucks. The dependable 4-cylinder engines gave good service, and the trucks could carry a “full ton”. The payload increased over the years, and about 1300 vehicles were built before Fulton closed in 1925.
As a long time Nassau County educator, I’ve seen a lack of interest at best, and some negligence to be sure, regarding fiscal management in some school districts in Nassau. The past County Executive administrations have done nothing to address these issues and have in fact exacerbated the situation by ignoring them.
A Republican and a Democrat standing together these days is rare. Even though we are from different political parties, partisan politics could not have been further from our minds on October 29, 2012 and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
It was immediately clear that this was not just another storm and that the challenges it placed on our residents and businesses—and on the entire region—were enormous.
That’s why President Obama established the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, chaired by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
Since New York State’s lawless legislature and gutless governor have proven themselves unwilling or impotent to remove sleazy, shameless Sheldon Silver from his position as Assembly Speaker, someone has to do something to “punish” him for his egregiously unethical role in the disgraceful Vito Lopez affair. It appears that I may be the only person who can do it; so I’m hereby demanding publicly that Mr. Silver give me back the “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need, and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber” t-shirt that I gave him as a gift on March 3, 1995. This was in the early days of his role as Speaker, and I had no way of knowing how embarrassing his tenure would turn out to be. I know it is unethical to ask someone to return a gift you voluntarily gave them, but Mr. Silver has demonstrated that he is not governed by ethics anyway. So, Sheldon, either resign your speakership or return my shirt!
Regarding the article “Too Many Pit Bulls, Too Few Homes” (July 10-16 edition), I want you to be aware that we, at the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, under the care of Dr. Teresa Meekins, do free pit bull spay/neuter clinics. Call 631-728-7387, or sign up on the web at southamptonanimalshelter.com
Susan Allen, Chairman
Southampton Animal Shelter
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