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Letter: To Mayor Suozzi on Sewer: Oh Really?

An interesting quote from Mayor Suozzi appeared in the Record Pilot last week. When asked about the future sewer tax to be levied on Glen Cove residents by Nassau County as the penalty for giving the Glen Cove sewer system to his cousin – sorry – to Nassau County, our mayor allegedly said, “The fee will be the same as today.”

Oh really?  Well today, and before, when we owned a sewer system, we paid no specific sewer tax. So the fee to be levied by Nassau County will be nothing?

Actually, the money to operate the Glen Cove sewer system came from the Water Department. Sooooo, when we gave up the sewer system, the extra money that had been collected to support that department was returned to the taxpayers through lower water rates right? I don’t think so. And when I asked if the water rates would be reduced since we no longer needed the surplus to fund the operations of the Sewer Department, the Glen Cove City Council members en masse stared at me like I had three heads. What was wrong with that question?

No money changed hands for this infrastructure transfer because the county was and is broke. As I understand it, the mayor negotiated with cousin Tom an agreement that included our not having to begin to pay a county sewer tax for 12 to 15 years. So how do we reconcile the comment “The fee will be the same as today” with the projected Nassau County sewer tax? If that’s a true fact, then I think it is time for the mayor to explain to the public the details of the entire transaction for turning over our sewer system to Nassau County – the pros and the cons – rather than just issuing platitudes about how the transaction saved us $4 million a year.  I’ve never seen anything in print except the dollar savings that Mayor Suozzi repeats ad nauseum in his campaign literature and at Town Hall meetings. Perhaps a new entry should be added to the Frequently Asked Questions on the City of Glen Cove website: “What is the downside of giving the city’s sewer system to Nassau County?”

The mayor does a disservice to his avid supporters who believe, as the letter writer in last week’s paper said, that Mayor Suozzi knows so much about the City’s operations and has the uncanny ability to completely befuddle people with facts and figures. It’s easy to project an aura of competency when so few residents attend meetings or pay attention to what is going on in our town. And it’s a snap for any administration to claim remarkable progress in these tough economic times when they are well aware that their constituents won’t make any effort to check the facts or even to ask questions.

Well, it’s time to start asking questions.

Dave Nieri