Friday, 22 July 2011 00:00(This letter was sent to County Executive Edward Mangano and the County Legislature.)
The League of Women Voters of Nassau County strongly objects to the August 1 scheduling of a Nassau County referendum on the proposal to permit the county to borrow up to an additional $400 million for a proposed "Nassau County Hub Area Development" construction project, which would include a new Nassau Coliseum and minor league ballpark. Our reasons include the following:
The cost of doing this as a special election, projected to be approximately $2 million, is not necessary and would come at a time when Nassau County is already experiencing serious financial difficulties. Though the cost would be picked up if the vote is "Yes," if it is "No," the voters would have to bear this unnecessary burden. This risk can easily be avoided by scheduling the vote on the same day and on the same ballots as those for the general election in the fall. Most bond issue votes have been done that way in the past.
The vote is scheduled for a Monday—a very unusual day for a vote in this country, and in the middle of summer, when many registered voters will be away or are more focused on leisure-time activities.
We also question, if the potential for income is really so great, why Mr. Wang and/or the Islanders have not attempted to raise private funds, which has been done by other successful teams in the metropolitan area. It would appear that a group of private investors would be more able to assume the financial risk that accompanies this type of investment.
The League of Women Voters urges you to cancel the August 1 referendum or at least postpone it until the polls will be open for votes on additional issues. This would reduce the cost of this vote and give voters more time to become informed. We believe that all county residents should have an informed voice in such a risky and large financial undertaking.