When I was elected County Executive, in the midst of the worst economic downturn in decades, I knew I would need some creative ideas, call it a new way of thinking, to help people who had lost their jobs get back to work.
Recognizing that jobs are the key to a growing economy, I instituted job fairs to link the unemployed with businesses and corporations in need of workers. I also invested funds in job training and retraining centers with our local towns. In partnership with the County’s Industrial Development Agency, I offered incentives that helped create and retain more than 3,500 private sector jobs. My administration worked hand-in-hand with businesses and corporations to ensure they–and their employees—stayed in Nassau County.
When I was a boy, I watched the volunteer firemen play in the local softball league and figured how much fun they had. On Memorial Day, I road on the fire trucks, attended the festivities at the firehouses, and watched them as they marched in the local parades and figured how much fun they had. And, when gaining access to the inside of the firehouses and seeing the trucks up close and the bottles of Coke that we were permitted to take directly from the refrigerator, I figured how much fun they had.
And, over time, reality settled in, as it does for everyone. And I saw and experienced and had the great benefit of that part of the job description that I never figured as a boy- many times, wishing that I never had to be a part of it as an adult. I have watched the selfless men and women of our volunteer fire departments come running (literally) to the homes of my family and friends, rush to the scene of nearly any circumstance that called for assistance, showing up at all hours of the day- and night, in blizzards and hurricanes and everything else, to transport a loved one to a local hospital, to tend to them for any and every condition, to console and assure those left behind, for things big and not so big, when accidents just happen, and when just about anything else occurs that is in fact not too much fun at all.
We are winning a fight against higher taxes. In 2010, rather than fix the assessment system that creates your tax bill, County Executive Edward Mangano repealed what is known as the “County Guaranty.”
His move would push expenses onto other governments and schools, forcing them to cover for his mistakes when your property is wrongly assessed and you are due a refund. This would likely mean higher taxes for you.
Spring is a time of renewal. It will be welcome this year after an historic blizzard, which followed a power outage that had most of sitting in freezing houses for weeks.
From my seat in the Legislature, there is renewal that needs to happen and I am concerned that the county executive’s administration here in Nassau is – once again – not taking the needs of our area seriously.
In what is rapidly becoming a regular feature, here are some of the most striking comments about the new map from the latest hearing. Lest there be any concern that positive comments are being ignored, rest assured: there weren’t any. Not a single one of the dozens of speakers at the Feb. 11 meeting spoke in favor of the map.
“It is embarrassing, it is disgusting, and it is an act of institutionalized racism…I hope when you go home and you look at your children and your grandchildren that you’re proud of what you’re doing.”
-Jill Williams, Village of Hempstead
Finally (maybe) there’s some good news on immigration reform. There seems to be real movement in Washington on the issue. It seems that now that the people are leading, our leaders are following.
First, a group of eight United States senators revealed a bipartisan immigration plan to reform our broken immigration system. Some of the principles outlined are far from perfect, but the fact is that several conservative Republicans have committed in writing and in public to allowing immigrants an earned path to citizenship, a central tenet that’s necessary to real reform.
I’ll just come out and say it: I hate Valentine’s Day. As far as I’m concerned, it exists purely to make some people look bad, and almost everybody feel awful.
When I was single, Valentine’s Day seemed tailor-made to highlight the flaws in your relationship, if you had one, and in your entire life, if you didn’t. Now that I am married, Valentine’s Day just makes both of us crazy, running around to make sure we buy SOMEthing so as not to come home covered in guilt. But of course, all the somethings are way over-priced – they saw us coming a month away – so that even when I come home with one, I still feel taken advantage of. No “good love” there!
This is my last How’s The Water column as executive director of Friends of the Bay. When I walked into Friends of the Bay to be interviewed eight years ago by Kyle Rabin, I knew I cared about the community and the environment, but had little idea of the issues that Friends of the Bay was involved in. I didn’t know about dissolved oxygen, hypoxia, Pathogen TMDLs, nutrient loading, etc. Nor did I realize how complex watershed management issues, or fisheries management issues are, and how something that is seemingly simple to resolve, is not. It was a learning curve, to be sure.
As Jennifer Sappell says, Oyster Bay is a “cool” happening hamlet. She is hoping to partner with Gabe Haim and Ryan Schlotter in Sparkboom in their new Oyster Bay Brewing Company, opening by May 1, at 76 South Street.
Gabe Haim lives in Bayville and grew up in Sea Cliff (which amazingly is part of the Town of Oyster Bay.) He and Ryan Schlotter, of Centerport, are partners in the Oyster Bay Brewing Company. The two have founded a mini-brewery that will be located at 76 South Street and nestled in the former Mexican restaurant that faces the parking lot.
Superstorm Sandy was devastating to Long Island. Island-wide, thousands of trees were blown down or severely damaged. Trees native to our area, especially oaks, maples and conifers, were the hardest hit trees, since they are also the most prolific. Many open areas lost trees that will have to be replanted.
The trees that are replanted should be ones that will withstand storms, and should be planted well away from power lines, and are native to this area.
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