Editor’s note: This is a response to Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’s “County Financial Report Card,” published in The Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, 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.
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.
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.
I wonder if D.A. Rice would have merely slapped the wrist of the 17-year-old Georgia “child” just convicted of felony murder for his March 21 shooting of a 13-month-old (actual) child between the eyes—and of course killing this little baby. Now, if the baby had somehow accidentally shot the teenager, then I could understand not charging the shooter as an adult!
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.
Last Monday, the Task Force released its Rebuilding Strategy to help guide federal investment in the region, marking an important new chapter in the region’s rebuilding effort.
To all of you old-timers, who visit the Hamptons during the summer, the aged Parrish Museum on Jobs Lane in the town of Southhampton was truly a delight. The original museum was founded in 1897. The weathered red brick building certainly gave the museum a feeling of gravitas. The Roman Emperors and their statues in the adjoining garden added to the aura of ancient civilizations, giving a feeling of history to the museum.
In the museum, the exhibitions of Fairfield Porter, Jackson Pollack, Williem de Kooning and others spoke of the times when the Hamptons were the center of art and painting flourishing on the Long Island.
Starting on August 27, the most revolutionary aspect of New York State’s Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing – what we call I-STOP – provisions will be implemented.
The country’s first real-time prescription drug database, known as the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) Registry, is set to be up and running.
While some provisions of the I-STOP law designed to reduce incidents of abuse and misuse of highly addictive prescription medications were instituted on the heels of the laws adoption in 2012, the PMP Registry database will provide up-to-date information for practitioners to review when researching a patient’s prescription history.
On August 20th the Town of Oyster Bay (the “Town”) is asking you to decide whether it should sell a 54-acre parcel currently used by the Department of Public Works (the “DPW Parcel”). The driving force behind the sale would be to decrease the Town’s debt in order to prevent a downgrade in the Town’s Bond rating.
The influx of cash from the sale (approximately $32 million dollars) will be a temporary alleviation of the Town’s fiscal problems.
I urge everyone to get out and vote “YES” on the special Town of Oyster Bay referendum that is being held on Tuesday, August 20th.
I have lived in the Plainview-Old Bethpage community since 1969. My kids went through the POB Schools and now my grandchildren are doing so as well.
This is a revised and updated version of a letter Battaglia had published last month.
I have developed a highly detailed action plan for realizing what must be the two most essential goals of the Syosset-Jericho community and its leadership.
Quoting the Spring 2013 issue “Talk of The Town” newsletter:
“…….the Department [of Economic Development] oversees the preservation and enhancement of the Town’s open space and its natural, historic and cultural resources.”
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