Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A Pox On All Our Houses

Illegal Housing ... What are the Real Issues?

by Roy J. Mezzapelle

What is illegal housing? Sounds like a simple question, but it is actually quite complicated. The simple definition of illegal housing is any housing situation that is in violation of any of a number of laws, codes, or ordinances. The complicated part is what illegal housing has done to our community and many like it throughout Long Island, and what to do about it.

In the past month, I've had the opportunity to appear on News12's "At Issue", be interviewed by Newsday and the Long Island Press, and was the first to testify before a (Nassau County) Grand Jury to discuss this very complex issue. One thing was very clear during all of these events, no one is really seeing the big picture on this topic.

If I were new to Long Island, and relied on the "media giants" for my news, I would swear the illegal housing problem consisted of dozens of day-laborers packed into single-family homes. This is so far from the truth, it's hard to believe the media is focusing so much attention on the two recent cases in Suffolk County. While dozens of people in a single-family home certainly creates a problem, the bigger problem is having two or three families in every third or fourth home in a community - especially families with school-age children - adding to the ever-increasing school budgets. Although both situations are illegal, you know where the focus is going to be. What the media has failed to report is that illegal housing spans every race, religion, culture, political affiliation, etc. In fact, it seems that unless the "renter" is Latino, it's not even newsworthy.

When did this become a witch-hunt against the Latino community? The media must refocus on this issue if they are to present the problem in a fair manner. The big picture I referred to in paragraph two is that even without the influx of immigrants or families moving here from outside of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, we would still have a housing shortage and illegal housing problems, just from the children of the those who moved to Long Island in the 50s and 60s. Then factor in that these children are now having children, and you can see the explosive growth problem that we are dealing with.

Picture this. Let's go back 50 years and build Elmont as a self-sufficient community from the ground up. Build 10,000 single-family homes and put one family in each. Now build a brick wall 50 feet high around the entire community - no one gets in and no one gets out, EVER - and you can't build any more homes because there is no room left to do so. Leave all the stores and schools where they are. Now, accelerate ahead 50 years. Where are the kids and the grandkids living? Basements? Attics? Converted garages? Now use the same example, only this time build the wall around Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Getting the big picture?

Now remember, the kids I refer to in the example are now adults and are Elmont's teachers, and police officers, and nurses, and store owners, etc., all law-abiding, professional, middle class families or individuals - yet they are all now living in illegal housing situations. Why? There was nowhere else to go, and government didn't step in to address the problem - no planning - yet these red-blooded, middle-class Americans, born and raised on Long Island, are a large portion of the renters. Now add politics to the mix. What governmental agency is going to evict anyone fitting the above description? Can you picture the headlines if Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray enforced the housing code on a police officer, or a teacher, or a volunteer firefighter, or a senior citizen, or a family with some kid in the little league, even if they ALL lived in illegal housing situations? And lose all those votes? Never!

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy certainly made headlines when he had dozens of day-laborers evicted from their illegal dwelling. Mr. Levy was in a no-win situation. He chose to act and, right or wrong, he was criticized for it. Had he done nothing and even one of those individuals perished in a fire, he would have been criticized for knowing about the situation and not doing anything. But at least he did SOMETHING!

It has been nearly four years since I formed the Elmont Quality of Life Committee. Since that time we have seen the birth of The Tri-Community Alliance, and we've seen that grow into The Community Alliance. Dozens of communities and hundreds of concerned citizens, and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of complaints submitted to the Town of Hempstead. "Tell us where the problems are, and we'll take care of it," we were promised over and over again. Well, we told them and still the problem gets worse. When residents take time out of their personal lives to help government address a problem, and get little to no action in return, that is unacceptable.

It is government's job to enforce the law. It is not the problem of the law-abiding citizen to determine what to do with people who are living in illegal situations, although it seems it is certainly our problem to shoulder the ever-increasing tax-burden for them to be here. Until a tax base can be established for these families living in illegal situations, I believe that enforcement of the law is the only way to get a handle on this problem.

The Town of Hempstead has failed us miserably. Lip service instead of action. New laws enacted and put on the shelf with the old ones. Empty promises, mailings, public relations campaigns, photo shoots - in other words, business (politics) as usual.

I'm really looking forward to the upcoming election. Win or lose, I can't wait to hear Kate Murray tell us everything she's done to improve our quality of life in Elmont - especially to address the illegal housing issue. After that deafening silence, maybe Harvey Levinson can tell us what to expect if he is elected Supervisor.

So to wrap this up, the story is that unless we can convince people that we just may have to build vertically, Long Island will never have enough housing to legally accommodate all its residents, and as long as the Town of Hempstead and other townships ignore the illegal housing problem, the burden to the non-renting single-family homeowner will go up and up and up until we are all forced to move.

The writer, who serves as Co-Chair of The Community Alliance and Chair of the Elmont Quality of Life Committee, is Publisher of the Elmont Herald, where this article first appeared.
- - -
Stick in your two-cents on the illegal housing crisis, and other critical issues that impact upon our quality of life. Add your comments to this Blog. Submit a "Guest Blog" of your own. Write a Letter to the Editor of Newsday and the local community papers. Attend a meeting of the Town Board and speak your mind (next Town Board Meeting, Tuesday, September 6, 2005 at 7 PM at the Meeting Pavilion at Town Hall in Hempstead).

Be a real part of the solution. Stand up. Speak out. Stay involved!

25 comments:

  1. "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

    People, if we truly care about the future of our community, our Town and our Long Island, we had better start speaking out and acting up - especially at the polling place.

    It took us a very long time (almost too long) to realize the damage done to our County by an entrenched political machine. We continue to pay the hefty price for too many years of smoke, mirrors and neglect.

    Does anyone really believe that things are different at Hempstead Town Hall? If so, think again. Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them - again, and again, and again!

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  2. While we're quoting, wasn't it Pogo who said, "We have seen the enemy, and he is us!?"

    Folks, if we choose to remain ignorant, to buy into the myth (or the press release), to be complacent, indifferent and apathetic, and to put up with the same crapola (only worse) year after year, then face it, we will, for all of eternity, continue get exactly what we deserve.

    If the one party that has been in control of Town Hall for the past century (a party with which I have a long affiliation, I might add), and that party has lost or willingly relinquished "control" over almost every facet of government that affects our quality of life, isn't the choice to be made obvious?

    Then again, ignorance - even when our own self-interests and those of our families are being undermined - is too often bliss.

    Kate Murray may well keep the Supervisor's seat in November. [After all, she told News12 that "she will do whatever it takes to keep her job." Judging by the half-baked TV spots and the taxpayer-funded political mailings, you better believe it!] If this be the fate of Hempstead Town, then residents best be prepared to pay more taxes, to see more illegal housing, and to continue to be governed by our inferiors!

    ReplyDelete
  3. OUTRAGE! That's what every taxpaying homeowner in this town should feel -- and act upon.

    Sure, we'll vote down school budgets, even at the expense of our own children. So why do we return to office those who, year after year after year, up the tax rates (YES, ITS THE TAX RATES, STUPID, NOT THE ASSESSMENT) - even when there are surpluses?

    For a population said to be "the most highly educated in the nation," we sure do act dumb!

    I'll hit you with one more quote: "Stupid is what stupid does." That's Forest Gump, your next Town Supervisor!

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  4. And of course it will always be the Republican party's fault for our troubles!!!

    Wake up all of you - the troubles start at the TOP starting with the County Executive

    So far all I see is Democratic BULL

    Stop blaming all the high taxes on the TOH they are not the only ones responsible!!!

    I guess everyone seems to forget the recent patronage seasonal workers who had forged timesheets and were paid $25/hr. & $75/hr. for "NO SHOW" jobs?

    You complain about Kate Murray and the TOH because of the ads and mailings?

    How about Harvey Levinson simply DOING his job?

    Writing letters about the TOH, coming up with "HIS" idea of how to resolve the problems like illegal housing, combining school districts, creating a seperate income tax for NC & blaming everyones high taxes on the TOH and the Republicans.

    Give me a break already yes in the past Tom Gulotta almost bankrupted NC- OK ; we are beyond that now, look towards the future and learn from the past to solve your problems.

    How's about the County do this for starters- FREEZE - ALL salaries no more increases to already inflated payroll.

    NC legislatures - No more voting themselves increases - their part time employees making too much.

    Give NC residents a refund since the county is claiming a surplus - we all know we could use the extra money during these very hard times.

    Give NC residents first choice when comes to employment rather than hiring from outside of LI

    And finally how about Harvey Levinson doing his job rather than trying to do everyone elses!!

    He was elected to clean up and fix the County Assesments - Can anyone really say he is focusing all of his energy towards doing just that??

    ReplyDelete
  5. To Anonymous:

    I repeat, "Stupid is what stupid does!"

    Levinson IS doing his job - as Chairman of the Board of Assessors. Do you hold him accountable for the mess his predecessors - and previous administrations - got us into, bringing us to the point where the COURT (not Levinson) had to order the County to reassess at FULL value?

    Levinson could just sit by quietly, "doing his job," business as usual. Instead, he chose to examine and make public the pitfalls of the property tax system, and to suggest possible alternatives that may actually save us poor taxpayers some money - and in many instances, our very homes!

    Don't get me wrong -- the County has its problems under Suozzi. Some are of his own administration's doing; most were inhereted. Do we ignore what's going down at Town Hall just the same, the little brother pointing a finger at his big sister, saying, "But she hit me first?"

    Yes, let's look to the future. Do you see "more of the same" under the likes of Kate Murray as a promising future?

    This is not so much about the Republicans or the Democrats (frankly, on the local level we should dispense with party labels, as they have no bearing on the issues or the results)as it is about too much power being in the hands of a single party (it just happens to be the GOP in the TOH)for far too long.

    If you honestly believe we're doing fine in Hempstead Town, then keep Kate, and let's merrily roll along the same pot-holed road we've been traveling down since the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt.

    Reason, if not common sense, dictates that the party at Town Hall is over, and its time to give someone else a chance to actually govern.

    ReplyDelete
  6. We shouldn't put up with "bad" government, wherever it exists. PERIOD!

    I have my qualms about Souzzi. On the whole, however - balancing accomplishments versus setbacks - one has to say, objectively, that he's done an admirable job. To have saved this County from financial disaster alone merits his election to a second term.

    Personally, I have no bones to pick with Kate Murray. Seems like a nice person. Good teeth. Cares about animals. Very photogenic. Always remembers to write home.

    My question is, "What has Town Hall really done for any of us lately?" Now come on. Answer that honestly and with a straight face.

    Of course, as mad in merrick said in quoting Pogo, "We have seen the enemy, and he is us!" For as long as we are willing to put up with "bad" government (or better put, with no government with a high price tag attached to it), we'll continue to get what we get, illegal housing, umpteen Sanitary Districts, and all.

    To me, that's simply not good enough.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are absolutely correct we shouldn't put up with "bad" government, wherever it exists. PERIOD!

    Is the TOH the only entity that has "bad government" in Nassau County?

    Are the taxes going to lowered magically just by changing supervisors? Hell no; it will be the same story different party.

    "Levinson IS doing his job - as Chairman of the Board of Assessors. Do you hold him accountable for the mess his predecessors - and previous administrations - got us into, bringing us to the point where the COURT (not Levinson) had to order the County to reassess at FULL value?" Come on - When Levinson ran against Charles OShea who was to blame then? Charles OShea and the Republicans were blamed for the Assesment mess then and Levinson's campaign promises were to clean it up and give FAIR assesments to the people.

    What has he actually done as CHAIRMAN? Besides come up with his own agenda for Nassau County and his next political move

    Can you honestly tell me that the current reassesments are fair?

    How much has your assesment went up?

    Have you looked at the estimated increase in the next coming years I have and I would like to know where they come up with these anticipated increases?

    Harvey Levinson has an agenda - To point at other areas of local government, to try to place blame on them for everyones tax increases to take the heat off of himself, Tom Souzzi & those who run Nassau County.

    And since everyone here likes to make qoutes heres a favorite of mine that I edited to fit the occasion:

    I’ve known Harvey Levinson for years and I’ve been operating under the assumption that Harvey devotes so much time and energy to shouting at the rain was that he simply didn’t get it.

    Harvey’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t get it, Harvey’s problem is that he can’t sell it.

    We have serious problems and we need serious people to solve them. Harvey Levinson is not the least bit interested in solving it, he’s interest in two things and two things only; making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it- that ladies and gentleman is how you win elections.

    Harvey your 15 minutes of fame are just about up so enjoy these last few while you still can!

    How's that for a fitting qoute?

    Now the question is where did it come from? Anybody know?

    ReplyDelete
  8. My Mother always told me, "Son, you can't argue with ignorance!"

    After reading the last rant posted by Anonymous, I must say, she was absolutely right.

    On November 8th, stupid will no doubt do just as stupid has always done. And therein lies our eventual downfall.

    Hey, how about those illegal apartments?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Now, now, children. Put the gloves back on. This is a discussion forum, not a boxing ring!

    The important thing is that we never stop asking questions. That's Albert Einstein, not us. Eh, Einstein. What did he know?

    ReplyDelete
  10. And my Mom always said if can't stand the heat then get out of the kitchen.

    And just to let you know the qoute was from Andrew Shephard played by Michael Douglas in the American President.

    And as far as ranting goes this whole BLOG is nothing more than rants from people who can't come up with anything else but to cast blame on others.

    Don't like what you are seeing then get involved.

    You can't always believe the rantings of lunatics who believe that by changing the TOH supervisor will lower your taxes.

    Illegal apartments what would like to do about them, what would you like the public officials to do about them?

    Tell you what maybe we should round up all of the homeowners who have illegal apartments and shoot them because their the reason why are taxes are so high?

    Is that the answer?

    Why don't we ask the Grand Excalted New Ruler of the TOH - Harvey Levinson maybe thats part of his grand plan to lower taxes

    Now this is definetly ranting by all aspects of the word

    Because Outrage in Elmont you are exactly what you said earlier "ignorant"

    There are no discussions here just rants from lunatics - including myself.

    Come November 8th - Kate Murray will remain Town Supervisor end of story & If you don't like it pack up and move someone else.

    And by the way since Harvey Levinson works for Nassau County how come he is allowed to go on these rants & make all these grand suggestions on how to fix the TOH at the County's expense?

    And how come Tom Souzzi claims to know nothing of what Harvey Levinson is doing?

    He is Harvey's Boss right?

    OOH thats right Tom can't come out publicly and back Harvey's rants because if Harvey fails in his crusade then so does Tom.

    So come November 8th remember -

    Vote for Kate because She's Great

    And Vote for Greg because Souzzi is Lousy

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you, Joe Mondello!

    ReplyDelete
  12. No No Thank you and remember

    "You can't argue with ignorance"

    ReplyDelete
  13. A little advice for anonymous. The people that read these blogs and go on the community alliance website are not the dummies that believe that the assessment is to blame. The high budgets of the special taxing districts dictate the rate. The rate determines how much money you need to cough up. How can you say the assessments are unfair anyway. Even in the wealthiest of neighborhoods, houses are still assessed for less than the market value.
    The reality is, we can no longer afford to send sanitation commissioners to Las Vegas to talk about garbage, we can no longer afford to pay for gas in fire commissioners personal vehicles, we can no longer afford to pay for lunch for the Superintendent of schools everyday, and so on and so on.
    So anonymous, are you willing to put a stop to this? Are you willing to stick your neck out against the powerful? I know Levinson is and Kate Murray is not.

    Levinson has only pointed out the problem. Kate Murray can still change her mind and start sticking up for the taxpayers.

    Oh yeah, these are the Republican patronage fiefdoms. Why we should possibly side with the taxpayers over her friends?????

    ReplyDelete
  14. I understand fully that taxes are too high and something needs to change, but you do you really think that Harvey Levinson can change things without raising taxes?

    You talk about special districts fine what do you want to do about them get rid of them?

    Who will collect your garbage, who will take care of fires and emergencies, and schools district they are a seperate problem all together.

    I agree that the abuse and corruption has to stop!

    The "Special District" need to be across the board audited and some fat be trimmed from their budgets, but you can't just do away with them.

    And that is exactly what Harvey Levinsob wants everyone to believe that we can just do away with these special district?

    Do you like having your garbage picked up every week?

    What do you want to do do away with the special sanitation districts and what create a whole new sanitation collection route think about how many more employees, trucks and facilities that would entail?

    Do you think that the taxes would go down or up?

    Do you like having Firemen show up when you call for an emergency?

    Granted like you said they have their own problems with overspending and corruption but what part of government doesn't?

    Like I said they should across the board be audited by a seperate independent firm.

    School districts are certainly not Kate Murrays fault and you know that she and the TOH have no control over that at all - WE are ones who let them get away with it!!

    You want that changed maybe the school budget votes should not pass so easily.

    And the way that they are voted on should be changed because not everyone should be allowed to vote because the only one the outcome effects is the homeowner who pays the taxes!!

    And they should be the only ones allowed to vote on school budgets not Mr & Mrs Smith and their 5 kids who are of voting age the children don't pay the taxes!!!

    Same with those individuals who are renters because they do not pay ANY property or school taxes!

    Illegal rentals are another hot issue I'll get into that later.

    My point being is that yes the tax rates are the TOH, but the tax assesments are from the COUNTY and I think Harvey Levinson should spend more time FIXING what is wrong in the county first especially what he was voted for and then when he has fixed what he elected to do then he can go out and fix everything else.

    I think that once you get elected to a position like that you cannot work effectively if you are out holding press conferences and getting involved in areas that are not part of the NC ASSESSORS OFFICE!!

    He wants to do it on his own personal time fine, but not on County time when we're paying for it!

    And finally it is an election so guess what the mud slinging has only just started - He will blame Kate, Kate will blame him BLAH BLAH BLAH

    And I do feel that the people reading these postings are dummies as you said but educate yourself don't just read into what others are saying on tv, in the paper or in these postings, find it for yourself and make up your own minds instead of acting like a bunch of mindless puppets who belong to the oldest occult of all times.

    ReplyDelete
  15. In response to anonymous.

    You are right about the fact that high taxes are not solely the fault of TOH.

    The problem with the "Special Districts" is no accountability. We are not given the opportunity to vote on budgets for the sanitation districts or the fire districts. There is no oversight and nobody looking to cut waste. These entities have been allowed to do what they want when they want for a very long time. They are too comfortable where they are.
    Most importantly the blame lies with us, the taxpayers. We have sat back and allowed this to happen.
    Not even 1% of the registered voters take the time to vote in these elections. What a shame. Although if everything was voted for on election day it might change. Getting people off the couch to vote has always been a problem.
    But your reference to the fact that being a Levison supporter makes one a puppet is totally incorrect. I, on an individual basis have done a lot of investigating into this problem. A problem I would not have known existed until Levinson brought it to our attention
    We must address this situation. Kate Murray and other elected officials have not only decided to not get involved but actually worked against the tax payers looking to make a difference.
    Consolidation of the sanitary districts is absolutely necessary. There are too many unecessary jobs and I am not talking aboout the guys on the trucks. We don't need all this upper management. Consolidation will not effect our garbage being picked up.
    The fire districts are a different story. They also need to be held accountable and there needs to be some oversight. Is consolidation the answer? Maybe. If these districts were able to take a look at the books and do some cutting back maybe there would be no need to do so. Until these districts start to acknowledge the rights of the taxpayers and work with them to make change we will continue with these problems. Everyone loves volunteer firemen but do we really have to pay as much as we do for their perks. When do the perks take away their volunteer status?
    I also agree that renters should not be able to vote on any issues that will affect the amount of taxes we pay. They are able to vote in all special district elections. That is wrong. It should only be the taxpayers.
    Maybe we really need to look into a way to tax the renters. Harvey Levinson's idea of an income tax INSTEAD of these crazy taxes we pay might be the answer. But don't allow fear to let you hate the idea before you even try to understand it.

    I support Levinson because he is at least taking the time to seek out answers and solutions. He is able to think outside the box. Kate Murray has yet to even try to take a look into these Special Districts. I am still hoping she will change her mind.

    The reality is we all need to work together to make changes. Blaming one another is not going to help anyone. We need change and we need it now.
    My vote will go to whomever is looking out for the taxpayer.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I never said that Levinson supporters are puppets, I said

    "educate yourself don't just read into what others are saying on tv, in the paper or in these postings, find it for yourself and make up your own minds instead of acting like a bunch of mindless puppets who belong to the oldest occult of all times"

    Meaning stop taking the what you hear and read as fact the papers the television and these postings are not FACT they are opinions and disctorted versions of the truth.

    The Oldest occult refers to political parties they will always blame each other for their lots in life.

    I personally believe that Harvey Levinson cannot make any positive changes without the taxes going up!

    School District & Fire Districts are not governed by the TOH their monies come from the people!

    Special Sanitation districts like you said need to either maintain or lessen their spending.

    Nassau Cty income tax we will never see it in our lifetime too much has to be accomplished, the setup alone will be a major undertaking and Harvey Levinson even though it is his idea how will he implement this as TOH Supervisor??? Maybe as County Executive

    And the perks you speak of for Firemen what perks???

    Couldn't imagine what it would cost taxpayers if NC went from volunteer to paid and who would suffer from 1) the tax increases & 2) the consolidation and closing of firehouses

    I think yes he is thinking outside of the box; how about this the County and the TOH should work together to collectively solve these problems.

    How about salary caps, can't imagine what these officials are being paid?

    NC legislature voting themselves raises, are you kidding?

    ALL areas of the county and TOH should be reviewed and salaries be capped, noone deserves six figure salaries for any position!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I never said that Levinson supporters are puppets, I said

    "educate yourself don't just read into what others are saying on tv, in the paper or in these postings, find it for yourself and make up your own minds instead of acting like a bunch of mindless puppets who belong to the oldest occult of all times"

    Meaning stop taking the what you hear and read as fact the papers the television and these postings are not FACT they are opinions and disctorted versions of the truth.

    The Oldest occult refers to political parties they will always blame each other for their lots in life.

    I personally believe that Harvey Levinson cannot make any positive changes without the taxes going up!

    School District & Fire Districts are not governed by the TOH their monies come from the people!

    Special Sanitation districts like you said need to either maintain or lessen their spending.

    Nassau Cty income tax we will never see it in our lifetime too much has to be accomplished, the setup alone will be a major undertaking and Harvey Levinson even though it is his idea how will he implement this as TOH Supervisor??? Maybe as County Executive

    And the perks you speak of for Firemen what perks???

    Couldn't imagine what it would cost taxpayers if NC went from volunteer to paid and who would suffer from 1) the tax increases & 2) the consolidation and closing of firehouses

    I think yes he is thinking outside of the box; how about this the County and the TOH should work together to collectively solve these problems.

    How about salary caps, can't imagine what these officials are being paid?

    NC legislature voting themselves raises, are you kidding?

    ALL areas of the county and TOH should be reviewed and salaries be capped, noone deserves six figure salaries for any position!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. In response to anonymous,

    I find it truly amazing that you are able to see the problems in the county yet not able to see them in the TOH. That in and of itself leads me to believe that you are biased and/or benefitting from it directly or indirectly.

    I explained to you the last time that I, myself have done my own research and speak to you from that knowledge.

    In my position, I pay more for fire protection than I do for the Nassau County Police Department. I also pay more for sanitation than I do for the police.
    Not every area in the TOH is in my position, but it is very reasonable for me to complain.

    The firemen get plenty of perks. Just look behind the scenes. On an individusl basis, they are without a doubt accepteable and deserved, Although, when you add them up it becomes significant. The average individual is not aware of all these perks without taking a very close look. Let's face it, it is also not politically correct to even go there.

    Then take into cosideration the great number of fire commissioners that are also sanitation commissioners, supervisors, etc..

    You say that the TOH does not control these special districts but they do collect the taxes for them and hand them over very large sums of money. Have they ever rejected any budgets? As far as I have been able to find out the answer is NO.
    How can this continue to go on?
    Who is going to step up and put a stop to this?
    And most importantly this would never result in the closing of fire houses!!! (scare tactic)

    In regard to the OCCULT, I assume you feel the same about the Republicans (blaming the other political party) or have you not seen the commercial attacking Levinson?

    The reality is, Kate Murray or whomever winds up to be the Supervisor of the TOH can make changes in regard to the special districts. Look into the laws that are set up in regard to these issues. If it is in the best interest of the people they can hold a hearing to discuss the issue and bring it to a vote. How could it possibly be in the best interest of the people to pay higher taxes. We need to cut back on the upper management.

    Although, if these special districts are full of the poltical patronage that I have personally uncovered, then the powers that be are going to look to protect them. That has been going on for quite some times now.

    In regard to the TOH, I personally believe that the power has been in the hands of 1 group for too long. We need to shake things up. Any power that lasts too long in any government will result in problems.
    I agree that the county has also had it's share of problems. We as a people need to keep everyone on their toes. We can not afford to pay anyone 6 figure salaries when they are not even working.
    Although I feel that Suozzi has done a tremendous job in putting Nassau County back on it's feet. Also, what about the inequitable distribution of the commercial tax revenue in the county. That is what makes harder for some areas over others. Ecspecially when you take the size of these disricts into consideration. That is something the county should be looking into.
    Let's sum it up. There need to be more people like you, I , and the rest of those taking an interest in these blogs. We are the ones that need to continue to speak up and share our knowledge with everyone. As long as there are more of them and less of us, nothing will change. Therefore, there will be no middle class on Long Island.

    ReplyDelete
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    Lonny

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  25. Be prepared for the next hurricane track or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!

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