Thursday, August 17, 2006

Peter Schmitt To Nassau's Parks: "Drop Dead!"

The Belligerent Nassau County Legislator Holds Up $$ Allocated For Park Projects

We all remember the Nassau County Environmental Bond Act -- that $50 million package passed overwhelmingly by Nassau voters back in 2004 designed to preserve open space, remediate brownfields, and to improve the condition of the County's public parks. [Okay. So some of us don't even remember 2004. :-)]

Anyway, the Environmental Bond Act Advisory Committee, back in March of this year, issued a report detailing recommended properties and projects for funding.

The report, together with the Committee's recommendations -- based, largely, on nominations and proposals submitted by County residents -- was presented to the Nassau County Legislature, which, to the amazement of many (including this blogger), acted responsibly and relatively quickly in approving the bonding.

In fact, Newsday, in a recent editorial, reports: "the county legislature has approved the bonding for $32.5 million out of the $38 million allocated for open space purchases, while deals to use the remaining funds for two other parcels are moving well along. Of the remaining $12 million, all but $205,000 is committed to specific projects, including 15 parks, two brownfields and various water-quality improvement projects. " [SEE, Take two on bond act.]

All well and good, up to this point.

Unfortunately, well enough is rarely left alone, even when it is accomplished admirably by our venerable County Legislature.

Sadly, Newsday also reports, in the very same editorial, that the bonding for park improvements -- to the tune of $12 million -- is being held up, and unduly so, by Mr. congeniality himself, Peter Schmitt.

"Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Seaford) is objecting to approving the $12 million in bonds, saying some of the park proposals include new dugouts, backstops and gazebos, which should be covered instead by the county's capital budget. The GOP position, however, ignores language in the act that specifically allocates money for parks. "

"Mischief-making" is what Newsday call's Schmitt's ploy to delay funding and derail monies necessary and lawfully to be appropriated for the improvement of local parks.

"Holy Schmitt" is what we say. Stop with the arrogant, politically motivated upstaging and grandstanding. Show Nassau County residents the money that they have earmarked for our parks and open spaces.
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Nassau County residents are urged to contact Peter Schmitt to demand the release of some $12 million dollars in bond money for the improvement of our parks. In addition to the online contact form, Legislator Schmitt's office can be reached by telephone at 516-571-6212.

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