Monday, January 29, 2007

Deja Vu, All Over Again!

New Survey Of Life On Long Island, Same Conclusions; Long Island Index Poll Long On Findings, Short On Remedies

If the news from the folks at the Rauch Foundation/Long Island Index rings a familiar bell -- that we Long Islanders love it but may be forced to leave it -- perhaps it is simply because the survey, and its results, pretty much follow along the lines of last's year's study, which itself echoed the study from the year before that. Click HERE to read the latest report from the Long Island Index.

Yeah, we love our island, but can't take the cost and expense, the congestion and the school tax burden, and some 50% of us anticipate having (or wanting) to move away within the next five years.

Billions of dollars in studies by a multitude of organizations over the years, but not near as much spent -- in real dollars or in actual initiative -- to find those practical solutions to our shared problems.

A little less in the way of studies, surveys, and reports, we think, and a whole lot more effort put into finding answers to the age old problems that plague not only our Long Island, but most of New York State.

We don't need another Blue Ribbon Panel to tell us that our property taxes are out of whack, or a committee of the legislature scheduling hearings to examine the gaps between platform and train on the LIRR.

And we certainly don't need yet another poll or survey to tell us what we think, how we feel, and what we already know -- let alone what we've known and experienced for years on end.

Simply put, we have the questions and the issues before us, as we've had for a good two decades or more. Now, we need the answers and the solutions, and creative, innovative, visionary activists at the helm to take us from idea to ideal.

A think tank is only as good as that which develops and ultimately implements a plan to effectively and efficiently deal with the problems at hand, and not a place for the storage of sediment and sludge.

We already know that our property taxes are too high; that too many of our schools are not making the grade; that our public transportation system is lacking, where it is not non-existent; that there is a dearth of affordable housing on Long Island (as in much of the rest of New York); that our children and grandchildren are moving away and our workforce is declining; that open space, let alone green space, is dwindling; that both debt and deficit are out of control; that America's first suburb is built out, its infrastructure aging, its Main Street dying.

We don't need another survey, poll, or study to tell us that.

What we do need is courageous and forward-thinking leadership -- in government and on the front lines of community -- to cull the ideas that have been put out there by the brain trusts, to set the wheels in motion, and, at long last, to put in play the long-term plans that will not only assure the survival of Long Island, but shall sustain its growth, its popularity, and its efficacy -- not to mention the very quality of life most Long Islanders long for, and are relentlessly polled about, and yet have never truly known.

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