Monday, December 03, 2007

Grab Those Lysol Cans. . .

The Toxic Mold Task Force Is Riding Into Town

Call it the latest of many Blue Ribbon -- Black Spore? -- panels created to study (and, in theory, solve) the problems that plague New Yorkers.

Yes, take that, mold and mildew. Governor Spitzer now convenes the New York State Toxic Mold Task Force.

Not that the problem isn't a most serious one. It is. [Its at least as worthy of a panel, commission, or task force as is, say, local government efficiency and competitiveness, demographics and reapportionment, or solid waste management (aren't they all one and the same?)

Still, on a certain level, it does strike the funny bone -- which really isn't that humorous at all -- and makes one wonder, does every problem, large and small, require the establishment of a commission, task force, or Blue Ribbon panel in order to work toward a solution. [Or, more aptly, to work toward the study of alternative solutions, to be followed by a poll, a referendum, the issuance of a bond, and the creation of a special task force to find out where all that bond money went to.]

Perhaps what New York needs is a Blue Ribbon Task Force On Government Commissions?

The mother of all such commissions, it could be elevated, by legislative edict, to a permanent standing (okay, sit if you must) body -- the authority of all public authorities, if you will -- to study and examine everything and everyone. Affordable housing to Zoning. We're on top of it.

In the interest of bi-partisan cooperation, Governor Spitzer can call upon the former Governors of the Empire State -- living and dead -- to serve on the Task Force. George Pataki. Mario Cuomo. Hugh Carey. Are they all still alive? Was Hugh ever?

We could even bring back the Clintons -- George and DeWitt -- not to mention William Seward (Albany needs a good folly) and Malcolm Wilson (we're pretty sure he's not still alive -- they've renamed the Tappan Zee bridge after him, didn't they?).

Imagine the public hearings? Would Mario Cuomo let anyone get a word in edgewise?

But seriously, about that mold. Where does it come from? Why is it attacking New Yorkers? Can anything be done to stem the tide? Is it caused by illegal immigrants taking up residence in illegal accessory apartments? Is this a matter for Homland Security? FEMA?

Only The Shadow knows, and, alas, he has yet to be appointed to the Task Force.
- - -
The New York State Toxic Mold Task Force will meet on Tuesday, December 4, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Boardroom of the New York State Nurse's Association Headquarters office, 11 Cornell Rd, Latham NY.

The Task Force was created by Section 1384 of Chapter 356 of the Laws of 2005. The Task Force is charged with preparing a report to the governor and the legislature that assesses the current body of knowledge on toxic mold, provides the status of toxic mold in the state, and assesses the feasibility of any further actions to be taken by the legislature or state agencies. At this initial meeting, the Task Force will address overall Task Force objectives and operating rules and information related to assessment and mitigation practices for mold and dampness in buildings in New York. The meeting is open to the public, and a 30-minute public comment period will be included on the meeting agenda for members of the public to address the Task Force. Individual public comments will be limited, depending on the number wishing to comment, but in any event no more than five minutes.

For further information and to register your attendance, please contact: Sarah Brazzell at or (518) 402-7511.

No comments:

Post a Comment