Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who's Watching Out For The Special Taxing Districts?

Karl Schweitzer, We Presume!

Yes, Karl Schweitzer, President of the Long Island Special Districts Association. [Did you even know that such an organization existed? A union of special districts, banded together? For what, you ask? Why, to insulate and protect themselves from us, the taxpaying public, of course.]

Anyway, on the heels of a report of a Nassau County Grand Jury, condemning pension abuses among the county's special districts, Mr. Schweitzer and his ilk will likely have some 'splainin' to do, should our dysfunctional State Legislature up in Albany ever decide to seriously take up the issue of pension reform, special district reform, and/or property tax reform.

Apparently, no laws were broken. But there oughta be a law!

Pedro Espada, reformist extraordinaire. Where are you when we need you?

But we digress. Back to Karl Schweitzer. He and his colleagues at LISDA opposed the legislation, signed into law earlier this year, that will permit residents -- as well as county government -- to commence a process that could, ultimately, by referendum, allow for the dissolution or consolidation of special districts -- namely, water, garbage, fire, and the like. [School districts are, unfortunately, exempt from the law, notwithstanding the fact that school taxes account for more than 60% of the property tax in most Long Island districts. So who's counting?]

Seems the special taxing districts don't care much for change, unless its the change that's coming out of taxpayers' -- primarily, homeowners -- pockets to fill their coffers for cars, junkets, orthodontics, and 52" HDTV monitors.

As for Karl Schweitzer -- who, by the way, is Chairman of the Board of the Hicksville Water District, as well as president of the Nassau-Suffolk Water Commissioners Association-- he is watching out for his special district pensioneers, whom he shall, some day soon, hope to join. You know. The folks who double and triple dip, without a single time sheet to show that they actually did anything for anyone other than themselves.

Yes, this band of brothers, under banner of the Long Island Special Districts Association [we wonder which Republican Club they run out of], is watching the pot. [That is, when they're not being paid for playing golf.] A pot into which millions of taxpayer dollars is poured, annually, never to be seen by the public eye again -- yet alone accounted for by boards, commissioners, and their "local government" cohorts, who say they have the best interests of the public (that's us, in case you had a brain freeze there) at heart.

Really? Could have fooled us. They didn't, of course, fool a Nassau County Grand Jury!

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