Liquor and soccer for All
The mention of the word soccer in Elmont is enough to ignite firestorms. Not because Elmont residents don’t like soccer but because it is being used as a political weapon against children, adults and even entities like school and library districts. Apparently funding from state officials like Jack Martins is tied to “support for the Cosmos”. After repeatedly noting “soccer” as a key component of the Sewanhaka Bond rollout, residents from New Hyde Park – Garden City Park to Elmont voted “NO”.
In contrast, several years ago, the Elmont community was asked to vote on a 23% school budget increase and they passed it. Why, because it corrected a shortfall that adversely affected the delivery of academic instruction.
Senator Martins (R) and County Executive Ed Mangano (R), received accolades from the Cosmos on December 4, 2013, at a ceremony at the Nassau County Legislative Office Building. During the ceremony, Martins (R) took the opportunity to blast Governor Cuomo and the NY Economic Development Corp, for what he believes are uncalled for delays in approving his plan for Cosmos at Belmont. “The RFP is being reviewed since January 2013, which is approaching a year. Personally, I think they have had enough time to review. It’s time for them to make a decision”, said Martins.
As Martins was busy giving away property not located in his senate district, residents from across the region are demanding a more ambitious, more sustainable solution for The Belmont property. Residents are demanding tax positive ideas like housing for young professionals and transit oriented development. The governor received, through his Long Island representative, almonst 100 additional signed letters (in 3 hours period) telling him they support the Elmont Vision Plan. A plan adopted by the Town then abandoned by Martins and local Republican representatives in favor of Martins’ “Cosmos”.
But there is more. The Elmont Youth Soccer Club president, Richard Debrosse, a vocal and politically active supporter of both Martins and the Cosmos, was ousted as president by the club’s board of directors.
The motion to remove Mr. Debrosse was damming. It cites among other issues Mr. Debrosse’s:
- Improper and unilateral handling of the clubs finances;
- Improper representation to outside organizations that his unilateral political actions were board approved;
- The duly elected treasurer does not have possession of the clubs check book and other important financial instruments despite repeated requests to Mr. Debrosse by the board of directors;
- Parking lot appointments of board members by Mr. Debrosse;
- Non-payment of club membership fees to various soccer organizations;
- Delinquent payment to various vendors, etc...
Mr. Debrosse, it appears, colluded with the Cosmos and Martins etal to artificially create a presence for the Cosmos in Elmont. This deception was hatched to bolster the ill conceived plan to build a 25,000 seat open air, seasonal stadium across the street from the open air seasonal Belmont Park race track. The minor league soccer club averages less than 6,000 attendees per game at Hofstra University. In fact, attendance at the team’s championship game attracted a paltry 8,000 fans.
The Governor of NY now knows that the Elmont community is firmly against this politically self serving plan. It is inconsistent with the town approved Elmont Vision Plan and as important, all of New York is watching. Watching to see how a well educated, professional, immigrant minority community is treated by its elected officials. Officials and appointees that pedal the idea of putting 4 liquor establishments within 7/10 of a mile in Elmont, in the name of jobs and economic development.
One resident upon hearing of the 4th liquor store said “Brothels bring jobs and economic activity too … but it’s not good for a community, is it?”
Officials (R) rejected a family friendly business (iHop) in favor of a mega liquor establishment that abuts a daycare center. Those officials then use YOUR tax dollars to bribe or blackmail local entities like schools and libraries with grants then attempts to shame and punish them by publically withdrawing grant money when they “misbehave”. SMH
So, as other communities on Long Island celebrate their miles with names like “The Nautical Mile” and “The Miracle Mile” and with businesses that compliment their communities, Elmont taxpayers, who pay a greater percentage of their incomes in taxes and fees than their more “affluent” neighbors, are being forced to accept “The Liquor Mile” from the likes of Martins, Skelos, Ra, Mangano, Muscarella, and Ambrosino.
If you are one of the few who haven’t yet signed the online petition to Governor Cuomo, sign it now by clicking on this link. Gerrymandering will not work!