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And The Conflicts of Interest are ongoing

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“The difference between a “need” and a “felt need” is the difference between a group of people bothered by conditions in the world and a group [of people] acting on the world to make it a better place for themselves and others" Dr. Steve Burghardt

Economic Development talk filled the air during Nassau County’s 2015 election campaigns.  Here in the Town of Hempstead’s 2nd District, the location of Belmont Park and the closed five platform LIRR Transit Center, it was a topic to behold.  Incumbent Councilman Ed Ambrosino went on record in opposition to “affordable housing projects” which was an an artful, deceptive and easy appeal to the lesser angels of voters in the surrounding communities.

Was he ignorant of the facts?  No!  He made a politically expedient calculation.  He amplified the innate fear of the “other” in some voters.  In classic doublespeak Ambrosino was simultaneously championing a project with State Senator Jack Martins for a “275 apartment rental community situated within 2 blocks of the Mineola Long Island Rail road (LIRR) station”, reports Vision Long Island.  Elmont residents have been advocating for “transit-oriented housing” among other things as part of the redevelopment of the two lots at Belmont Park.  Indeed Ambrosino understood Elmont’s outcry but chose instead to frame his opposition around the pejorative “affordable housing.”  ( http://www.mineolaamerican.com/2015/11/modera-mineola-opens/)

Some further investigation reveals some troubling conflicts of interest for Ambrosino, Martins and a well known activist and public employee:

  1. The Elmont 3 plus 1 responsible for this deception are State Senators Skelos and Martins; Councilman Ambrosino, Special Counsel to County Executive Ed Mangano and the CEO of a local propaganda machine and Deputy Commissioner of the Town of Hempstead Planning and Economic Development (HUD program) and part-time Jack Martins employee.
  2. Ed Ambrosino is Counsel to the Nassau County IDA.   “The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) - was established to promote economic development and job growth by offering businesses tax-exempt debt financing and exemptions from property sales and other local taxes. However, as has been documented by a recent report by the State Comptroller, IDA’s operate with little accountability as to whether or not good local jobs are in fact being created in exchange for the local subsidies they receive. Furthermore, IDA’s rarely hold businesses accountable in the form of drawbacks or subsidy reductions when job creation requirements are not met. Often times, the IDA’s lure in-state businesses from other counties by offering taxpayer funded subsidies, leaving New York without a net gain of jobs.” (http://www.newsday.com/long-islan)
  3. Stone and concrete – (http://fw.to/AUMEMLS) the chair of the Town’s RFP committee is also executive assistant to State Senator Jack Martins, and both have ties to companies involved in concrete companies.  Martins’ company according to an article published here has several labor violations and despite these complaint he (Martins) was appointed chair of the Senate Labor Committee – go figure!  In addition, his part-time Executive Assistant’s family owns Cushing Stone, which holds the state contract to lay stone for New York Interstate 91, since Skelos took office in 1984 --- Oh! http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/pubs/research/ida_reports/2015/idaperformance.pdf

So what does this have to do with our Belmont Redevelopment?  Residents have “felt a need” to revitalize the community and make central the community’s desire to uplift the whole.  The local officials and some of their operative simply “need” to line their pockets.  The conflicts of interest are obvious.  According to Webster’s dictionary, conflict of interest is defined as “a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust.”

Indeed Elmont resident Tiria Onwuchekwa, articulated in clear language what most residents want, “we the residents of Elmont, want the RFP reopened or amended to state beneficial occupancy of the property that provides transit-oriented housing and retail development with quality of life recreational and green space components for the community.”

Source:
http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/mineola-adds-incentive-for-affordable-homes-1.11080718?utm_source=dlvr.it

Another relevant article:
http://www.newsday.com/business/proposed-mineola-apartment-building-wins-tax-breaks-1.11107162?utm_source=dlvr.it

 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 November 2015 08:57 )  

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