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Elmont Online



A Blog for All Elmont

Building a living history

Quid Pro Ohhhhhh!

 

Last Updated ( Monday, 11 May 2015 09:51 )
 

Why Are We Here, RFP Corruption?

On January 11, 2013, The New York Cosmos, “formally delivered to the Empire State Development Corporation,” a plan to redevelop Belmont Park in Elmont. Other developers delivered proposals too, but none quite as elaborately rendered as The Cosmos’.

Residents and businesses huddled around various conference tables in meetings with Empire State Development (ESD) at their regional office in Suffolk. Public officials Michelle Solages, the freshman Assemblywoman from the 22nd Assembly District, Congressman Gregory Meeks, and County Legislator Carrie Solages, all met with ESD as well. In addition, meetings small and large were held around the conference tables of local business. But, something was wrong, something…

Conversations with Empire State Development helped form the basis for understanding the disconnect between Elmont taxpayers and those they “elected.” Why were local and state politicians forcefully pursuing plans for the Cosmos stadium in Albany, at the Nassau County Legislature, and within the HQ of the Town of Hempstead? Why did the proposed RFP limit the scope of what’s possible at Belmont Park? It became clear to Elmont residents that the RFP was flawed because its scope was deliberately limited by state and local politicians who misrepresented the community’s wishes and needs to Empire State Development.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 May 2015 17:50 )
 

Elmont Residents Voted "No" to Cosmos

African-American-VotersPopular mythology would suggests that the newly gerrymandered area of Elmont voted for Martins; indeed they did not.  Let me rephrase, Elmont residents voted overwhelmingly for Adam Haber.  In a recent publication Cosmos’ COO, Eric Stover said “It was very telling that Jack Martins — a Republican in a Democrat dominated district where Elmont is — won and won very handily …. We feel that was largely because of his support of our proposal.” (read here)

Mr. Stover grossly misrepresents Martins’ victory.  Elmont residents actually voted as follows:

  • Hendrickson Avenue Park (Haber 307; Martins 33)
  • Covert Ave School (Haber 367; Martins 517)
  • Elmont Public Library (Haber 209; Martins 98)
  • American Legion Post (Haber 400; Martins 248)
  • Dutch Broadway Elementary School (Haber 828; Martins 325)
  • Elmont Engine Company 3 (Haber 414; Martins 519)
  • Howell Road School (Haber 10; Martins 1)
  • Franklin Square Senior Center (Haber 440; Martins 264)

Now if we agree with Stover’s logic (and he clearly wants us to agree) it means that Adam Haber ‘s overwhelming victory (60 percent of the vote) in the Elmont area of the 7th Senate District is because he (Haber) took a clear position on Belmont, a position that opposed Martins’ Cosmos plan and embraced the majority of Elmont residents.  Indeed if votes are a measure of community will then Stover’s argument should be given the weight it deserves.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 May 2015 17:50 )
 

Elected Officials Ignore Broken Tax System

The recent charges against New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver pertaining to the payments he received from a tax certiorari firm, illustrate why money and politics continue to be a toxic combination for the taxpayer.

For as long as I can remember the tax certiorari system in Nassau County has been broken. Nassau is responsible for paying for successful real estate tax challenges from commercial and residential property owners. 

These tax refunds have cost taxpayers upwards of $100 million annually. 

Instead of responsibly budgeting for this annual expense, Nassau County has bonded it into the future, because it doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay it now.  

The situation has gotten so bad there is a backlog of unpaid commercial real estate tax refunds anywhere from $300 million to $500 million. The exact amount is unknown because of a lack of transparency.

Last Updated ( Friday, 30 January 2015 17:29 )
 
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Today, we are talking to people about sustainable economic development, because we think it's important to show support for key issues that affect our community - like places in the Elmont for young professionals to live, shop and be entertained; like keeping families closer together and rebuilding the economic and social pillars of the community.

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Barbara Reynolds is a Long Island Regional PTA Board Member and recently installed SEPTA (Special Education Parent Teacher Association) Board Member.  She sent the quoted email to a list of residents and parents shortly after being installed as SEPTA board member.
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