Thursday, August 24, 2006

From the Community Alliance: Peter Schmitt To Nassau's Parks: "Drop Dead!"

Peter Schmitt To Nassau's Parks: "Drop Dead!"
The Belligerent Nassau County Legislator Holds Up $$ Allocated For Park ProjectsWe all remember the Nassau County Environmental Bond Act -- that $50 million package passed overwhelmingly by Nassau voters back in 2004 designed to preserve open space, remediate brownfields, and to improve the condition of the County's public parks. [Okay. So some of us don't even remember 2004. :-)]
Anyway, the
Environmental Bond Act Advisory Committee, back in March of this year, issued a report detailing recommended properties and projects for funding.The report, together with the Committee's recommendations -- based, largely, on nominations and proposals submitted by County residents -- was presented to the Nassau County Legislature, which, to the amazement of many (including this blogger), acted responsibly and relatively quickly in approving the bonding.In fact, Newsday, in a recent editorial, reports: "the county legislature has approved the bonding for $32.5 million out of the $38 million allocated for open space purchases, while deals to use the remaining funds for two other parcels are moving well along. Of the remaining $12 million, all but $205,000 is committed to specific projects, including 15 parks, two brownfields and various water-quality improvement projects. " [SEE, Take two on bond act.]
All well and good, up to this point.
Unfortunately, well enough is rarely left alone, even when it is accomplished admirably by our venerable County Legislature.
Sadly, Newsday also reports, in the very same editorial, that the bonding for park improvements -- to the tune of $12 million -- is being held up, and unduly so, by Mr. congeniality himself,
Peter Schmitt."Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Seaford) is objecting to approving the $12 million in bonds, saying some of the park proposals include new dugouts, backstops and gazebos, which should be covered instead by the county's capital budget. The GOP position, however, ignores language in the act that specifically allocates money for parks. ""Mischief-making" is what Newsday call's Schmitt's ploy to delay funding and derail monies necessary and lawfully to be appropriated for the improvement of local parks.
"Holy Schmitt" is what we say. Stop with the arrogant, politically motivated upstaging and grandstanding. Show Nassau County residents the money that they have earmarked for our parks and open spaces.
-Nassau County residents are urged to
contact Peter Schmitt to demand the release of some $12 million dollars in bond money for the improvement of our parks. In addition to the online contact form, Legislator Schmitt's office can be reached by telephone at 516-571-6212.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Blind Item from

Over at, site owner and reporter Christine Sohmer in her video news segment tells us of a local Massapequa politician who missed a photo-op at the Classic Car Night at the Massapequa LIRR station. Ms. Sohmer goes to all the local events, photographs the activities and visitors and posts the pictures on her site.
Seems this one politician missed the chance to be in the pictures and requested that he be added into the picture using the digital manipulation software Photoshop.
Who is this politician?
Ms. Sohmer won't tell.

Our money is on Assemblyman Joe Saladino.

Joe wants to be in every photo-op. Just check the local papers and see his beaming mug at every event.
With the magic of Photoshop, Joe can be added anywhere... and anytime. Joe will never miss an important photo-op past or present.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

State Legislators Set Bribe to Get Your Vote

Watch as Skelos, Fuschillo, Balboni, Hannon, Saladino, Marcellino, Walker and McKevitt all tout the "rebate" check you will be getting this fall.
Guess when the check will get to you?
According to Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno it'll be October 31st, just one week before election day.
The rebate check as Skelos describes it "every homeowner on Long Island will receive an annual school property tax rebate check from New York State. The rebate check will equal 30% of the homeowner’s STAR savings."
Well.. not exactly "annual."
As the Albany-Times Union tells it "Under the agreement reached this year by Pataki and the Legislature, if next year's budget does not include money for rebate checks, an amount equal to the rebate homeowners would have received must be offered in the form of tax credits."

The rebate checks can be anywhere from $100- $600
Skelos says "When added to the STAR program, Nassau County homeowners will save an average of $1,300 on their school property taxes this year, with Enhanced STAR-eligible seniors saving $2,288."
That also is not exactly true.
You get the rebate check, the school tax bill comes - which is not any lower than before - and you pretty much just sign over the "rebate" to your local taxing authority. This isn't "found money" like they want you to think.
Spend the money on groceries, gas or a new tv, and your school tax bill will still be the same.
Basically instead of working to get more school aid to the schools and not just the piddly one-shot increases this year, the state government is cutting you a small check to pay a part of your school tax bill.
Your next school tax bill will be the same amount with no reductions.
And here's the kicker.. to process, print and mail these checks, the state is spending over a million dollars.
Wouldn't that money be better spent elsewhere.. you know like to reduce school taxes???

Senator Fuschillo says "Providing hard working, overburdened Long Islanders with tax relief has been my number one priority. Through this new plan, hundreds of dollars in savings will be delivered directly to homeowners in the form of a rebate check," said Senator Fuschillo. "This new tax plan, when combined with the record amounts of school aid included within the state budget and the millions of dollars in STAR savings, should help to ease the burden on families."
The property tax relief plan will provide taxpayers with a check for a portion of their school property taxes. This refund would be in addition to the existing Federal and State deductions for local property taxes, STAR payments and the State circuit breaker tax credit. Checks will be mailed in the fall, when residents receive their school tax bills."

Once again, this is pretty much a one-shot you won't be seeing again and does NOTHING to lower your real property taxes or school taxes.
This isn't "tax relief" but a gimmick to make you think they are trying to help you.
And in the end, the state will still have to come up with a budget next year to fund schools without the money they are "giving back" to homeowners.

Don't be fooled by the shell game. The Nassau state legisaltors have not done a thing to bring down your school taxes beyond election day.
The Times-Union says "The Senate Republicans, who are fighting to retain their four-seat majority this November, made property tax relief in the form of the rebate checks a top priority in this year's budget negotiations...
"The largest rebate checks will go to regions with the highest property taxes, which also tend to be key suburban swing districts with competitive Senate races.
In addition, homeowners who are 65 or older -- who historically have voted in high numbers -- will receive bigger rebate checks as they already benefit from a higher STAR exemption."

Politics as usual from Albany and they expect us to buy it.

The only suprising thing is that Skelos and the gang aren't handing out individual over-sized checks to each homeowner for a photo-op.
Then again, I might be speaking too soon.