Here is the original, unedited letter I sent to Newsday on December 14th, 2010:

My name is Rich Murdocco, and I writing about the December 7th article you wrote entitled “Group Reviews 25-year plan for LI’s Future”.

I have some questions that I wish the otherwise very informative article would address. Why did the Long Island Regional Planning Council insist on contracting out the planning work to “consultants” at ARUP? There are many capable planning resources available at the village, town and County level. Secondly, is Mr. John D. Cameron Jr. a planner? Why is he the go-to source, and what are his qualifications be making such dire statements concerning planning?

My biggest concern however, is the large cost of the LIRPC’s 2035 plan. $750,000 spent on a plan that is weak at best should be looked into more thoroughly. I am all for planning on any governmental level, but to spend such resources on such basic recommendations as “nurture job growth” is just ridiculous. Having seen the plan, and I am sad to say that it is disappointing at best.

I am writing not only as a concerned Long Islander, but as an academic as well. I have my bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, where I majored in both Political Science and Urban Studies, and my Master’s in Public Policy from Stony Brook University, where I studied public policy and planning with Dr. Lee Koppelman, Long Island’s veteran planner. My writing on planning has been published across Suffolk County in various mediums, including both print and online.

Working with the New York City Mayor’s Office, I have seen planning on a professional level that Long Island has sadly lost. I hope to see that future information presented by the LIRPC is not so readily regarded as acceptable.

Thank you for your time,

Rich Murdocco