The following comments were submitted on June 22, 2020 to elected officials within the Suffolk County Legislature. Interested in supporting The Foggiest Idea’s award-winning reporting and analysis? Click here.

My name is Richard Murdocco, and I am writing to submit public comments in regards to both Introductory Resolution 1413 and Introductory Resolution 1414.

As part of the research process for its award-winning body of work on Long Island’s environmental and real estate development issues, The Foggiest Idea regularly reviews the policy actions taken by local, state, and federal governments that impact communities throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

It is not advisable that this legislative body align themselves with improper past actions that were taken by the county’s executive leadership. Both past and current administrations improperly redirected funding that was legally set aside for environmental protection purposes by Suffolk County voters across multiple public referendums. Any attempt made to redirect these funds were struck down by the courts.

As such, by wrongfully reallocating these established environmental protection funds, Suffolk County will once again make itself legally vulnerable to costly court actions. While litigation is not only expensive for taxpayers in the long-run, the repeated legal losses erode resident trust in their local governance.

Instead, both elected officials and policymakers should work together to address the significant fiscal challenges that Suffolk County faces. This should be done not by looking for relatively “easy” solutions such as raiding this well-established reserve of funding, but by finally having the long over-due and difficult conversations about the conditions and policies that have brought the county to its current financial predicament.

While no one was able to foresee the coronavirus pandemic and its deleterious impact on county coffers, those well-versed in local politics and environmental policy understand the many pitfalls presented by both IR 1413 and IR 1414.

Overall, protection of Long Island’s open spaces and drinking water transcend not only geopolitical boundaries, but have an impact far beyond the immediate financial needs of a singular local government. It is critical that our collective actions not only maintain the sanctity of this funding, but serve to do no further harm in the already fractured relationship between the public and its local government.

Sincerely –

Richard Murdocco
The Foggiest Idea Inc.