The following comments were submitted on July 27, 2020 to elected officials within the Suffolk County Legislature during a special session. Interested in supporting The Foggiest Idea’s award-winning reporting and analysis? Click here.
To Members of the Suffolk County Legislature –
My name is Richard Murdocco, and I am writing to submit public comments in regards to Introductory Resolution 1413.
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 disappointing that Suffolk County continues towards the aggressive erosion of voter-protected environmental funds. While it is likely too late to course correct in regards to establishing yet another voter referendum on sewer assessment stabilization monies, this legislative body can still effectively protect the sanctity of Suffolk’s open space funding.
Editorially speaking, the administration’s use of the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to tap into these much-needed resources is likely ineffective at best and disingenuous at worst.
As I had advocated back in June, both elected officials and policymakers must not look for relatively “easy” solutions such as raiding well-established reserves of environmental funding, but by finally having the long over-due and difficult conversations about the conditions and policies that have brought Suffolk County to its current financial predicament.
This sentiment was rightfully expressed by Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, who during his tenure serving the county helped craft the very legislation that these newly minted measures directly impact.
If IR 1413 passes, it is of the utmost importance that the county clearly word the descriptive language associated with the public referendum, ensuring that the measures concisely capture what uses the voter’s previously protected funding would instead go towards.
Moving forward, I ask this body and the public to consider the following – a truly well-managed local government does not have to continually ask its residents to choose between the provision of basic governmental services or the protection of open spaces and clean drinking water.
The Foggiest Idea Inc.