by Steve Levy
When I first proposed merging the Suffolk comptroller’s office with the treasurer, Comptroller Joseph Sawicki opposed my plan. Yet, he did an about-face when present County Executive Steve Bellone made the same proposal while stating he would appoint Sawicki to the combined post.
Voters approved the merger and the treasurer moved on to the Town of Islip. But, rather than logically allowing the merger to be consummated quickly by having the current comptroller, John Kennedy, take over the treasurer’s spot, Sawicki flipped once again. He now supports the treasurer’s post staying intact a bit longer, and that he be appointed to run it. Nothing can make someone so consistently inconsistent as when there’s self-interest involved.
Did anyone really believe the president when he said the tens of thousands of illegal border-crossers last summer would be sent back to their homeland? Thousands were shipped to Long Island over time and they’re here to stay. Anyone still waiting on line to get here legally has been turned into a sucker.
The buried story of the year is the decision by Suffolk officials who pulled a “de Blasio” by adopting a stunning policy of releasing jailed illegal aliens flagged for deportation unless they are detained pursuant to a federal warrant. Usually, those pandering to the illegal immigration lobbyists would fight enforcing our immigration laws, except when it came to criminals. Let’s hope we don’t see anyone released re-arrested for some violent act.
The other untold story this year is that U.S. debt just passed the $18 trillion mark. Lower unemployment figures have given a false impression of a hot economy, but these aren’t career jobs. “We’ve created 100,000 new jobs,” said the politician. “Yeah,” said the employee. “And I’ve got three of them!”
Wenner Bread received Suffolk Industrial Development Agency tax incentives in 2013 to expand its Ronkonkoma plant, only to announce a year later it is relocating a major part of its Bayport plant to New Jersey. The purpose of an IDA grant is to get a net plus in jobs, not a wash. Perhaps a review of IDA policy is in order.
Four bills to follow in Albany this session: Assemblyman Fitzpatrick’s bill to end Mandatory Arbitration, the Triborough Amendment and Defined Benefit government pensions; Sen. Boyle’s bill to allow schools to get reimbursement for products purchased at lower prices than those offered by BOCES; a bill allowing local governments to do more joint bidding; and a bill prohibiting schools from holding bonding votes on any day other than the vote on the budget.