On The Right: More Nassau silly season antics

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Nassau’s political silly season is in full swing. Here are a few of the latest antics:    
In the dog days of summer, the newly reformed LIPA is attempting to silence trustees.
A policy that was to be brought up for a vote at the July board meeting — before it was suddenly cancelled — would “encourage” trustees to defer to the LIPA press spokesman, calls from reporters concerning “matters of fact.”  
The resolution would also encourage trustees to “refrain from publicly espousing a position” without possessing a “full and complete record” to articulate “a reasonably informed decision.”
This is typical arrogance of government bureaucrats who believe they are smarter than their appointed overseers.
Under state law, agencies like LIPA must be independent and board members must be free to express their views without interference from agency employees or the office of the state’s chief executive.
LIPA’s attempt to suppress the first amendments right to free speech must be defeated or permanently shelved — before they either take root at LIPA or extend to other public authorities.
In December 2015, the state board of elections charged the presiding officer of Nassau’s County Legislature, Norma Gonsalves, with eight instances of failing to file disclosure reports between 2013 and 2015.  
The Board of Election also revealed she had filed reports late on 24 occasions between 2006 and 2015.
On Friday, Aug. 5, 2016, a New York State judge, Christina Ryba, ruled that Gonsalves violated election finance law eight times.  
The judge fined the Friends of Norma Gonsalves campaign committee $14,000.
Instead of taking responsibility for her campaign committee’s failure to report disclosure required by law, Gonsalves blamed the Board of Elections electronic filing system and her campaign treasurer.
What a disgrace.  
If Gonsalves had an ounce of political integrity, she would admit she was ultimately at fault and resign her office.
It is rumored that former Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray may be a candidate for New York Supreme Court judge this fall.
Readers will recall that last year, voters overwhelming rejected her candidacy for Nassau District Attorney because they realized she was wholly unqualified for the post.
If Murray was deemed unfit to be D.A., I can’t imagine how the Republican bosses can promote her as suitable to be a judge.
If she is nominated by the GOP at its judicial convention, to make sure Murray never gets to serve on the bench, it is my hope that Nassau’s Democrat and Conservative Parties refuse to cross-endorse her.
The Town of Oyster Bay whose bond rating has been dropped to “junk” status and is on the verge of insolvency — thanks to years of fiscal mismanagement — recently announced it will be eliminating 150 jobs in its 2017 budget.
If the cuts are for real and not fiscal smoke and mirrors, that would be a good but small start towards fixing the Town’s structural deficit.  
However, I must ask this question: If the 150 jobs are not essential ones, why weren’t they eliminated in earlier fiscal years?
Oyster Bay taxpayers should not hold their breath waiting for pols to truly reform the town’s broken budgetary process and should not be surprised if a state-appointed monitor will be required to fix the financial mess.
North Hempstead taxpayers learned this month the town borrowed $186,000 to renovate and furnish the offices of its attorney.
First and foremost, such an expenditure should be covered by budgetary tax and fee revenue, not long-term borrowing.  
Secondly, spending $103 thousand on furniture for eight lawyers and three staffers comes out to $9,363 per employee.  That’s a bit much.  
There are warehouses full of fine second-hand furniture that could have been purchased for a fraction of what was spent.
The good news; the political silly season will be over in three weeks.

By George J. Marlin

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