Once upon a time political news was confined to a key period of time, but that is no longer the story.
Thanks to the circus in Washington,D.C., we are on information overload.
Every day we are forced to hear about presidential tweets and the agony of a national Republican Party that hasn’t yet figured out how to act like a majority.
At the same time the only bulletins about the Democrats is that they are still in mourning after their 2016 election loss.
This November, like it or not, there are a number of important contests on Long Island.
The voters will be choosing county executives, legislators and a number of town officials in both Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The most watched races will probably be in Nassau where in November we will have a new person in place of incumbent Ed Mangano and pick a new team in Oyster Bay.
Rather than recite the pros and cons of each of the candidates running for office, I think it is of more value to lay out the issues that those candidates should be focusing on in the months ahead and believe me there are many.
Not in any order, let’s talk about economic development.
There is an occasional story about company expansion, but it is time for the politicians to start focusing on getting some serious new employers to come to Long Island.
We have a lot of talent on the island but somehow there are not enough new jobs in the bi-county area.
I know that Nassau and Suffolk are two separate counties, but isn’t it time for the two to get together and promote development on Long Island?
Our area is fortunate to have great schools, beautiful beaches, great parks and other attractions, but somehow no one candidate is seriously promoting these benefits to the world outside of our island.
We are fortunate to have some major employers in this region, but it wouldn’t hurt if a more serious effort was made to attract new ones.
It is a worthwhile agenda for one of the would be leaders.
How about some new housing that young couples can afford?
I recently met a trio of young builders who are about to build new workforce housing in Suffolk County.
They were excited about the chance to create housing that is affordable and were planning to finish a number of projects with reasonable rents.
The problem is that there are not more of these visionaries planning to do the same.
The sad message is that not every local government goes out of its way to encourage such developments.
If I were a candidate for local office, I would also be talking about ethics laws.
Ending corruption is always part of the platform of candidates, but how do we go beyond a pledge and develop reforms that will restore the public’s confidence in their elected officials?
The developments in Oyster Bay have rocked the Republican Party, but how do we make sure that things don’t go back to business as usual after November?
Both parties owe us candidates who are capable of making real changes.
Nassau County is one of the premier counties in the state, yet it suffers from serious budget headaches, poor financial management and a lack of adults in the room when officials make big decisions.
What about the brain drain we are experiencing?
Long Island is a great exporter of talent into New York City and out of state.
A recent graduate of a local college was asked what his plans were and he stated “to get out of here as soon as possible.”
Is there any candidate for public office talking about keeping our young people here and is offering specific ideas on how to get it done?
There are so many other priorities that should be discussed by potential November winners.
Transportation, infrastructure repair, downtown development, senior housing and school consolidation are just some of the other challenges.
If in the months ahead you meet some candidate on the local streets don’t hesitate to ask what they stand for and how they will make Long Island a better place to live in.
It’s time to end political business as usual and replace it with real change.