Readers Write: Laura Curran squanders her moment

In politics, momentum counts for a lot, especially in those rare opportunities when a fresh voice comes in, filled with promise.

With her predecessor on trial for his freedom, the County creaking under a financial system structured for no other outcome but failure, it seems Ms. Curran has let that momentum slide right through her fingers.

While I didn’t really expect any other result, there was, at least hope. Two articles in The Island Now pointed this up.

The first was Ms. Curran’s signing of the “Tobacco 21” law, with a picture of the Nassau County Legislature behind her, in a scene resembling The Last Supper, one of them adoringly holding a picture of Judy Jacobs, who squandered eleven terms in office pursuing junk legislation like this.

Judging from the looks of those attending in the provided picture, you would think they were signing the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but this is what passes for a deliberative body in Nassau.

The next article featured Ms. Jacobs’ successor, Arnold Drucker, along with a picture of him in full song, with a headline stating “‘I’m asking for justice.’” This is an old Jacobs rubric: loudly advocate for legal protections already guaranteed by state and federal law, including the umbrella of the Constitution, and pretend you’re fighting for justice and equality simply because the precise language is missing from county statute.

All Mr. Drucker needs to do after this is make sure Nassau County finally gets a poet laureate, another one of Ms. Jacobs’ solemn and committed efforts to urgently address one of Nassau’s greatest deficiencies.

If it seems Ms. Jacobs legislative record has accomplished more after her death than it did in life, that is a fitting epitaph for this rump delegation of hacks. Who could even tell the difference? They’re all dead already.

Ms. Curran featured in both efforts. And engaging in this endless stream of infantilized rituals the Legislature cooks up, instead of taking on the top to bottom restructuring the county desperately needs, will apparently be her legacy.

And that was a great opportunity missed.

We’re still living in a county where one successful lawsuit against it throws the entire budget into chaos.

With a property tax system more regressive than the Nuremburg laws, and more costly to maintain than an aircraft carrier, among other structural issues, we see no initiatives from West Street to rectify this in any way, shape or form. NIFA, which laughably is an “Interim” authority now in its 18th year, is still calling the shots, lecturing County officials on fiscal responsibility, even as it is staffed by well-connected people who personally profit handsomely from the county’s tax structure, and some who larded county payrolls with their own relatives.

I feel sorry for these people.

Getting elected is surely one of the hardest tasks in America, so consuming in time and treasure, so draining of energy.

Once elected, Ms. Curran had the chance to be a transformative leader. Instead, she will content herself with being merely a transitional one, while the county runs in the mud. That’s kind of poetic. I imagine Judy Jacobs would be pleased.

Donald Davret


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