This is an open letter to the Town of Hempstead board:
I am an ardent and life-long Islanders’ fan. Over the course of the last 32 years, the Islanders have brought Long Island glory, by winning four consecutive Stanley Cups, became a big part of the tapestry of Long Island and have a multitude of on-going community involvement activities. The Nassau County Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and subsequently the Lighthouse Project, must become a central recreational and economic focal point for Nassau County and Long Island. As all of you are aware, Long Island has a plethora of attractions, but in order to be a major player again, this project must be approved. The Lighthouse Project will yield tremendous economic and recreational benefits for Nassau County, all of Long Island and New York State. Furthermore, this can serve as an incentive to keep the “younger” and recent college graduates here on Long Island residents. I have friends whose children have relocated to other locals for home and employment.
I do understand that there is some trepidation regarding the costs and the shape of the economy. However, it takes visionary people to navigate these times, have the foresight to study and look at the big picture, and then formulate success for the future. To that end, while the Lighthouse Project is expensive, it is projected to create 75,000 construction jobs and 19,000 permanent jobs. On a personal note regarding the construction jobs, my brother-in-law is a long time member of Local 3, and I find it painful when he is furloughed, for months at a time, resulting in a major quality of life change. The construction jobs that will be generated will be part of the economic boost and revival for Nassau County. The permanent jobs will also be an economic boost for the county and Long Island. Moreover, there is an expected $71million in annual tax revenues. Also, the school’s superintendent and the deputy superintendent feverishly supported the approval of the Lighthouse Project, and they will experience a large influx of new students, and therefore additional state and federal funding. This seems to be advantageous for everyone, especially the children of the future.
Finally, you must take a look at history. Think of the following names, their connections, and how history portrays them: Robert Wagner, former Mayor of New York City, Horace Stoneham, former owner of the New York Giants baseball team, Walter O’Malley, the former owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robert Moses, former New York City Parks Commissioner, Norman Green, the former owner of the Minnesota North Stars, who moved his team to Dallas overnight, as did Robert Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, who moved his team overnight with moving trucks. All of the aforementioned names are not held in the best of light, some going on more than five decades. Do not let history repeat itself. Think of the future, and remember the words of Herb Brooks, the coach of the 1980 us gold winning team, “Great moments are born from great opportunity.” So, take this opportunity to do something that will be a positive for the people of Long Island, who happen to be your constituents. I do understand the politics, but all parties involved need to stop the posturing.
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