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Hon. Jon Cooper, Suffolk County Legislator
August 21, 2009 @ 12:00 am EDT
Members and Friends
Suffolk County legislator and Majority Leader Jon Cooper was our speaker at LIMBA this morning. In Jon’s introduction of himself he stressed that he was a small business owner and had the sensibilities of a person who understood business. He also has been motivated to serve in public office. It is a role he savors, and would like to continue. He has been in the legislature for 10 years, but will be term limited after 12 years. Will he seek higher office? He may think about it, but not for now.
Jon has been a champion of Business Improvement Districts (BID’s), and promoting doing business locally. Money spent locally has a multiplier effect of 4. In other words for each dollar spent in the community there will be 3 additional dollars realized by other businesses in the area.
Mr. Cooper spoke about the conflicts that leadership brings. He had learned that certain drugs and supplements using ephedrine were causing deaths. He proposed a ban on the sale of these products in Suffolk County. He learned that the two largest manufacturers of these substances were in located in Suffolk. At the same time he was the charged with improving the business climate in the committee he led in the legislature. He chose to ban the production.
Jon reminded us that he was an early supporter of Barack Obama for president. I was at the meeting where Jon announced his support. I told him I just rolled my eyes in disbelief, but he thought Obama could win, and he was right
When asked what he sees as the biggest issue facing Suffolk, he did not hesitate to say that the $120 million deficit is a huge problem and getting worse due to take backs by the state government adding another $14 million to the deficit.
On the other hand he sees the great opportunity on Long Island being green technology development. He subscribes to the vision set forth earlier by congressman Steve Israel. That vision would see Long Island as The go-to place for these new and still developing technologies.
Mr. Cooper lamented the recent loss of OSI Pharmeceuticals, and without going into any detail, stated that Long Island, politically dropped the ball on that one. He also indicated that the loss will probably preclude Long Island from being a leader in that field of science