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Michael White, Long Island Regional Plan Director
August 3, 2007 @ 12:00 am EDT
This morning’s speaker was Michael White, Michael is the Executive Director of
the Long Island Regional Board. Mr White outlined the breadth and scope of the
planning group. Workforce housing, transportation, energy issues, and
environmental planning are all considerations. All of the planning must consider
the ramifications that each piece of the planning puzzle creates for another
Workforce housing must take into consideration the ability of the schools to
absorb the children that will be new to the district. That means having a tax
base that supports that move. In turn there is a need to create industrial
viability to provide the taxes that will be needed. It’s a complex puzzle. The
transportation needs of any such development must be addressed too, whether the
solution is road access or public transportation.
Water supplies and waste water management are essential to good planning. The
stigma of the Southwest Sewer District scandal still hangs over any planning to
create new sewers. This timidity on the part of policy makers may be
understandable, but that does not change the fact that these infrastructure
needs must be met.
Mr White spoke about the need to work with,and communicate with Nassau County
as well as the towns and villages of both counties. The Regional Plan
Association of New York is a big player in the city’s planning and has been
effectively guiding development for many years. A few years ago the RPA made an
outreach to Long Island to help us with issues that affect both regions. (the
RPA has also reached out to northern New Jersey and western Conecticutt). LIMBA
is a part of the RPA Long Island Committee, and we have been looking at issues
such as ferries, road and rail transportation. Seeing ourselves as part of a
larger region is useful and instructive. Mr White seems to have the scope and
technical trainning to take advantage of the input that is available.
We questioned Michael with the fact that planning in the past, as good as it may
have been, it went largely ignored. Our question to him why was "Why is this
time different?" His answer was that "We are probably ready". Maybe? We’ll see!
In Today’s Newsday
In today’s paper there was an article citing support by Senators Flanagan,
Trunzo, and Johnson for disgruntled activists who do not want to see a freight
rail/truck transfer at Pilgrim State. Blocking the building of that facility is
the wrong way to go. Politicians who demonstrate no vision and courage have sunk
the planning process in the past. Perhaps we are seeing more of the same.
LIMBA’s position on rail freight is established. We believe that more rail
freight will reduces wear and tear on our roads, cut down on pollution, reduce
air pollution and lower the cost of goods. LIMBA will give the Senators a forum
to explain their positions, if they are interested. We will publish exactly what
they say. I placed the calls to each of their offices this afternoon.
Pictured: Michael White and Ernie Fazio