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Round Table Discussion

October 26, 2007 @ 12:00 am EDT


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Members and friends
This morning we conducted one of our occasional "Round Table Discussions" I find these sessions very helpful in setting the agenda for LIMBA.
One of the suggestions was to re-create that staccato of issues that are worth repeating again and again. Paul Townsend was very successful at moving issues along because he wouldn’t let them die.
Here are some of the issues that our members decided should be on that list;

  • Sewers-All attempts to provide denser housing are thwarted by the need for sewers. Instead of committing all of the 1/4% sales tax for land acquisition, perhaps we could address sewers and make it possible to retain strategically located open space. This would assist economic development, create more housing, and still preserve open space
  • Reduce, realign, and condense government services. It would be more efficient to give more authority to county government and reduce town government. Park districts on Long Island would be recognized as regional resources. People from Smithtown should be welcome in Huntington and Babylon parks as well as all other jurisdictions
  • We need to rethink fire districts-Are we better served by this costly redundancy of fire equipment and locations, or should we consolidate fire departments? And while we are at it, shouldn’t we examine the idea of a paid fire department, under county auspices? Wouldn’t we then have more coverage over all periods of the day, at possibly less cost?
  • The schools are Long Island’s "sacred cows". However the schools have done their critics a favor recently. School financial scandals are more widespread than previously suspected, giving rise to the notion that a county-wide oversight would be able to reign in the rogues. Even where blatant fraud and theft were not apparent, there seems to be a cavalier attitude to spending.
  • LIPA is excluded from NYSERDA’s energy research programs. I believe the reason for that is, that as a state authority LIPA is not obligated to participate in NYSERDA"s programs and dose not pay for them either. Perhaps we can legally change that and then Long Island can partake in NYSERDA largesse.
  • Lastly we discussed the concept of pumped storage. This concept allows a generating facility to buy inexpensive off-peak hydro-power from upstate during the night and pumping water to a higher elevation. During the day the water is released to operate generators to supply power at peak load times. A serious look at this technology should be considered in adding to an array of generating options for the future.
LIMBA is always true to its own self imposed time restraints and we adjourned at 9:30.