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Round Table Discussion at Holiday Inn

August 15, 2008 @ 12:00 am EDT


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This Morning we conducted a round table discussion. We usually encourage the audience to create conversation on topics they think are important. We deviated from that format by asking Republican Ed Romaine and Democrat Wayne Horsely of the Suffolk County Legislator to start the conversation on topics that they think are ready to be addressed. Interestingly they both concentrated on the building of infrastructure.

Legislator Horsely began by bringing up the proposed tunnel across the Long Island Sound. This tunnel will be expensive but it actually has a chance of being built because it will be done with non-government money. Investors will be supporting this construction. The question of bankrupcy was raised. What would happen if the builders ran out of money, would the taxpayers be left holding the bag? The answer given by Mr. Horsely was, no there will be money to be made by the promoters and a new entity would merely pick up where the failed company left off. 

When Mr. Romaine had his opportunity he concentrated on East End roads, rails, sewers. Sewers are key to building affordable housing, because you need to locate people in closer proximinty to each other and that can only be done if we have a comprehensive sewer program. Mr. Romaine was clearly in favor to increasing rail freight traffic by providing rail transload sites. These sites will be distribution points where rail freight can be loaded onto local trucks. When we discussed development of the Calverton Airport there were various opinions on what should be developed, and how. Keeping those very substantially built airport runways was important to both legislators, and that appeared to be the consensus in the room as well. There did not seem to be much support for that proposed indoor ski slope. I pointed out that the extra need for electrical power generation just to service that behomoth preclu! des it ever being built. We moved on to the possibility that the Shinecock Tribe achieving the status that would allow them to build gambling facilities. The conclusion was not to fight it, those dollars are going somewhere, they may as well stay here.