June 1, 2011

August 1st the Official Date

The first day back from a nice, long weekend brought news for fans of the NHL from all angles. While one area officially lost their team, another one - Long Island - took a (small) step towards retaining theirs.

The Nassau County Legislative Board got together as they were supposed to, one week after discussing the proposal by Ed Mangano and agreeing to vote on it.

A week ago, it seemed as though the plan would have a decent amount of support behind it, although not a majority. But when the discussions opened up on Tuesday, there were plenty of disagreements.

Legislator Wayne Wink brought up his ideas again, the main argument being the changing of the vote to Election Day on November 8th. His line of thinking was that you could get more people to vote and get a better representation of where people stand on the arena issue.

This amendment failed however, and that should be a big sigh of relief to us all. A vote on election day would have given this thing the kiss of death that it didn't need. Even if it passed on Election Day, you're losing three months that really need to happen to get workers lined up and estimates complete to do the job.

Dave Denenberg would then try to amend the referendum, asking for the vote to be held on the day that New York holds it's primary in September. Although not too far from the August date, you need to be affiliated with one of the parties to be able to vote in a primary. So, this too was a no go for the legislature.

Denenberg fought tooth and nail up until the part when he was declared out of order.

The real kicker in his antics for the day though? When the time to vote for having the referendum on August 1st came, the vote passed 11-7 with Denenberg being the only Democrat to vote yes. Was that out of spite since he already knew the minor majority needed was in place with more Republicans than Democrats? Or was he being sincere and realizing that he doesn't want to be one of the main reason why the Isles leave if a no vote happens in August?

Remember, there are still plenty of hurdles to climb here. The people have to vote on August 1, and the legislature will have to approve it once more. While I find it hard to believe they won't give it the majority it would need if the people say yes to it, I would be a bit concerned about the NIFA factor. I think that's a greater hurdle than the potential of one of the politicians saying "I'm still saying no because the people who came out to vote in the middle of summer aren't indicative of my constituents," or something to that effect.

Welcome to politics on Long Island folks. We'll provide you with some barf bags.

Please remember, especially if you are in Nassau County, that you must make your voice continuously heard in a respectful manner. If you have friends who live in Nassau, explain to them how important it is they vote for the project. Not just from an Islanders standpoint, but as something we could all benefit from. Offer to drive them to the polls or even buy them a meal after they do their civic duty.

If you're around my age, you understand the importance of trying to get something we can be proud of built somewhere here on this Island. So tell your legislation how you feel. Write to them. Write to NIFA and explain how you hope they won't hold anything up if this is what the people are asking for. Talk to those you interact with on a daily basis. If you're friends with enough reasonable people, just you being so passionate about this could make them more willing to do you a favor (and them in the long run although they might not realize it just yet).



Please make sure you are following "Vote Yes for NYI Arena" on both Twitter and Facebook for updates and some clarification on anything that may confuse voters.

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