Deadlines. Deadlines. As I hurried to meet the deadline trying to file this latest report, I was once again derailed by what is known as the 495 parking pavilion aka The LIE (Long Island Expressway for those of you less versed). A Tuesday night 10:30pm traffic jam due to construction, who would have thought, but I digress.
Getting back to the deadline, we once again here on Long Island find ourselves in a quagmire of unresolved issues to which we seem to be ever so slowly losing control if we ever had it to begin with.
We have fought and continue to fight taxes,cost of living increases,rezoning issues,way of life issues,eminent domain issues and on and on and on.
So here we are on a Tuesday evening finding out about a LIPA proposal that will be voted on the very next day…Wednesday… a proposal that goes one of three ways, private, public or status quo. All decisions that on the surface seem to be ways to address the problems of cost reduction,right. Here’s a utility that has more black clouds surrounding it than the clouds that surrounded the Perfect Storm that took place off Long Island back in 1991. I could go into the details but that’s for another story.
The issue at hand is HOW that’s right, HOW, do you commission a 1.7 million dollar report on different ideas to restructure the utility, allow 35 days for public input and close the meeting without ever reading the report or producing the report for the public to respond? Now I may be naive ….which is doubtful, but does anyone identify a problem here? Are we not, right from the start engaging in the same lurid practice that created this albatross life sucking behemoth to begin with?
Since the Shoreham debacle of a nuclear accident (managerial speaking) took place, we have been in debt publicly to this utility to the tune of 6 billion dollars that’s with a B. Taxpayer surprise has constantly awaited us on every kilowatt since then. Taxpayer,ratepayer they’re all one in the same. We are the well of servitude for all things wrong, mishandled, misappropriated etc.etc. no matter the failures. Whether it be ineptitude or inaptitude the dollars of the ratepayers in their eyes are forever giving without limit.
How do we correct the issue?
Well for one, and of probably the most importance is to have all hands on deck. In other words stop the rush hour determination. Open up the decision making process, let the resident taxpayers be involved. Put all issues on the table from outstanding debt to daily operating cost. This is the only way to strive forward and it all starts with an extension of the timeline.This must be extended for an open thorough investigation.
Extend the deadline to at least read what’s involved with the different various options.
From there we take the next step, with the possible election of a resident overview board, one that has the interest of the people they represent at heart.
This would be a start. If this extension is not granted then it will have to be seen as business as usual, complete with the concept of predetermined cover-ups and the like. Unfortunately then it would be seen as many other entities, just another failing unsustainable vehicle that would keep Long Islanders entrenched on the road of collapse.
As opposed to my deadline, let’s extend the deadline of this very important decision.
So I ask what will it be, a new beginning or will we just ask LIPA to turn out the lights when they leave?