Steven Englebright, Assemblyman for Suffolk County’s 4th district on Long Island, doesn’t think $220 million is a lot of money even though it would come close to paying off Suffolk County’s enormous debt. District 4 is in Suffolk County. That money could save real jobs, but that is not a consideration because Mr. Englebright wants to fund his “investment” projects.
Suffolk County has a $300 million budget shortfall and borrows to pay the bills.
Steven Englebright is more interested in promoting non-existant jobs in the tourism industry and funding incubators at Stony Brook University. The man is clueless.
Taxpayer money goes from Suffolk taxpayers to New York State and then back to cronies like Mr. Englebright who funnel it to favored projects.
Go to about 47:00 minutes to hear him talk about $220 million not being a lot of money. It gets more fascinating from there.
Mr. Englebright says on the tape that he is “proud to spend taxpayer money” and he says “if it’s done right, it will make money.” He says this as the county encompassing his district is sinking into massive debt because of this way of thinking.
He spends a fair amount of time at this meeting talking about the Stony Brook incubator. He seems to think district 4’s entire future rests on the incubator. The incubator has been around since the ’80’s and he claims it has established thousands of jobs. I don’t know where the jobs are and neither does he.
Mr. Englebright spent some time complaining about China, but it was the Clinton administration that forced companies overseas as part of their commitment to globalization. Remember NAFTA? It was continued under Bush and put on steroids by Obama.
Mr. Englebright crowed about the Long Island solar farm on the tape. I am NOT against the solar farm. I am against pushing solar too quickly and ignoring fossil fuels while the economy is on a downward spiral. A gradual transition in a bad economy makes a lot more sense.
That being said, what did we get for the lauded LI Solar Farm located on the Brookhaven National Laboratory campus?
First of all, we will never know what it cost because that cost is clouded by rate prices and taxes (taxes posing as grants, credits and rebates). One DOE grant alone was for $38 million.
Grants, rebates and tax credits are accounting gimmicks meant to send out the false message that this is “free” money.
The plant did not develop anything in the way of “green” jobs once it was completed. All it requires is maintenance. Maybe 10 people work there. It will roughly cost $298 million to maintain in today’s dollars over the next two decades (TODAY’S MONEY!). For all this, we get a 32meg plant that powers 4500 homes – that might accommodate one village. A typical gas power plant puts out 250 – 400 megs.
In other words, Long Island pays 20 cents a kilowatt hour, LIPA buys power from the solar plant for 42 cents a kilowatt hours. If we went all solar, Long Island’s electric bill would almost triple.
When asked a question he could not answer, Mr. Englebright fell back on the straw man argument. He went into the demonization of fraking with geological mumbo-jumbo when confronted with a question he was unable to answer. He bored people into submission. [check out the pros and cons of fraking at quora]
On the tape Englebright bragged about a 3 mile bike lane between Stony Brook and Port Jefferson that cost millions of dollars, somewhere between 5 and 7 million. As the trees are being cut down in droves, people are getting upset. I’m all for the bike lane but way too much was spent on it, which is what happens when money passes through too many hands.
This assemblyman is exhilarated about spending $220 million on his pet projects while Suffolk County is facing a takeover by New York State, according to Democratic Town Supervisor, Steven Bellone. In March of this year, a spokeswoman for the Democrat New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said, “We rarely see deficits of this magnitude and they could result in painful service cuts.”
While Suffolk County layed off people, Mr. Englebright planned the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars of our state tax money on district 4 projects.
Suffolk County’s debt is rated AA- and is being reviewed by Fitch for a further downgrade. That will certainly make our borrowing very expensive, but, hey, what’s $220 million?