Brooklyn and Queens are making offers and the Nassau County Industrial Development Agency's (IDA) decision to take out a full-page ad in Newsday supporting the Lighthouse. This silence should not be considered a bad thing, simply the sign of an organization that is exploring its options in a low-key way.
We also had another interesting bit of news come out last week. John Cameron, Chair of the Long Island Regional Planning Committee (which, in June, recognized the Lighthouse as a "project of regional significance") publicly offered to step in and negotiate a resolution to the current impasse.
Mr. Cameron, however, may be one of the best "independent" people for the role. Before Mr. Cameron made this offer, he spoke eloquently about the need for change on Long Island at the kickoff meeting for Tom Suozzi's 90/10 Project for renewing Nassau County. Mr. Cameron inherently understands that, in his own words, a lack of change on Long Island would mean "game over." He is politically connected, understands the situation, and does not stand to gain financially from successful completion of the project. If both sides are willing to talk, he may be just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully, if nothing else, this offer can help both sides realize that they should be speaking for the good of Long Island.
Republicans vs. Democrats in the key issues (despite many prominent Republicans, including Assemb. Fred Thiele (R-Bridgehampton) and Assemb. Bob Barra (R-Lynbrook) coming out strongly in support of the project). The Town of Hempstead and Nassau County are now talking past each other, and that is almost to be expected since there are politicians from opposite parties trying to get re-elected and hold onto their majorities in each area. Given these political realities and the ongoing environmental review, it is clear that nothing will be done before Election Day to grant "certainty," one way or the other. The issue is what will happen afterward.
Mr. Cameron should be lauded for his decision to step up and offer to mediate the situation, especially since he is politically savvy. I have long believed that any mediation or "brokering" could only succeed if the party were either apolitical or, if that cannot happen, bipartisan. No agreement can be shoved by one party down the other's throat.
I think the main issue now is how serious the principals are about reaching a deal. If Mr. Wang and the Town of Hempstead are willing to bury the hatchet, we could hopefully see some positive movement, even if mediation is never truly necessary.
Do not expect any major news for the next few days, but after the loud accusations and posturing from each side last week, no news may be good news.
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