Friday, 12 August 2011 00:00If there are any lessons to be learned by politicians and planners in the “No” vote to bond a new Coliseum, here are a few kernels to masticate.
Rush, rush special elections at off-season times make average voters suspicious. After the mortgage and credit debacles that have imploded the structure of our economy, we have learned that details of deals do matter and it reminds everyone of the old saw about the real meaning of the word “ass-u-me.”
Last week, when we were not deterred by thunder and lightening or hail to get to the polling place, we were astonished that at North Middle School, one of our regular voting places, there were no visible signs in front of the building indicating it as a voting site. One had to enter the school parking lot before being directed by homemade signs to a part of the building where no voting has ever taken place before, at least not in recent memory. It was troubling and it made one wonder why the voting place was not clearly and visibly marked. Was there some nefarious plot afoot or should the lack of clarity be attributed to rank incompetence?
The vote was a very hard choice for sports fans who would like to have a major team here on Long Island, but the way the choice was presented seemed more like arm twisting than pure choice. Threats of pulling up stakes and relocating remind voters that teams can, will and do go to the highest bidder and that our loyalty is not always reciprocated.
Voters want transparency. They want to know exactly what they’re voting for. They want to know the pros and cons of a proposal. News Flash: They want to be treated like adults, not sheep to be bullied into a pen. At the paper, we were deluged with duplicate emails from Nassau County about rallies, endorsements, statements and unending hype. There was an onslaught of “noise,” but little in the way of clear information.
Residents of Nassau County want to see the land at the Coliseum developed thoughtfully and with vision, but they do not want to be blindfolded and asked to “Just say ‘Yes.’”
“Trust us and we’ll give you the details later” does not fly anymore.