(Howard Weitzman is the former Nassau County Comptroller.)
No matter who won the last county election it was clear the County would be going down a tough financial road. A difficult economy, falling tax receipts, an increasing structural gap along with the political difficulty in raising additional revenues have combined to create a perfect storm for all local governments. But the new Mangano administration seems to be drowning in a fiscal tsunami, without a tree to climb. His rescue plan is based on an old copy of Tom Gullota’s guide to County government – borrow, over estimate revenues, under estimate expenses, sell property, and if that’s not enough borrow more.
People who love showers always demean us people who prefer baths in this manner: “How can you lie there in your own filth?”
People who love baths answer, “Don’t be silly, a bath is so much more relaxing. You wash leisurely and carefully but you are rested and less stressed.”
There is no doubt that a shower is faster. If you are going to work or time is a factor, a shower is much more practical. Actually both are used to wash your body and rinse your hair. I prefer to shave in the shower as all that rushing water affords a better and closer trim.
The Election Inspector
Yes, I am an election inspector.
Every primary election and on the first Tuesday in November I do my patriotic duty. Getting up at 4:30 a.m. to be at the polling place by 5 a.m. is the most unpleasant part of my duty. Sitting at the desk until 9 p.m. this year was particularly profound.
About 20-years ago I was swimming in the ocean off Long Beach, where I live, and someone pointed to a cluster of girls that had drifted towards the jetty, the rock formation that helps to protect the shoreline from erosion. The girls must have been pulled out by the undertow and were unnoticed by the lifeguards.
As the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) prepares to hold public hearings on proposed fare and toll modifications that would be implemented on or about January 1, 2011, I would like to take this opportunity to express my staunch objection to any fare increases. Their plan includes an average increase of more than 8 percent in ticket and toll prices. Given the ways the MTA has already managed to tax the paychecks of New Yorkers, I find this measure to be completely unacceptable.
The 2010 baseball season is slowly drawing to its October close. Waiting in the wings and “rarin’ to go” are the football, basketball and even the hockey teams. America is blessed with so many wonderful sports teams and seasons to observe them.
In Europe, most countries concentrate on only one sport, soccer. Nothing diminishes or takes away from this game. In our country sport fans must go from the playoffs in baseball, which sometimes wind down in early November to the beginnings of other contests which carry us through the dark winter.
September is when pennant races heat up, while October is when the World Series is played. Last year during both months at the Fire Island Hawk Watch, while counting migrating raptors, I found myself musing about the athletic abilities of these birds and how they compared with those of baseball players. With some first hand observation and a hefty dose of imagination, this is what an all-raptor baseball team would look like, position-by-position, if raptors could field, run and throw.
My generation grew up with radio.
Today, radio is secondary to that all-consuming monster called television, and the Internet. With radio, you could do a crossword puzzle, file your fingernails (or toenails), or even shave while listening.
Southern Hospitality, Part Two
The name Vanderbilt has its own mystique. The family came from Holland, the town of Bilt. Vander means “from the” and Bilt is the geographical place.
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877), the patriarch, was American-born, and a real “go-getter.” He exited school at an early age and entered into various capitalist ventures. Steamships and railroads (New York Central) were the source of his spectacular fortune of $100 million.
When I took office in January, I inherited a government that is worse off than it was in 2001. A staggering $286 million deficit looms and tough decisions have to be made in order to fix Nassau County’s finances. An easy fix would have been to raise property taxes 36 percent - but I won’t accept that option as a solution because taxpayers need relief during these poor economic times.
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