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Letter: The Cerro R & D Tech Center & Reforested Green Space

This is a revised and updated version of a letter Battaglia had published last month.

I have developed a highly detailed action plan for realizing what must be the two most essential goals of the Syosset-Jericho community and its leadership.

Quoting the Spring 2013 issue “Talk of The Town” newsletter:

“…….the Department [of Economic Development] oversees the preservation and enhancement of the Town’s open space and its natural, historic and cultural resources.”

Certainly no one who has lived as many years in Syosset as I have can deny that there is more and more development and less and less open green space. While the Town claims to be serious about preserving green space, this has become a bad joke-at least in my community. Syosset-Jericho residents should not have to hike 4 miles away to the Syosset-Woodbury park-and which, has far more “convenience infrastructure” (i.e. pools, bathrooms, cafes, etc) than actual forested open space.

However, if the Town Board and/or those they want hope to sell the rest of the Cerro land to (http://www.simon.com/, http://www.albaneseorg.com/ http://www.castagnarealty.com/ ) via the August 20th referendum, carefully plan and network with public, private and non-profit agencies, we can save and affordably finance the reforesting of a very meaningful amount of the Cerro Wire land-to become the Syosset-Jericho open space park. We must not deny ourselves and the world this precious opportunity to help fight the dangerous consequences of CO2-induced global warming, while preserving our treasured but rapidly vanishing suburban landscape.

“The Town of Oyster Bay has always played a key role in terms of business outreach and identifying sensible opportunities for land use,” said Town Supervisor John Venditto. “The Department of Economic Development helps provide resources to businesses desiring to locate, relocate or expand in the Town. Department personnel also work with Federal, State and County to retain existing high end companies.”  

One of the major reasons why America-particularly this region-has lost its competitiveness in the world economy is that much of our leadership have all but ceased to exploit much of our greatest talents and resources. Once an innovative world leader, we have allowed ourselves to become a nation mired in untold billions in foreign debt and bearers of an increasingly unstable and contracting economy. Fundamentally, this is so because, unlike today’s China, South Korea, Siberia and several eastern European nations, little of America’s GNP are devoted to exports.  

Indeed, thanks in large measure to the unchecked excesses of overseas investing, massive tech job outsourcing, America’s bloated construction industry and highly destructive population overgrowth, our nation consumes far more than it produces for export. And much of what it does export-such as government subsidized weapons systems-doesn’t produce new wealth, nor increases real wages to effectively keep pace with the cost of living. We may pride ourselves on the quality of our public and private schools and the number of high achieving college graduates. But intelligence and knowledge-however formidable and vast-can do little to solve our problems without the best opportunities to do so.

To provide these opportunities, I have devised systematized strategies to bring about a very specific and powerful mode of economic development-the kind that has always made the most profitable use of the talents and innovative powers of our dynamic work force and the tenacity and vision of our leadership. And this can and must begin at the Cerro Wire site on Robbins Lane.

However, it may not have helped matters that the Town sold 54 acres of Cerro land to the above three developers, as at least of one them has long pushed land uses that are woefully redundant (i.e. shopping malls and office buildings). And more of the same this time-following the August 20th referendum over the remaining 40 acres-will destroy this unique and badly needed opportunity for advanced, technologically driven economic revitalization. I challenge the above three firms to match the goals and methodologies of my proposal for creating-in Syosset, Jericho and throughout Nassau-thousands of secure and rewarding careers, by inventing at the Cerro site an array of highly marketable prototypes, to be mass produced throughout Nassau’s industrial corridors for worldwide export.

We can no longer afford developers and realtors, however respected and accomplished, who squander our dwindling acres of open land on concepts that do not seriously address the most pressing economic and environmental needs of our local community and the nation. Sadly, the public and its elected representatives have allowed the wrong kind and amount of development throughout Nassau County over and over again. Likewise, most of the seemingly beneficial land use options proffered by the Cerro Wire Coalition only amount to more of the same.

But we don’t have to settle for these same short-sighted ideas. And it’s not too late,

if we act fast. Learn how we can realize this precious opportunity for high performance countywide economic revitalization, create a range of some of the most rewarding professional level career choices not seen in Nassau for decades, protect our fragile suburban landscape with a true and substantially proportioned reforested park while helping to slow climate change-as every responsible community must do.   

However you may vote on the August 20th referendum, please read my seven page Cerro development plan and letter to James McCaffrey, Town Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development. Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for your free copies.  And, of course, I welcome your feedback!

Let’s start planning the Cerro Tech Center at Robbins Lane today!

Gregory Battaglia