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Letter: The Smartest Shovel Into The Cerro Wire Land

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 open space, this has become a bad joke-at least in my community. Syosset-Jericho residents should not have to hike to the Syosset-Woodbury park four miles away-and which, has far more “human convenience infrastructure” (i.e. pools, bathrooms, cafes, etc) than actual forested open space.

However, if the Town and/or those it sold the land to ( , and ), carefully plan and network with public, corporate 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 turned its back on exploiting 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 economic globalization, massive institutionalized job outsourcing, America’s bloated construction industry and population overgrowth, America consumes far more than it produces. And much of what it does export-such as government subsidized weapons systems-doesn’t produce new wealth, nor increases real wages. 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 accomplish this, 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 has not helped matters that the Town sold 54 acres of Cerro land to the above three developers, as at least of one them has a history of pushing land uses that are woefully redundant (i.e. shopping malls and office buildings) and will thus destroy this unique and badly needed opportunity for advanced, technologically driven economic revitalization. I challenge any of those three firms to match the specific goals and methodologies of my proposal for creating-both in Syosset-Jericho and throughout Nassau-thousands of secure and rewarding careers, while designing and producing an array of the most highly marketable products and system solutions for mass production throughout Nassau’s industrial corridors for worldwide sales.

Therefore, once the current litigation between Taubman Centers and the Town is resolved for the remaining 40 acres of Cerro land, the public-through the August 20th referendum and other means-must relate to developers the kind of development our local and regional economy truly need and why. We can no longer afford developers, however respected and accomplished, who squander 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 quantity of development throughout Nassau County over and over again.

But we don’t have to keep making these mistakes. And it’s not too late, if we act fast. My nine page Cerro site action plan and cover letter to James McCaffrey, Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development, are available free of charge to all via email.

Gregory Battaglia