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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Local Cronyism, Patronage Alive and Well

This story might get you as riled up as it has gotten me. It's about the Atlantic Beach Bridge.

The bridge, a six-lane drawbridge, connects the Five Towns and Far Rockaway with Atlantic Beach, a small strip of land with a stretch of beautiful Atlantic Ocean beaches. This bridge also has a storied local history of patronage and cronyism. The bridge authority is presently seeking a controversial fare hike. Some preemptive responses to the question of why this issue is one that would be at all interesting to anyone reading this blog:

This issue actually affects many Orthodox members of the Five Towns on a daily basis. For the many local residents who have enrolled their children in HALB, the bridge is a regular crossing point to get their children to school. In addition, for many local residents (including this one), Atlantic Beach is a popular destination for sumer days when many of us join the local beach clubs that line the ocean side of the strip, and thus cross the bridge often numerous times on a given day. Additonally, I don't think I need to explain to anyone how the culture of cronyism, patronage, and no-bid contracts affects taxpaying citizens. Simply: we are being ripped off.

So this is the story:

The Atlantic Bridge is run by the Atlantic Beach Bridge Authority. The Authority's only job is to maintain this bridge. This bridge is the only toll bridge on Long Island. Following are the findings of an audit performed on the Authority by then NY Comptroller H. Carl McCall in 1999:
  • The report, which covered the 1997 calendar year, found that the authority failed to seek competitive bids for engineering work and other service, improperly reimbursed commissioners for travel expenses, and made excessively high payouts to managers who had retired.
  • In 1997, 71 percent of the authority's budget was spent on personnel, while only 12 percent was spent on bridge maintenance.
  • The precarious financial state of the authority necessitated another toll hike to meet its legal obligations to pay construction bonds. Losses at the authority deepened from $32,995 in 1994 to $472,380 in 1996.
  • Motorists who paid cash wound up paying a disproportionately greater share of total toll revenues than did non-cash commuters crossing the Atlantic Beach Bridge. The 32 percent of motorists who paid the $1.25 cash toll contributed to 62 percent of the authority's revenue. In contrast, commuters (mostly local residents) who paid the $75 unlimited annual fee made up 68 percent of crossings, but only 38 percent of total revenue.
So basically, the bridge was found to be using the tolls collected mostly to pay personnel, who were mostly in patronage jobs, and for paying out too much money for no-bid contracts. In other words:
Since the founding of the Nassau County Bridge Authority, the commission charged with construction and toll collection on the Atlantic Beach Bridge, there has been a long history of patronage. Peter ("Uncle Pete") DeSibio, the former chairman and Inwood executive leader who died in 1993, was known to hand out jobs to his friends, relatives and political cronies. Even when the construction bonds were paid off in 1975 (when the authority was to have been dissolved), the authority lived on due to DeSibio's influence. Today, most of the $3.5 million annual budget for the Nassau County Bridge Authority is spent on its 92 full-time and part-time staff, much of it on toll collection.
Which means that I have been paying tolls to support this guy's friends and family. As if that isn't bad enough? The Authority now wants to raise tolls. Even worse? Though there has been much opposition expressed to the fare hike, the community meeting to discuss the topic has been scheduled on November 14 at 1 PM - smack in the middle of a workday for the vast majority of those who would be affected by the proposed hike - commuters. I find it extremely transparent that the Authority is choosing a time that as few of those who are in the position to be up in arms about the fare hike, and thus may protest at the meeting and derail the proposal, will actually be able to be present. Frankly, I think they have some nerve to add this insult of a blatant attempt at squelching dissent to the injury of taking our money.

Some local political figures question the existence of the Authority altogether:
Nassau County Legislator Jeff Toback (D-Oceanside) said he believes the bridge tolls should be eliminated and the span taken over by the county, which also runs the Long Beach and Bayville bridges. Toback explained that the main reason for charging tolls is to cover the cost of elevating the bridge to allow cargo ships access to an oil tank terminal in Oceanside. This provides economic benefit to the entire county, Toback said, and thus the cost should be shared by all residents rather than just those in the Five Towns and Long Beach. He estimated that for the county to take over the bridge, it would need to invest $4 million of its $2.8 billion budget, which could be accomplished without raising taxes.

"There is no reason people in the Five Towns, Atlantic Beach or Long Beach should have to pay to drive on a road in Nassau County," said Toback. "It's an expense that should be spread out over a general population."

Toback said that making the bridge toll-free would also benefit Lawrence Public Schools, which transport students living in Atlantic Beach to district schools, as well as yeshiva students traveling from the Five Towns to the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach Elementary School. He said he would urge the bridge authority to hold a second public hearing on the future of the tolls somewhere in the Five Towns during evening hours, when more residents can attend.
I think as many local citizens as possible should show up at this week's meeting, in addition to lobbying for an evening meeting. The public hearing may have been scheduled at a time that would ensure as few as possible irate bridge users be present, but that shouldn't stop those of us affected by this blatant abuse of our hard-earned money from vocally protesting.

Another facet of this that I think should be mentioned is the fact that most of this corruption is a product of the well-known local Republican patronage machine which has long been widely rumored to control the Bridge Authority jobs. The local Democratic political opposition to this outrage is a start, and they should continue to press the mantle of reform, much as they have done with the corruption that has plagued our local sanitation district. I would also love to see our newly-elected reform-minded governor, Elliot Spitzer, tackle the issue of these mini-feifdoms which essentially function to cost local taxpayers more money.

75 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. The sanitation cronyism is a mess in Hempstead. Unfortunately voters gave the machine a mandate to continue to screw us when they voted the incumbents back into office. Its a shame that people don't get it and use their voices and their political muscle.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the Democrats are in the majority of the Board of the Bridge Authority and have been for years.
Mr. Vine, holds the position of bridge manager, and he is a Democrat. I wonder what his salary is. Learn the facts Ortho Mom, before you through stones.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh pleez. The bridge hiring and all of the rest of the hirin has been run by the GOP machine since the days when uncle pete was in charge

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh pleez. The bridge hiring and all of the rest of the hirin has been run by the GOP machine since the days when uncle pete was in charge

Are you trying to say that the Dems are in charge but that the GOP still does the hiring. Are you also saying that Uncle Pete who died 13 years ago has that much influence over the current Democratic majority.

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay. Lets put it simple. Uncle Pete may have died, but Jesse Mistero is alive and well doing the same thing. The tolls on the bridge has always been an unspoken deal between Atlantic Beach and Inwood. Inwood gets the jobs and AB gets to keep the Far Rock "undesirables" out. The dems may be a majority of the board but the patronage jobs were given out years ago. The authority is not going to come and start firing people.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM

Just a note.

Those of us who fondly remember Uncle Pete, remember no greater friend of the Orthodox Community. A true mench in the best meaning of the word. Further, Uncle Pete got his nickname as being the Mentor (or adopted Uncle) of some great Nassau County citizens, including Al Damato, another staunch friend of the Orthodox Community and another mench. While being overcharged is something most people don't like lets also remember letov our friends even if we don't agree woith their politics.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff Toback's friend Mr. Vine doesn't have a patronage job? He makes over six figures.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM goes to a beach club???

3:55 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

OM

Just a note.

Those of us who fondly remember Uncle Pete, remember no greater friend of the Orthodox Community. A true mench in the best meaning of the word. Further, Uncle Pete got his nickname as being the Mentor (or adopted Uncle) of some great Nassau County citizens, including Al Damato, another staunch friend of the Orthodox Community and another mench. While being overcharged is something most people don't like lets also remember letov our friends even if we don't agree woith their politics.



Hey, there is nothing here that says a word against Uncle Pete as a person. He may have been a truly exemplary human being. That said, I am entitled to be against patronage and cronyism in principle. The link regarding Uncle Pete was a widely available one.

That said, I find your note an interesting one, and am glad you put your thoughts on the man on the record here.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

You neglected to mention another issue

Those of us older folks fondly recall taking a leisurely summer evening stroll on the AB boardwalk back in the late 20th century. We gladly paid the bridge toll, after all AB is the property of AB residents & the beach is equilvilant to anything in the hamptons and we thought is was our until the AB elders decided that they didn't want the Orthodox Walkers (ow) on their boardwalk.They were unable to raise the toll and even if the toll had been raised to $5 it would have meant peanuts to pay for breezy walk on a summer night. So they outlawed parking on otherwise empty center dividers on Atlantic Blvd. Wanna walk? Pay $250 parking fee. We took a drive one night last summer and it was deserted. Why do they hate us?

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The AB village which controls the parking in the village has nothing to do with the Bridge.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patronage is pandemic-isn't a security fence around a Yeshiva just patronage-anyway why should taxpayers pay for it-would you like your tax dollars to subsidize a school encouraging anti-Israel and anti-Semitism.

Al Damato a mench? At least there is comic relief on this blog-like saying Mayor Daly wasa mench.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Growing up here, my dad always told me the toll was to keep the Far Rockaway element out of Atlantic beach (and I'm not referring to the Ortho Community here).

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Damato a mench? At least there is comic relief on this blog-like saying Mayor Daly wasa mench.


A true friend of the local orthodox community. A Senator from the local community who brought home the bacon ($$$) for the community. That is a mench, even if you disagree with his politics.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Al Damato a mench? At least there is comic relief on this blog-like saying Mayor Daly wasa mench.


Further, to compare Al to Dick Daley (and lets be clear which one), is totally absured. [I don't most local even know who is Dick Daley was, unless they were born in Chicago, or voted early and often].

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further, to compare Al to Dick Daley (and lets be clear which one),

Obviously the father.

Compaing in a bipartisan way the corruption of the Chicaqo Democratic regime under Mayor Daley to the corruption of the Hempstead/Nassau Republican regime under Damato.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyway, it's become quite clear around here that voters don't have the conviction to throw the bums out.

The abuses in the sanitation district couldn't have been much more egregious, but they still got their cronies to vote them back in, and residents still didn't turn out in nearly sufficient numbers to vote them out.

What are the chances of residents shwoing any conviction about the bridge?

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And speaking of all of these "menschen" I think it's fair to say that Skelos is no different from the rest of the aforementioned. He brings home the bacon (which gets him easily reelected) but he does all but facilitates the flourishing GOP patronage going on in the sanitation district, bridge authority, etc.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous goyguy said...

Anonymous said...

"The abuses in the sanitation district couldn't have been much more egregious, but they still got their cronies to vote them back in, and residents still didn't turn out in nearly sufficient numbers to vote them out."

We pay the most and get the best service. The truth of the matter is that the residents turn out in huge numbers to keep it that way.

No matter how much it costs in taxes and patronage I'll fight to the death for my backyard pick-up. Let the good people of Syosset drag their stinking cans to the curb and look for the covers on the next block.

And listen, if you want your voice heard you have to be on the inside. Local politics isn't like national politics. There are no ideological principles at stake here. It's just, well, local.

Garbage, snow, potholes, jobs, whatever.

If local government is controlled by the Republican club, and you want a say in government so much, join your local club. They don't turn people away. The dues are cheap, you'll meet the people you need to meet, and maybe be able to get your dumb kid brother a job ;-)

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We pay the most and get the best service. The truth of the matter is that the residents turn out in huge numbers to keep it that way.

That's been the party line, but backyard pickup costs far less in other districts (and obviously no one intends to do away with it around here). And the real truth is that very few people have turned out to vote for the reasons you describe. This sanitation club is voted in almost entirely by family, friends, vote-trading and a little intimidation.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bunch of phony blowhards. The Sanitation District had a year long audit. I have yet to find any illegal activity. Yet, not one word of Alan Hevesi who got elected by the very same people complaining about the Sanitation District. I don’t hear about the patronage jobs or the corruption in the Souzzi administration. Double standard, ya’ think

6:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You people really hate Republicans, no matter what. Just so that you know, I also put Harvey Weisenberg in the mench catagory, irrespective of his politics, something dems cant do, seperate quality from politics.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weisenberg is a different kind of mensch. He doesn't do anything for his constiuents, but still gets reelected.
At least we don't have to look at that hideous billboard anymore.

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bunch of phony blowhards. The Sanitation District had a year long audit. I have yet to find any illegal activity. Yet, not one word of Alan Hevesi who got elected by the very same people complaining about the Sanitation District. I don’t hear about the patronage jobs or the corruption in the Souzzi administration. Double standard, ya’ think

There are issues with all of the above. But that's no reason to deny the abuse of taxpayers by the sanitary district. Like the bridge authority, it's a throwback to the worst of machine politics. Don't kid yourself with this partisan fingerpointing. Around here, most people really don't care whether their local elected officials are republican or democrat - because it shouldn't make any difference on a local level. But they do care about corruption, regardless of which party is responsible.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I would also love to see our newly-elected reform-minded governor, Elliot Spitzer, tackle the issue of these mini-feifdoms which essentially function to cost local taxpayers more money."

In NYS these public authorities were created with the express purpose of creating patronage mills that escape public scrutiny. In fact, many of them have terms that are defined in such a way that the "patronage" jobs often last long after the moment in which the voters have spoken on the term or terms of the original political "patron." The Battery Park City Authority is a notorious example as are the TBTA and the MTA. Atlantic Beach Bride (while certainly not a bastion of saints) pales in comparison to those 3...

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The previous comment makes a good point. Many of these authorities have many patronage positions. However, all of the ones cited by anon don't have anywhere close to the revenue to staff expense ratio of the Nassau County Bridge Authority. It can be argued that the Bridge Authority only uses its revenues to keep people employed. The MTA, TBTA, BPCA, NYPA, Port Authority all construct and support large scale infrastructure for the State. (BTW the TBTA is part of the MTA). the comparison is therefore not a valid one

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget about the sanitation district and the local GOP leader's brother who gets $150k/yr plus goodies from taxpayers for his leadership

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget about the sanitation district and the local GOP leader's brother who gets $150k/yr plus goodies from taxpayers for his leadership

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The MTA, TBTA, BPCA, NYPA, Port Authority all construct and support large scale infrastructure for the State. (BTW the TBTA is part of the MTA). the comparison is therefore not a valid one"

I was giving general examples, but if you want to harp lets harp. Yes TBTA is part of the MTA, but like the Atlantic Beach Bridge, the toll structures that it runs - triboro, midtown tunnel for example- were all built with the ideas that the tolls would cover the costs of the bonds needed to build the bridge or tunnel and then would be ceased. However, once pencil pushers got jobs on account of the tolls, and they were too common-place for public uproar, the tolls stayed as part of the regular revenue stream to the authority. Therefore, toll shenanigans at the TBTA is nearly identical and right on point to the issue that was raised with the Atlantic Beach Bridge. (You can check your NYS public authority history on this one). I havent even gotten to Battery Park City Authority, where the Governor seems to have stashed many of his loyal lietenants to keep then on Public payroll in anticipation of new Governor Spitzer...(and probably to protect his non-existent record of rebuilding post 9-11)

2:19 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'In NYS these public authorities were created with the express purpose of creating patronage mills that escape public scrutiny.'

I would recommend Robert Caro's *The Power Broker*, to see how abusive and out of control public authorities can be. Robert Moses used them to become by far the most powerful person in the state for decades even though he was never elected to anything. (He lost a bid for governor in 1934, the only time he ever ran for public office.) The only governor who was ever able to control them was Nelson Rockefeller -- and even then, only because his brother ran the bank that controlled the TBTA bonds.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lobby the toll out of existence and then admire the trucks and other congestion on 878 and right through town via Rockaway Turnpike as everyone in NYC headed east opts for the newly free bridge.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lobby the toll out of existence and then admire the trucks and other congestion on 878 and right through town via Rockaway Turnpike as everyone in NYC headed east opts for the newly free bridge.

Therer are other ways of restricting traffic, and commercial vehicles can easily be restricted.

And if that's the prerogative, then the bridge authority should be offering deep discounts to area residents. (Don't they do that in Staten Island?)

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right in line with a newer thread about the voteing power of the Kiryas Joel community, explains why until recently the orthodox community kept its collective mouth shut about the toll on the Atlantic Beach Bridge. It was a very small price to pay, and there are other ways to get to Long Beach without the toll.

In the past we showed our hakarot Hatov to any local politicians who supported our instititions in times of need and crisis, Who went to the mat for us when we needed zoneing to help to build our institutional monumental sturctures, and who used their clout to get us donations from outside the community.

Look at the nasty comments about Dean Skelos, but when bussing was cut in Dist 15 last year, who funded the difference, Dean Skelos.

Times have changed, we can no longer be counted upon by politicians to be loyal to them, is that a shame or politics as usual?? You be the judge.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Dist 14 bussing was cut.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's a throwback to the worst of machine politics

That i true and it is both parties that do it, just the Dems Got NYC and the Rep had Nassau and Suffolk, equality in a way, but now that the sons and daughters of all the civil servents who grew up in NYC are moving east, and were broh=ught up with the belief that the Dems are great and the reps are evil, vote dem without lloking at the quality of the candidate or the issues, Hevesi as a point of example.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's a throwback to the worst of machine politics

That i true and it is both parties that do it, just the Dems Got NYC and the Rep had Nassau and Suffolk, equality in a way, but now that the sons and daughters of all the civil servents who grew up in NYC are moving east, and were broh=ught up with the belief that the Dems are great and the reps are evil, vote dem without lloking at the quality of the candidate or the issues, Hevesi as a point of example.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So rather than pointing fingers at either party, everyone should endeavor to do their share in taking on the abuses (whether by democrats or republicans) on a local level. Because there really isn't much that can be done locally about the national or state party abuses.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

then the bridge authority should be offering deep discounts to area residents.

If you use th brige so often then buy a book of tickets

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what the issue the earlier anonymous has with the Battery Park City Authority is but happens to be that the BPCA is one of the great success stories of NYS government. It throws off hundreds of millions of dollars to NYC so it one of the few entities that does not drain taxpayer funds or fees. While the TBTA should have gone out of business once the original bonds were paid off it certainly is able to use its revenues for the good repair of its crossings. unfortunately the Nassau County Bridge Authority has to borrow money when they want to rehabilitate the bridge due to the fact that they spend most of their money on personnel to collect the tolls. Just remove the tolls and you won't need the personnel.

And again, explain to us why the AB bridge doesn't have EZ Pass. My guess is that they want to make sure that there as many toll takers as possible.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you buy tickets you still have to wait on the toll taker line. in the year 2006 this makes no sense. All the toll bridges all the way up to Albany use EZ Pass these days

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EZ pass even has a system for doling out discounts to subscribers based on where their residence is. (e.g., Staten Island residents get a discount on the Verrazano and Rockaways residents get a discount on the Marine Parkway bridge)

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't know what the issue the earlier anonymous has with the Battery Park City Authority is but happens to be that the BPCA is one of the great success stories of NYS government."

You should read up on your facts of the last 5 years, and the laughable plight of lower manhattan rebuilding.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Lobby the toll out of existence and then admire the trucks and other congestion on 878 and right through town via Rockaway Turnpike as everyone in NYC headed east opts for the newly free bridge.

Here is a little geography lesson:

Atlantic Beach is on an ISLAND. No one in their right mind would "head east" by taking the AB bridge.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Battery Park City Authority is not the agency responsible for the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. They only develop west of West Street.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who show so much disdain for elected officals (and the civil servents they are allowed to appoint) should either work to change the law or take action to change the politicians. Your rethoric rings hollow if you dont do something about it.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who controls the board of this AB bridge authority? Who's on the board?

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So who controls the board of this AB bridge authority? Who's on the board?

The Democrats!!!!!

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a five member board appointed by County Executive Tom Souzzi

6:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a five member board appointed by County Executive Tom Souzzi

Ah, finally the truth is out, its not the big bad republicans who are the villans, but rather the holier then thou democratic in om's wods opposition. Suozzi has been in control for over 5 years, nothing has changed why should it, now he controls the partonage jobs. Business as usual, but without menchen like Uncle Pete.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Om said she hoped the Dems would get rid of this. But no one can deny that the rebublicans put this whole patronage operation in motion. The authority members, dem or GOP, are not going to get appointed and start firing people whp have had jobs at the bridge for decades. the whole authority has to be eliminated. thats the only way to solve this.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And in the process miligned an honorable man, bacause he was a republican.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This issue is about political patronage - it doesn't make any difference whether it is the democrats or republicans at fault. There's no excuse for voteres to tolerate either party establishing themselves in any local government body to the point that they are the dominant force and do not operate in the interests of the people they are supposed to serve.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But is is also inappropirte to malign a man who was helpful to our community, 13 years after he died, and 5 years after his party lost control.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nassau County Legislator Jeff Toback (D-Oceanside) said he believes the bridge tolls should be eliminated and the span taken over by the county.

With all due respect to my friedn Jeff Toback, the bridge is under the control of Nassau County, if Suozzi has the power to appoint the commissionser. Furthermore, I believe that Jeff has the most power in choosing who are the commissioners, as the bridge is in his district.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Battery Park City Authority is not the agency responsible for the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. They only develop west of West Street. "

Therefore, I am sure they can do it with half the staff, and not with all of Pataki's cronies...

12:22 PM  
Anonymous a crony said...

I guess there really isn't any logic to your rant on this, is there anonymous 12:22?

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is plenty of Logic to the rant. Unfortunately there is no logic to the practice of an outgoing do-nothing governor making sure the incomptence of his administration last well beyond his term, by installing his people in quasi public authorities not quickly answerable to the voter.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But yes calling a comment illogical or stupid, is the refuge of the one who has not response to the substance of the comment...

Let me guess, you are going to stop "dignifying me with a response?!"

9:56 AM  
Anonymous not a crony said...

It would seem that the illogical part is that you are indeed angry but you seem not to know where to project your anger. Yes, there is waste in government but you are directing it at agencies that may be the the most productive and the least wasteful. You also do not know exactly what many of these authorities do. It would seem to this reader that you must work for Alan Hevesi since you are probably the only New Yorker who would not lead a rant about government corruption without identifying the poster child.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buddy boy listen up:

I do not work for Allan Hevesi nor do I condone his actions in any way shape or form. Furthermore, I agree that for him to issue audits on waste in government is quite hypocritical.

But if you were to educate yourself on a most basic understanding on NYS Govt you will learn that Public Authorities were created as vehicles for patronage and borrowing money PRECISELY to avoid any kind of legislative or voter oversight. The failure to scrutinize these authorities is why NYS citizens are overtaxed, overtolled, and overfeed (no those are not words but I hope you get my point). It has been the practice of George Pataki to get his cronies into these agencies, preceisly becuase a new governor can not easily replace all these folks right away to make some of these agencies work (BPCA included).

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Atlantic Beach Bridge toll should be ABOLISHED and the employees reassigned to other jobs within Nassau County.
There is not a reason in the world that motorists should be charged a fee to drive over what amounts to an overpass.
This is the ONLY toll bridge in Nassauor on Long Island! Think about it. The Long Beach Road bridge is just as long AND has MORE traffic yet it does not cost a dime to use.

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Long Beach Road bridge is just as long AND has MORE traffic yet it does not cost a dime to use.


More traffiv because may people use it to avoid AB Bridge.

Also, LB bridge has less marine traffic then AB

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If people cared enough things would change. Until then it is only rhetoric. At last sanitation election it looked like the powers in control made an alliance with District 15 PTA to bring out vote to make sure an orthodox candidate would not win. School lists seemed to be called and people on line spoke of being called from public school to vote. Probably sign of things to come as Democrats like Toback attempt to free area of old time patronage.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toback can not fight the patronage system all by himself.Someone should start a petition and send it to Spitzer asking for a complete review of the Atlantic Beach Bridge Authority. If only people cared about the Bridges and Sanitation like they do about SD15.They have high election turnouts and have an active government.They probably have the best voter turnouts of any school district in the country. If we could get those kind of turnouts we could get rid of the problems in the Sanitary District and Bridge. We need more leaders like Mansdorf and Toback.

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have never lived in a community that had 6 day a week trash pick-up..
I have lived in one of the wealthiest communities in So. California for twenty years and they pick up our trash once a week on tuesday!!

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the bridge toll is an outrage and if so many understand so much about the political machine and how poisonous it is, it remains mindboggling that nothing can change it. Is the corruption really that deep, or are we just too lazy..

9:56 PM  
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