The Lighthouse Project as political football has the developers treading on rather thin ice—Islanders pun intended—because we are racing toward silly season. Head Vampire Suozzi will stand on his head shouting that Kate Murray is holding up the process of approving the project even though he is the one who sat on it for five years. Make no mistake, Tom Suozzi never intended to be running for re-election and thought surely this was going to be someone else’s problem. Since higher offices are all spoken for at the moment he will do the next best thing: Claim the project as his own and say it’s not his fault that it has taken so long.
Meanwhile, the Nosferati in the Town of Hempstead (i.e., the Republicans) are busy trying to deflect Suozzi’s arrows while figuring out little details like how to move thousands of cars down an already crowded road, what happens when everyone in the Lighthouse development flushes their toilets at the same time, and all the other little details that accompany building a city from scratch. Their problem? They suck at PR. Don’t get me wrong, they can send out photos and proclamations with the best of them. Ribbon cutting you say? They’ll be there. A parade through town? Front of the line with a sash to match the occasion. Oversee a development that will re-imagine how we live on Long Island with proper planning under smart growth guidelines? Now hold on a second, mister. What do they look like, public servants?
Part One of this column, “Heavy House,” took issue with a few items of the overall plan that due to recent overwhelming changes in American philosophy make them seem outmoded and unlikely. Having said that, it’s time to get moving. Time to get our union members to work by putting shovels into the ground. With Albany hell-bent on taxing entrepreneurs out of the state altogether, we’d also better get busy taking care of our own visionaries and moguls before they pull a Golisano and start taking up residences in Florida for six months and a day.
Charles Van Helsing Wang has completely lost patience with the political vampires on Long Island as well he should. What he needs, however, is a new publicist. Going after Kate Murray is killing the golden goose right now because the Town of Hempstead controls the most important aspect of this or any development: zoning. She who controls zoning controls the world. Wang’s threatening to move the Islanders or exhibiting regret for purchasing the team doesn’t belong in the newspapers. That’s something you scream in your pillow late at night. Start schmoozing and stop letting us all see you sweat.
So what can we, the lowly public, do about this project? How can we participate actively in saving our beloved Islanders? Simple. Let’s stay with the sports theme. Do what any sports fan would do whenever he or she doesn’t particularly like a call. Every time one of the politicians running for election or re-election this year attempts to use the Lighthouse Project in a speech, everyone in the audience should start chanting, “Buuuuuuull Shit. Buuuuuuull Shit.” If you receive election e-mails or snail mail on the subject simply send it back with “Bull Shit” in the subject line or scribble it in red marker across the mailer and return to sender.
It’s an easy, albeit childish, way to let them all know that we won’t allow them to politicize our future.
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