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Uber on the lookout for potholes
Uber is coming to Long Island — assuming Nassau and Suffolk counties don’t opt out, as allowed in the ride-hailing legislation in the new state budget. Suffolk looks likely to let Uber roll, but Nassau might be a different story.
Uber executives are concerned about the taxi industry’s ties to Nassau’s Republican Party, its campaign contributions to County Executive Edward Mangano, and the predominance of taxi and limo interests on the county’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, which will give the administration an analysis of the legislation next month.
But the company might have another worry — the shadow of Al D’Amato.
Records and reports show that TLC member Lawrence Blessinger — an official with several Nassau taxi and limo companies and president of the Nassau & Suffolk Taxi Owners Association — last year signed a one-year, $5,000-a-month contract with the former senator’s consulting firm, Park Strategies, to lobby in Albany against the legislation. The contract ran through March 31.
That’s appropriate — one of the last roadblocks Uber must overcome is the man once known as Senator Pothole.
Maybe Mar-a-Lago’s not forever
As Republicans start to criticize President Donald Trump for spending too much time in Florida, Politico is reporting that the president “is expected to shift his weekend plans north” once the winter season is over at his glitzy Florida resort. New destination: the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
That will be of some relief to Palm Beach County, whose mayor, Paulette Burdick, told The Point that local security costs have run some $4 million since Election Day — $60,000 a day largely in overtime for her sheriff’s department when the president is enjoying the links.
“We don’t get a lot of warning” that the president is coming, the mayor says, perhaps “a couple of days before.”
She spends some weekends in the county emergency operation center, where the frenzied interagency cooperation reminds her of hurricane season, she says.
When the political hurricane does relocate, that would put the pressure on Bedminster, which is already seeking reimbursement for $3,682.82 for a visit from Trump during the transition. It’s a small sum for now, but Bedminster’s a “pretty small town,” Mayor Steve Parker writes in an email.
Of course, the biggest town of all is still waiting for that refund, too: more than $25 million for NYPD and FDNY protection of Trump Tower from Election Day to the inauguration. (He hasn’t come back since.) So far, Congress has made available $7 million to any location that protected and welcomed the president before Inauguration Day.
Including all of the above.
Bellone courts legislature
The Suffolk legislature is getting a whole lotta love from the Bellone administration before its April 25 hearing on the county’s septic replacement plan.
“They’ve made an effort to reach out and brief my colleagues in a way that’s being very proactive, more than the usual course of business,” Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory said of the plan that is very important to County Executive Steve Bellone.
Will there be flowers and candy, too, before the expected May vote?