Howard Weitzman’s Dec. 19 op-ed was notable for being devoid of any useful ideas [“Why I voted against Nassau budget,” Opinion]. Some people are making real efforts to avoid further burdening Nassau County taxpayers. However, Weitzman sits on the sidelines as a member of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority and snipes.
As the person who conceived of and proposed the Disputed Assessment Fund, I’m the first to admit that it’s far from an ideal solution to a problem made and maintained in Albany. Far better, as repeatedly recognized by the Newsday editorial board, and most logical, would be a simple repeal of the county guarantee, which is responsible for the majority of county debt and budget issues.
The county legislature voted to repeal the guarantee several years ago, but the courts said a repeal would require state legislation. The state refuses to act for political reasons. Doesn’t Weitzman realize this? Why not say so? Why not direct as least part of his ire there?
It’s certainly possible, as Weitzman asserts, that the Disputed Assessment Fund could be challenged by people having narrow interests, although I believe that it would be sustained. It’s also possible that various proposals relating to the sewer system and other such public-private partnerships would not be in the county’s best interest.
Whatever the result of these and other efforts at raising revenue and cutting costs, at least some people, especially in the Republican legislative caucus, are trying to solve problems and be creative.
Howard J. Kopel, Lawrence
Editor’s note: The writer represents the 7th District of the Nassau County Legislature.