The Nov. 25 news story “Some 400 Nassau homes undervalued” misses the real issue: the value of the 400 properties under construction is less than 0.1% of Nassau County’s approximately 400,000 residential properties on the assessment roll. Your own analysis found that these 400 properties had minimal impact on the assessment roll and just under half will be corrected at the Assessment Review Commission. Further, your own industry source, Larry Clark, says that it’s not unusual for assessors to omit recent construction or renovation work from assessment rolls.
I took on this immense challenge of assessment when everyone else was afraid. Now for the first time in almost a decade, with the help of two outside vendors, we have restored fairness and accuracy to the system. We did this while rebuilding the Department of Assessment.
Staffing at the agency was slashed by 45% under former County Executive Edward Mangano’s frozen roll, leaving only seven field inspectors to physically check and recheck the status of all construction in the county. Before massive staff layoffs in the department, there were more than 30 field inspectors and 77 appraisers.
The assessment roll won’t be fixed overnight. However, I am committed to restoring fairness and integrity. We will continue our efforts with the current staff of 145 qualified personnel, who are determined to ensure quality assurance and provide a higher level of customer service. I support our employees and the work they do in every way.
Laura Curran, Mineola
Editor’s note: The writer is Nassau County executive.
East River tunnels need higher priority
I disagree with the need to widen the Penn Station pedestrian corridor [“Stores serving LIRR at Penn to close,” News, Nov. 25]. The money would be better spent on critical repairs to the East River tunnels. The Moynihan Train Hall, which I also believe was not needed, and the East Side Access connection to Grand Central Terminal will both reduce pedestrian traffic at Penn.
If the East River tunnels fail, the expanded pedestrian corridor and the Moynihan hall will become ghost towns.
Lewis Damrauer, Dix Hills
Don’t overlook news of climate crisis
The International Energy Agency forecasts that the world’s thirst for oil will continue to grow until the 2030s with climate-damaging emissions rising until at least 2040 [“World appetite for oil expected to keep growing,” News, Nov. 14]. Although many factors affect climate change, two significant causes mentioned in the report were increasing demand for high-fuel-consumption SUVs that will be hard to electrify, and power generation from fossil fuels.
Our current political dramas will eventually fade. The climate crisis will not.
Bill Domjan, Melville