Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
Get ready for the sequel: ‘Heartland: The Planning Board Strikes Back’
It’s not over. It never is with Heartland.
Since the Islip Town board last week gave the massive project the zoning approval it needed to move forward:
1) The chairwoman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission said it’s looking at ways to override that vote because Islip removed some conditions the commission included in its own Heartland recommendation.
2) There are worries Huntington Town might file an objection with the commission based on traffic concerns.
3) The Brentwood school district is rumored to be preparing a lawsuit to stop Heartland.
What’s certain is that the construction unions are not happy. And they are not being quiet about slowing down the project.
The trades have always wanted a project labor agreement which developer Jerry Wolkoff won’t give, although he already has signed agreements with a handful of individual unions including the operating engineers, who do all the infrastructure work in the beginning.
And they are upset that Islip removed language requiring an apprenticeship program arguing that it would be more appropriately handled in other ways, such as in an application for IDA help.
So the union truck continues to circle Islip Town Hall with messages accusing the town board of being puppets. And the board meets again Tuesday night, when anyone can fill out a card and speak. And the beat goes on.
Oyster Bay A-to-Z
The Town of Oyster Bay has long been known for its insular lack of transparency. So Tuesday’s State of the Town speech by Supervisor Joseph Saladino, which the town called the first such presentation “in recent memory,” broke ground just by occurring.
Saladino replaced fellow Republican and federally indicted John Venditto six months ago, so it would be easy to point to Saladino’s potentially difficult upcoming election in November as the only reason he took some time to share his half-year of accomplishments. But longtime Saladino-watchers also know he’s always been quick to catalog lists of his accomplishments, and slow to stop. Call it aggressive enthusiasm.
Saladino touted new ethics reforms and cost-cutting in several departments, most notably in ordering all commissioners, deputy commissioners and higher-level employees to turn in their take-home cars . . . a change he made Monday. He promised to keep reducing town debt, which skyrocketed to $800 million under Venditto, and he pledged not to raise town taxes this year.
And he promised and detailed a lot more; actually, it took 23-paragraphs for him to catch the world up on his first six months on the job.
Everyone gets a pardon!
Two of a kind
There is a hilarious “Daily Show” video showing the similar hand-gesturing style of Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, and that of his patron, Donald Trump, right down to the air kiss as they leave podiums.
The New Yorkers are brothers from another mother.
But we already knew the New Yorkers had a lot in common, from the bespoke suits to their in-your-face style. Both are unapologetic about past tweets supporting liberal policies — such as gun control, gay marriage and abortion rights — until it became politically convenient to change those views. Or simply delete the pesky tweets as Scaramucci did over the weekend.
Then there are those legacy campaign donations. Both men gave generously to Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and Andrew M. Cuomo in his campaigns as governor and attorney general. The exact same patterns exist with contributions to Eric T. Schneiderman, the state AG, and to Rep. Kathleen Rice, the former Nassau County district attorney.
And then there are the Mets. Here is where the personalities of the two brothers become clear. Scaramucci owns a small stake in the Mets, and Trump considered an offer for the team in 2011, when he made it clear he was only interested in a majority stake.