Readers Write: Blakeman's casino blunder

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Readers Write: Blakeman's casino blunder

If you fancy yourself a rational actor, you might think that the leader of a county with a serious, almost intractable housing problem would seize the opportunity to utilize perhaps the last giant parcel of land open for redevelopment and to at least make an attempt at blunting the crisis.

But this is Long Island. That would take vision. But Bruce Blakeman, like his predecessors, doesn’t do vision. With almost no public input, there is an attempt to place, believe it or not, a casino smack dab in the middle of this country’s signature bedroom community.

There are a few problems here, but you can see the same political hysteria for the bright shiny object that Amazon’s HQ2 project created. For those who haven’t followed up on that one, it turned out to be a dud.

So why push a casino? The simple reason is gambling generates oceans of tax revenue. New York State reports that its citizens wagered $2 billion a month in the past quarter, and the growth isn’t stopping there. The state raked in $727 million in tax revenue.

In the dystopian world only a New York politician can conjure, some of the funds collected will be used to combat gambling addiction.

“New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Chinazo Cunningham said, “This funding is supporting our ongoing work to educate the public about responsible gambling, as well as increase access to help and support those affected by problem gambling. We are continuing our efforts with our partners, including the Gaming Commission, to ensure that all New Yorkers can access the important resources they need in communities across New York State.”

Words fail.

This is really no different from how Long Island politicians handle its housing issues: drive shelter costs up to 60% of a family’s budget, then get your picture taken at a ribbon- cutting for a new food bank to support the “underserved” while praising Harry Chapin.

Long Island’s bid faces stiff competition. Related Companies wants to build a casino at Hudson Yards. SL Green, Manhattan’s biggest landlord, has been gunning for one in Times Square. Another is being considered for Coney Island.

But if more than one gets licensed, each one will cannibalize the revenue of the other.

But that is beside the point. The casino proposal is one more notch in Nassau County’s execrable public policy record. The casino happens to fit perfectly with Mr. Blakeman’s political esthetic: Use a valuable resource for private enrichment and the cheesiest possible use instead of the betterment of the community he’s supposed to represent.

And this is bipartisan treachery, if you can call a Nassau County Democrat “Democratic.”

Robert Zimmerman, the “consultant” who suffered the indignity of losing to George Santos, is working with the Adelsons. That’s how Democrat Zimmerman lost. He knows everyone with influence, except actual voters. Same with the two party bosses who gave you him, Laura Curran, Santos and Blakeman. To them, candidate selection is reduced to a dwarf tossing contest.

Naturally, the Nassau County Legislature, that collection of deadbeats, rubber-stamped the thing.

There’s still time to stop this. But again, people have to get out of their cars for a few days and make their voices heard. The casino will bring nothing but crime, blight and promote fiscal irresponsibility to our residents if it isn’t stopped.  They don't promote well-being or enrichment to citizens. And, girls, have I told you about the “noise and the traffic?”

That prime piece of land is Ground Zero for righting America’s biggest zoning mistake. The opportunity won’t come again.

Choose wisely. Mr. Blakeman is simply incapable of doing so, and money doesn't talk, it swears.

Donald Davret

Roslyn

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