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Nassau County Vote

August 2, 2011 by staff 

Nassau County VoteNassau County Vote, The Nassau County voters have defeated a plan that would have allowed the province to borrow and 400 million to renovate Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Long Island, which is the home of the New York Islanders hockey.

Election officials said about 160,000 votes were cast, with 56 percent of voters who vote against the plan. County Democratic Commissioner of Elections William Biamonte said voters saw the plan as a tax increase and not believe it. He also said voters were unhappy with the referendum date set by the project promoters, including County Executive Ed Mangano.

“The fact that is scheduled on Monday, August 1, in the summer, resonated with voters,” said Biamonte. “They saw this as a voter suppression effort, to try to tilt your vote ‘yes’ column, and I think that hurt his credibility.”

Biamonte said the message was clear. “People saw it as something that was, you know, slipped a pass in a non-democratic, and undermining what they were trying to sell.”

Others feel the defeat ultimately came down to partisan politics. Eric Alexander, executive director of Vision Long Island, an advocacy group for nonprofit that supports the renewal. He said Democrats opposed the bill because it was his proposal.

“It really ended up being a Democrat and a Republican thing, unfortunately,” said Alexander.

Alexander said that Nassau County residents also preferred the previous plan of Faro, which would have been paid by the private developer Charles Wang, who owns the New York Islanders. But that proposal was difficult to get beyond the local legislators.

Supporters of the latest proposal said he would have brought jobs and revenue for a county having financial difficulties. Nassau County residents pay the highest taxes in the nation’s property. The county is also facing financial problems, and control of their finances is now in the hands of a state panel, the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority.

Some opponents objected to the idea of?? Using county money to finance the project, which would have included a baseball minor league.

Jim Castellane, Nassau Suffolk Building and Construction Trades Council, said voters were also concerned about property taxes.

“When I tell people on fixed incomes that their taxes will rise, that’s something very scary,” said Castellano.

Said Nassau County Interim Finance Authority property taxes could raise to 58 per household per year in the plan.

The future of the Coliseum and the New York Islanders in doubt. The team’s contract expires in 2015, and its clear if you chose to stay in the stadium as it is now. County Executive Ed Mangano has already issued a new request for proposals to develop the site.

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