I am deeply troubled by the lack of direct communication from Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and his administration regarding the status of settlement negotiations related to the LIPA lawsuits challenging the County’s tax assessments of the Glenwood Landing power station.
Through published reports, stakeholders including myself learned that Nassau County is in “the final stages of negotiating an agreement with LIPA to settle property-tax challenges over two National Grid-owned power stations.” One of these is the Glenwood Landing station - a property situated in the 11th Legislative District.
Upon learning of the status of this settlement through the media, I reached out to County Executive Blakeman with hopes of securing a status update. Thus far, it has been made clear that his intent is to only brief me once he deems the agreement is “ready to go before the Legislature.” If he is willing to speak to the media about this settlement, surely it is appropriate to update the impacted community’s elected representative as well.
Furthermore, while I have been advised that North Shore School District officials met with representatives of the County Executive’s administration on Tuesday, March 8, those representatives were either unable or unwilling to answer even the most basic questions about the terms of the proposed settlement. That is unacceptable.
At a time when residents of my district - and the North Shore School District in particular - are faced with a potentially dramatic increase in their property taxes, taxpayers deserve ample time and adequate information to prepare for this shift and blunt it wherever possible. Without crucial details related to the LIPA settlement as it pertains to Glenwood Landing, North Shore School District officials - who are now deeply involved in the process of finalizing their budgets for the upcoming academic year - cannot make fully informed and prudent fiscal decisions for the future of the children and the taxpayers they serve.
Before any agreement is finalized - and before it is presented to the Legislature - I urge County Executive Blakeman and his administration to provide me and the leaders of the North Shore School District with a full and substantive briefing on the terms of the proposed settlement and an outline of the anticipated impact upon taxpayers in the North Shore School District.
DELIA DERIGGI-WHITTONNassau County Legislator, 11th LDGlen Cove