Monday, April 16, 2007

Some interesting developments ...

Some good ideas to consider:

Pulling LI together
Bicounty panels can help region better meet its housing needs

April 16, 2007

On Long Island, the broad issues of regional cooperation and planning are inextricably bound up with such specific concerns as the need for affordable housing. So it's useful that two parallel developments are offering some hope for both better regionalism and more movement on housing.One is the effort by Riverhead Supervisor Phil Cardinale, president of the Suffolk County Supervisors' Association, to invite town supervisors from Nassau to a meeting May 2 to discuss these issues. It's helpful that Michael White, executive director of the Long Island Regional Planning Board, will be there. A full turnout of elected officials would be a healthy sign.
There's a possibility that meeting might lead to the formation of a Council of Governments, a mechanism for getting municipal leaders communicating on the issues (without adding a new layer of government).Towns and villages control zoning. Some have done a good job on affordable housing, some have not. And some towns fear they'll bear too big a share of the housing "burden." There are ways to spread the responsibility. A Council of Governments is one. If municipal officials meet regularly and talk openly about their plans for housing and other initiatives, that communication could serve to reduce fears and share the best ideas and practices. The creation of a council could also help the regional planning board. In recent debates about reconstituting the board, Legis. Lisanne Altmann (D-Great Neck) held out for strong municipal representation. That didn't happen. Now, with a Council of Governments in prospect, Altmann plans to sponsor legislation further expanding the regional board, to include two persons from each county representing its municipalities. Those representatives on the board would also be on the council and could act as a liaison between the two. The board could supply solid data and ideas, to help the council act. This interaction between two entities could be a useful way forward for the region. ",0,6468468.story?coll=ny-editorials-headlines

It's always a good idea to get groups with complimentary issues together. We think they can accomplish more with some of the ideas (and others) we've previously posted here. Agreeing to talk and meet is a good first step.

A "Council of Governments" will not be enough however without a coordinated effort of the best minds on Long Island no matter what their field of study. Getting anything concrete done will have to be based on accurate information, detailed analysis and leadership.

What is proposed however, should be given an opportunity to succeed.

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