Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Excellent Idea, a few suggestions ...

Suffolk County Executive Levy has an excellent idea with his proposal to pool municipal resources for greater investment power and inter-municipal cooperation. Some Long Island municipalities have been utilizing the MBIA for a similar program for some time now.

But do we really want the New York State Comptroller managing Long Island's money? We may like and trust the current comptroller, but will it remain that way in the future? We believe Long Island must maintain some level of independence.

Perhaps a reasonable alternative to consider is to, through the MBIA or another entity, create a financial organization that keeps control of Long Island's money on Long Island and, among other ideas, allows each political sub-division to be a voting "officer" in the organization (Long Island Municipal Cooperative Investment Group [LIMCIG)?), and encourages investment on Long Island and in companies and organizations that benefit Long Island in some manner.

Keeping the money on Long Island opens the door for a wide array of possibilities, including investment in "workforce housing," purchase of open space and development of recreational facilities and job creation by assisting appropriate business development on Long Island. Perhaps we even have financial institutions here on Long Island who would like to participate in this project. The list of possibilities is only limited by our collective imagination.

Obviously, investment of municipal money must be in a safe place. However, we do ourselves a disservice by not controlling our own destiny as best we can.

A LIMCIG type organization fits very well into our Long Island Congress/Long Island 3.0 proposal as one type of "economic engine" that propels Long Island forward.

We must continue to create "economies of scale" within the various disciplines here on Long Island, but we must also ensure that all of these "concept clusters" work together as a harmonious whole.

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