Thursday, January 31, 2008

LIA Breakfast ...

I attended the LIA breakfast this morning featuring the Nassau and Suffolk County Executives as I do most years. It is always a well run, well attended event and this morning was no different.

Both individuals are bright fellows, it seems, and their hearts are in the right place. But I came away more convinced than ever of the need for better communication and collaboration along the lines of the efforts we're engaged in with our One Long Island series of projects.

Without going into too much detail, there is a disconnect between all of the various projects, commissions, ideas, between organizations, between the various levels of government, between existing projects and proposed projects ...

Healthy competition is great, so long as we can shake hands after the competition and get things done. To the victor belongs the responsibility to reach out and collaborate, even with his or her oppponents. Long Island requires this type of magnanimity to move forward.

Whether its the new "tax cap" commission" leaving out school administrators (there may be good reasons for this) or Suffolk and Nassau talking about creating alternative energy centers when Stony Brook is already in the lead on that issue (again there may be valid reasons for this) or a whole host of issues which require the type of "dynamic collaboration" we've been promoting, again, there is just a "disconnect" which prevents us from acting as a region while the reasonable amount of autonomy and local control that residents seem to like and demand.

For all the talk about consolidation and streamlining and all the benefits it may bring, we don't seem to be able quite yet to consolidate or streamline our ability to organizate projects and ideas for the greater good.

The good news is that more folks are recognizing that we're in this together, regardless of affiliation of whatever type, and that we must find a way to "get things done." And as I stated many times previously, I'm always impressed by the sheer number of bright folks we have at our disposal her on Long Island.

We just need to break this "cycle of stagnation" which impacts on all Long Islanders.

I'll keep trying to do my small part.

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