Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Current events ...

"The significance of the report, however, is debatable right now.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a cap would help, regional consolidation would help, and taming the power of the unions would help. But even now, with the state in a fiscal crisis, Albany can't come to grips with cutting some money out of school aid -- and so great is the power of the status quo that reforms of the underlying causes haven't even been put on the table.

So, Suozzi ends up with a report that identifies the problem, but doesn't really identify a legislative strategy for achieving change against the opposition of NYSUT and the other special interests. And without a strategy, it's all just paper."

"Taking a page from The Great Depression’s playbook, Nassau County on Tuesday unveiled its “New Deal for Nassau,” a program designed to boost government efficiency by cutting down on delays caused by bureaucracy and red tape.

The program, which is in its preliminary, fact-finding stages, is a mission by Legislature Presiding Officer Diane Yatauro and Legis. David Mejias to make it easier for businesses to operate in the county, stimulate the economy and attract new companies, development and jobs."

The two most recent well intentioned acts only serve to point out the continuing difficulty we are having on Long Island coordinating our actions for the "greater good."

There are many fine ideas on Long Island, or in many cases programs and activities in various stages of completion. What is lacking is dynamic collaboration of the type we have been advocating.

Rather than start a "new" program or report, perhaps we should take stock of what we currently have and what has been issued before. Perhaps this information should be "converted" into a dynamic format we've been talking about and analyzed prior to starting a "new mission."

The problem with "new" programs which cover existing problems is that they very rarely take into account the work and information that is available. This is generally not the fault of the proposers of a new project since the information must be made available to them (and us) in the "meta" format we have also been promoting.

The danger with new programs which don't take into account the fine work that has come before it is that we then contribute to the "cycle of stagnation" by never moving beyond the "new, bright and shiny" phase where everyone is excited by the expectation of something new and better. This is the allure of "change." Everyone defines it in their own way because we have no "common language" to help us define what it is we are actually talking about so therefore we never truly make progress on solving our problems.

This is one of the issues the One Long Island series of ideas attempts to address.

No comments: