Bill Cutrone and the board members of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association recently welcomed State Senator Jack Martins to speak at the Manhasset-Lakeville Firehouse in New Hyde Park. Martins, the former eight-year Mayor of the Village of Mineola, has been serving State Senator since January 2011. While touching on an abundance of topics, Senator Martins was adamant when addressing the potential municipalization of the Long Island Power Authority. Founded in 1985, LIPA owns the electric transmission and distribution system which serves all of Long Island and extends to the Rockaways.
LIPA released a municipalization statement explaining their position regarding the potential change: "After a past riddled with mismanagement and failure after failure for Long Island communities, now is our moment to reimagine LIPA, end corporate control and abuse of our energy systems, and realize the benefits of public power and full municipalization: real accountability, reliable service, affordable power, and a commitment to our transition off harmful fossil fuels."
As this problem has been on the plate for quite some time, hearings have and are being held regarding potential legislation and the production of a specific report.
However, with the report being delayed, the prominent hearings and decision deadline have been postponed to November.
Martins told the civic association to "get concerned" about their cost of energy, so as to not have to worry whether the lights will be on or not.
Congestion pricing was another topic of discussion State Senator Martins insistently touched upon. As soon as April 2024, New York City could be charging E-ZPass motorists driving south of 60th street as much as $23 to access that area of Manhattan.
The goal of this plan is to reduce gridlock traffic in the city by promoting commuting via mass- transit. Supporters of this bill say that these changes will reduce traffic in Manhattan by more than 100,000 vehicles a day. Janno Lieber, the MA's chief executive officer, said during a May media briefing that "congestion pricing means less traffic, cleaner air, safer streets, and better transit"; Martins conveyed an unfair nature to this bill while addressing LECA members. He asked the question, "Why 60th Street?" When no one could answer, he explained to the Long Islanders that the northernmost accessible, free bridge into Manhattan coming from Long Island is the 59th Street bridge, or Queensboro Bridge. As such, this bill could also be targeting people driving into the city from Long Island, he said.
After Martins spoke to the group for an hour, the floor was open for a Q&A from members who submitted their inquiries prior to the meeting. One resident expressed their concern regarding the potential new housing bill proposed by Governor Hochul. The bill proposes local towns to increase the housing capacity by three percent over three years or have heir ability to reject development projects revoked.
The Governor also added that New York suburbs with transit hubs, which includes a large portion of Long Island, would require housing density as high as 50 units per acre in a half-mile radius of the station.
Although that bill appears to be dead, a sense of unease nevertheless remains on Long Island.