Statement From Senator Flanagan Regarding Parks Commissioner Ash
Yesterday, I voted against the nomination of Carol Ash to the position of Commissioner of New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). This no vote was based on the fact that, in dealing with the ongoing expansion of the Nissequogue River State Park, Ms. Ash has not been forthcoming about her plans regarding the future of this vital parcel of land.
Since the transfer of this land to the parks system in December, I have clearly stated my desire to begin the process of delivering the best possible park for our region. In the four months since that transfer, I have reached out to Ms. Ash on numerous occasions to request a firm and clear understanding regarding this property’s future and have yet to receive one.
That forced me to question her dedication to this critically important preservation project and also her ability to carry out the mission of the OPRHP. My resolve to maintaining the expansion of the Nissequogue River State Park has never been stronger. As the State Senator for the people of Kings Park, I will continue to work with Commissioner Ash and Governor Spitzer to protect the rights of the people in the community. This issue is important to them and to all New York residents who are committed to open space preservation.
I will continue to reach out to Commissioner Ash on this and other park matters that are important to Long Island and the State. I will push to use the $25 million that I secured last year to start the work that is needed to clean up the expanded Nissequogue River State Park.
It is my hope that Commissioner Ash will apply her past credentials to upholding the mission of OPRHP during her tenure. I ask that she begin that work by fulfilling the promise made to the people of Kings Park under the Pataki administration.