NOTE: Post revised to reflect actual reporting by paid reporters at Newsday
The Areener plan took one of its first baby steps today, passing the Nassau County Legislature Rules Committee with 4 ayes, no nays and 3 abstentions (that's a perfect record by NHL standards). The vote broke down along party lines with the Rs voting yes and the Ds abstaining. The vote, as far as I can tell, was to formally allow the full county legislature to vote on whether the August 1st referendum to go forward. According to Newsday, yesterday vote move puts the the proposed August 1 referendum before the county legislature at a hearing next Monday. Although details regarding the hearing were not referenced in the Newsday article, the matter will presumably be considered at the legislature's 10 AM legislative session. As I said, baby steps.
The part of the hearing I caught (it was streamed on the county website) included Rob Walker, Mangano's deputy, speaking on behalf of the plan. The questions were all fairly soft and I didn't get the impression that there was strong opposition to the overall concept being proposed by Mang/Wang, although I don't know enough about county politics to know if a rules committee hearing is a place where that kind of opposition would be found.
Walker made a couple of interesting points:
- Town Hall meetings throughout the county are planned to explain to voters the details
- the County hopes to run the vote using lever machines rather than the new fancy shmancy optical scanners, thereby lowering the cost. I believe Walker said the costs could be held to $600K rather than the $1.8M cited in Newsday.
- Walker also said that Mangano did in fact notify NIFA before the initial announcement last week. News reports at the time suggested otherwise.
- An request for proposal for the minor league stadium has already gone out.
For those interested in attending, the legislative chambers are at Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building 1550 Franklin Ave. Mineola, on the 1st floor, Check the Nassau County Legislature's website closer to the date of the hearing for an agenda.