It is the enemy of progress on Long Island. Stupidity has killed the Lighthouse Project, and stupidity has now infected the 88,389 people who went to the polls yesterday to vote down progress.
88,389 people voted it down is because of three main reasons.
Reason 1) They are partisan, and will vote against anything that their political party does not endorse.
This is the main problem in this country. People will say no the economy is or the wars in the middle east are or the dependence on foreign oil is or the environment is.
The biggest problem in this country is partisan politics. Our founding fathers as far back as George Washington saw that this could become a problem which is why the day the Republicans and Democrats basically seized the power in this country was the day all of the problems were seeded.
Can you imagine living in a world where people ignore what is morally right and wrong and make all of their life decisions based on what their political party tells them to?
We are in that world people.
Reason 2) They are misinformed.
No voters say Charles Wang is a billionaire and he can afford to build it himself. This statement shows one thing. People are misinformed. Nassau County owns the land the Nassau Coliseum sits on as well as the building itself. The people want Charles Wang to build an arena on land that is not his and donate $350 million to build it?
If Charles Wang owned the land or the county sold it to him then you would have a point with this, but he doesn't. Hey as long as the "no" voters want Wang to build stuff for free, maybe he can build me my new kitchen for free too. Hey he can afford it right?
No Voters also said "I will not vote for anything that increases my taxes." OK. Every year our school taxes go up an average of 5-12%. How does this happen? Oh yes, WE VOTE TO INCREASE THEM IN THE SCHOOL BUDGET VOTES IN MAY.
Critics of the project said that taxes in a worse case scenario would increase $58 dollars a year. That is $1.12 per week. Keep in mind that this was a one time increase. Keep in mind not an increase every year like our school budgets but a one time increase.
Unlike school budgets where districts tell the voters "vote for the kids" and do not offer any information as to where the increases every year are actually going but at the very least we knew where our $1.12 per week was going.
Don't people realize that in the case that the Islanders leave Nassau County and the Coliseum closes as a result, that all of the people that work at the Coliseum will be our of work, all of the tax revenue collected by events at the Coliseum will be gone, all of the people that came to all of the events at the coliseum wont be coming to Nassau County to spend money shopping or eating, boosting the local economy.
Lets not mention what will happen with the coliseum site. What will they put there? A shopping mall? Office buildings? Hotels? Senior Housing? Assisted Living?
Yeah, I know what your thinking, that's exactly what Long Island needs, more of what we have to much of.
Reason 3) They are stupid - Being smart and rational thinker is not a requirement to vote in the United States, but it should be.
This is a statement quite a bit of the no voters used. "Why do I have to pay for a new arena? I can go to Madison Square Garden or the new Brooklyn arena to see a show and pay nothing."
Is gas free? Are train tickets free? Is parking in New York City free?
This is another statement no voters told reporters on the way out of the polls -
"Traffic and taxes are two things I don't want." Talk about dense.
Here is another gem.
"The Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Nets are all built new arenas and stadiums with private money and it didn't cost me anything, so why should I pay for this?"
Yankee Stadium and CitiField were built with tax free bonds that otherwise would have been collected by the state and the city. Yes, that is tax dollars that should be in the city and states coffers that they signed off on letting go.
The land that Yankee Stadium is built on was DONATED by the city until the project was completed. Then the city took the land that the old stadium was on, which is far smaller by the way than the land the stadium currently occupies.
Where did the land come from that the new Nets arena in Brooklyn come from? Imminent Domain. Yeah, that's a way to build a fan base in Brooklyn. Tell your residents to leave your home and take this check so we can build a sports arena.
How did the Giants and Jets help finance their new stadium? Extortion. Oh excuse me they offered their fans "Personal Seat Licences" for the right to buy season tickets. Yes, in order to keep seats that many fans have had for many years, fans had to pony up thousands of dollars per seat for the right to even purchase the tickets they have already been paying for.
Has the average fan tried to buy a ticket for a Yankee, Met, Ranger or Knick game lately? If you did, you would find that for a family of four for seats that will impress no one you would have to pay at the very least $500.00 to anywhere around $1600.00 just for the tickets.
The average fan cannot afford it. This is something that was not true for the Islanders. Sure pro hockey is not cheap, but you could spend $160.00 and take a family of four to the Coliseum for a game and sit where you know, you can actually see all of the action without binoculars.
Who knows what is next but we are back to square one. We are guaranteed only one thing and that is four more seasons of Islanders hockey in Nassau County. If County Executive Ed Mangano has a plan B, he better get to it soon just do not depend on the intelligence of your voters to get it done.