Jun 9, 2011

Arena: Validity of August 1 Vote Questioned

Both Newsday and the Long Island Press are reporting that the August 1 referendum regarding the redevelopment of the Nassau Coliseum and its surrounding areas may be illegal under New York State Law. The main argument seems to be a matter of whether the referendum is binding or non-binding (advisory). 

Charles Wang and Ed Mangano are expect to release their plans for the Coliseum this month.

CH: I needed a few hours to wrap my head around this. There's a lot of parts involved in a major development deal like this, and a lot of different angles to look at. The fact is Charles Wang and Ed Mangano have not been transparent enough to this point. They have preached it, but they haven't delivered yet. I can only hope that every possible question is answered when this plan comes out (which needs to come as soon as possible), because the assumptions and misinformation is getting out of control. The fact this referendum's legality is now in question after the legislature has voted on it is unacceptable. This stuff needed to be checked and double-checked with the County Attorney General before any of this came out. However, at the same time, one would have to believe that was done. So where is this argument coming from?

AT: Perhaps they need yet another press conference. Outline the vote, what the arena will be like, how it will be paid for in very direct, coherent language that everyone can understand. 

CH: We are now in a situation where we are dealing with "legal issues," a public vote, a legislature vote, NIFA, and ABLI (featured again in the Newsday article) asking for a new RFP on the site. That's what needed to be expected - especially with no plan released a month after the original press conference. We've heard tidbits such as Wang paying all overages on the Coliseum and the Islanders signing a lease for 30 years. It's not enough though. Attitudes are extremely hard to change, and while the Islander fans and unions are doing their part, it's time for the leading parties to put forth a PR campaign.

AT: It's definitely going to take a very large PR campaign to get the misinformation out and the facts in. Again, I think another press conference that truly entails what the plan will involve is absolutely essential to quiet the critics and dash out a lot of the incorrect information.

CH: Still, we have to stay optimistic. Admitting defeat because of a couple of newspaper articles cannot be accepted. Everyone reading this wants this Coliseum project to be completed. We can lead the charge, and we have to.

AT: Absolutely. Every big plan like this will at one point face speed bumps. We simply need to combat misinformation and get our word spread as far out as possible.

External Links: Islandermania

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