A Word To The Wise

kremer_aThere is a lot of tumult going on in Washington, D.C. with a new president on the way in and a two-term president on the way out. While there will be a lot of upheaval at the national level, the political problems here on Long Island have for the most part, escaped the attention of the general public. Wherever you look, there is trouble.

Nassau County currently has a number of prominent public officials facing criminal charges having to do with alleged violations of law. Each is entitled to the presumption of innocence, but it is hard for any of them to effectively serve the people when they have a dark cloud hanging over their heads.

Over in Suffolk County, things are not much quieter. There is a bitter feud going on between District Attorney Tom Spota and County Executive Steve Bellone. James Burke, the former police commissioner, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for a variety of misdeeds. There is dissension in Islip town involving board members and the supervisor and feuding in a few other towns.

As a former public official, I do not have the power to decide who is right and who is wrong. Nor can I assign blame in a criminal case. However, I can’t help but express concern for the reputation of what I believe are the two most important counties in the state. The stories about elected officials being in trouble in Albany and downstate have tarnished the image of public service.

For the past 25 plus years, Long Island has been free of controversy and has functioned well under both Republicans and Democrats. Occasionally, some official has been accused of being a bad actor, but happily, those cases are infrequent.

For those who are members of the political establishment and those who want to be public officials in the future, there are lessons to be learned. We are finishing the year 2016. This is not 1950 when favors were traded and a number of politicians stepped over the line. The laws of this state are a lot tougher and there is a lot more welcome oversight from a large number of institutions.

The results of this year’s election provided proof that aggrieved voters are an unpredictable bunch and are willing to take risks to change the direction of government. That, in and of itself, should be a warning sign that the local voters are paying more attention than ever and are willing to take bold steps to change the status quo.

Kremer_JerryFormer State Assemblyman Jerry Kremer is a partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.

Want It In Print?

We now offer matted and framed copies of articles upon request.

Jerry Kremer
Former State Assemblyman Jerry Kremer is a columnist for Long Island Weekly and partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.

Leave a Reply




Celebrating Long Island’s Hometown Heroes

Anton Media Group is looking to celebrate extraordinary Long Islanders who are doing good during these uncertain times. Email editorial@antonmediagroup.com to share your Hometown Hero with us.

Nassau Museum Launches Trauma Therapy Program

The Nassau Museum is mobilizing a year-long effort to provide therapeutic help and inspiration for those who have suffered trauma, anxiety and stress during the pandemic.

Virtual Summer Camps And Educational Programs For Kids 

Local camp operators remain optimistic that there will be some return to normalcy. But just in case, there are several programs offering online summer programs that are both fun and educational.

Colleges Plan For The Fall Semester 

Less than four months out from the start of the fall semester, Long Island colleges are weighing all options to accommodate their students safely.

How Parents Can Manage Stress During The Pandemic

Many are expected to parent full time, work full time and teach full time—all at the same time. This does not leave much leftover time, or energy, for self-care.

Get Updates Via Email

Enter your email to be updated with all the latest news and special announcements.