STATEMENT OF IRVING LIKE AT THE LIPA OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE HEARING JUNE 13, 2011


I AGREE WITH MY COLLEAGUES’ CRITICISM OF  THE DISMAL RECORD OF LIPA AND NATONAL GRID,

I AGREE WITH THEIR CALLS FOR INDEPENDENT AUDITS OF THEIR MANAGEMENT AND PERFORMANCE.

I OPPOSE ANY PROPOSAL TO PRIVATIZE LIPA.

I SUPPORT MUNICIPALIZING LIPA AND STAFFING IT WITH  QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS.

BUT I GO A STEP FURTHER.

THE LIPA BOARD OF TRUSTEES SHOULD BE QUALIFIED VOLUNTEERS ELECTED BY THE RATE PAYERS, REPRESENTING 21 RATE PAYER DISTRICTS, AND LIPA  SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO PSC REVIEW OF ITS RATES AND PERFORMANCE.

WITHOUT AN ELECTED BOARD, WE CAN NOT BE SURE THAT LIPA WILL BE A FIDUCIARY, TRANSPARENT, AND ACCOUNTABLE TO THE RATE PAYERS .

AND, WE CAN NOT BE SURE THAT THE REFORMS OUR COMMITTEE CALLS FOR WILL BECOME A REALITY.

THE STATUTE CREATING LIPA,  PROVIDED  FOR AN ELECTED BOARD,  AS THE METHOD OF ITS GOVERNANCE.

IT REFLECTED THE OPINION OF 70% OF THE PEOPLE OFLONG ISLAND,ASTHE SOLUTION TO GETTING RID OF LILCO AND THE SHOREHAM NUCLEAR PLANT.

THAT OPINION WAS THWARTED WHEN LIPA WAS CHANGED TO A BOARD APPOINTED  AND CONTROLLED BYALBANYPOLITICIANS.

I TRUST THE GOOD SENSE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE OFLONGISLAND, AND THEIR WILLINGNESS TO  VOLUNTEER FOR THEIR COMMON BENEFIT.

I TRUST OUR GOVERNMENTAL REPRESENTATIVES TO RESPOND TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

THEY WILL SEE TO IT THAT AN ELECTED LIPA BOARD WILL SERVE FOR THEIR BENEFIT, AND NOT BE VULNERABLE TO ABUSES OF THE TYPE OUR COMMITTEE HAS UNCOVERED.

I AM CONFIDENT WE CAN SUCCEED, IF THE PEOPLE DEMAND IT. THEY HAVE A GREAT TRACK RECORD.

I WILL GIVE YOU SOME EXAMPLES , OF THE COUNTY’S   PIONEERING HISTORIC  ACHIEVMENTS  WHICH ARE A CREDIT OF ITS PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENT.

THE FIRST DEFEAT OF A COMMERCIAL NUCLEAR PLANT  WHICH HAD A  DESIGN, SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE FAILED JAPANESE PLANT ATFUKUSHIMA..

THE ADOPTION OF THE FARMLAND  OTHER OPEN SPACE PRESERVATION PROGRAMS.

THE SUPPORT  FOR THE CREATION OF THEFIREISLANDNATIONAL SEASHORE, AND THE DEFEAT OF THEROBERT MOSES ROAD.

THE  OPPOSITION TO OFFHORE DRILLING FOR OIL AND GAS IN THE MID ATLANTIC LONGISLANDWATERS.

THE  CREATION OF THE PINE BARRENS AND OTHER PROGRAMS TO PROTECT OUR SOLE SOURCE DRINKING WATER AQUIFER.

THE OPPOSITION TO KEYSPAN/NATIONAL GRID’S DELAY  IN FAILING TO CLEAN UP THE HAZARDOUS WASTES GENERATED BY THEIR  ABANDONED  MANUFACTURED GAS PLANT FACILITIES TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT, AND THEN CHARGING THE RATE PAYERS FOR THE COST OF THE CLEAN UP.

NOW IS THE TIME FOR LONG ISLANDERS AND THEIR GOVERNMENT TO RISE AGAIN AND CREATE A NEW LIPA.

AN ELECTED LIPA BOARD IS THE CHANGE WE SHOULD DEMAND.

IT WILL BE TRULY REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WISHES OF THE RATE PAYERS, BECAUSE THE CREATION OF 21 RATE PAYER DISTRICTS IS LESS VULNERABLE TO GERRYMANDERING ABUSE  FOR POLITICAL ADVANTAGE,  THAT TOO OFTEN OCCURS IN REDISTRICTING

An ELECTED BOARD  IS MORE LIKELY TO CAREFULLY OVERSEE LIPA’S  STAFF AND THEIR PERFORMANCE, BECAUSE THE DIRECTORS THEMSELVES COULD BE DENIED RE-ELECTION IF NOT EFFECTIVELY REPRESENTING THEIR RATE PAYER CONSTITUENTS.

IT IS MORE LIKELY TO PRIORITIZE PROGRAMS OF CONSERVATION, ENERGY EFFICIENCY, AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES, WHICH WILL BOTH REDUCE COSTS AND PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT.

IT IS MORE  LIKELY TO ENFORCE KEYSPAN/NATIONAL GRID’S OBLIGATION TO  EXPEDITIOUSLY CLEAN UP THE 15 MGP RELATED SITES ONLONGISLAND, WHICH LIPA HAS NEGLECTED TO ENFORCE  SINCE 1998.

IT IS MORE LIKELY TO MONITOR  AND GAIN THE EFFICIENT  PERFORMANCE OF ANY POWER SUPPLY OR ENERGY MANAGEMENT AGREEMENTS WITH THIRD PARTIES SUCH AS NATIONAL GRID.

IT IS MORE LIKELY TO COMPLY WITH THE INVESTMENT GUIDELINES APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC AUTHORITIES, AND TO COMPLY WITH THE SARBANES OXLEY FINANCIAL AND AUDIT REQUIREMENTS.

IT IS MORE LIKELY TO BENEFIT FROM THE NEW INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIAL NET WORK TOOLS THAT ARE EMERGING AND WHICH WILL STIMULATE AND ENHANCE INTERRACTION WITH THE RATE PAYERS.

THE EMINENT JURIST, OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES SAID, “ A PAGE OF HISTORY IS WORTH A VOLUME OF LOGIC”

HISTORY AND LOGIC CALL FOR THE RE-CREATION OF A RATE PAYER ELECTED LIPA BOARD.

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About lipaoversight

LIPA Oversight Committee was created to analyze the rates and practices to determine if it is working in the best interests of the Suffolk County ratepayers
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