Voters Were Not Uninformed: Letter to the Editor

Glen Cove Record Pilot (NY) – January 3, 2018

In response to Mr. Levy’s letter to the editor on Dec. 13, as a past candidate for the Glen Cove City Council and NY State Assembly I must disagree with your logic about the mayoral election in Glen Cove. I concur with your view point about the high taxes under past Mayor Tom Suozzi. He had no other choice but to address the issues in reference to financial stability. The previous mayor before Tom Suozzi put us in a financial mess, and we were at junk bond ratings. Tom Suozzi’s administration got Glen Cove out of a financial mess and brought us back to AAA bond ratings for the first time since 1978. I disagree with your opinion that Ralph Suozzi also raised city taxes. Under his administration, he kept the city taxes below the 2 percent property tax cap and also balanced the city budget and complied with the State Comptroller’s reports.

One of Mr. Levy’s points is that Mayor Spinello put forth during his administration all the projects that were stalled during previous administrations. In my opinion Mayor Spinello pushed too quickly these overly dense projects such as RXR Corporation’s downtown and waterfront projects and Livingston Electric’s project. Under Ralph Suozzi’s administration although he accepted political contributions from Livingston, he made it clear that Livingston could not develop more than 90 units, and he passed a hilltop ordinance protecting the neighboring properties. The same applied to the Regency in Glen Cove. Under the prior developer’s plan in the downtown, there were only 110 units which included the property where Panera Bread stands. Under RXR’s plan however, the zoning board granted a variance to build a total of 146 units. Unfortunately, Mayor Spinello’s administration rushed through these projects and repealed the hilltop ordinances protecting neighboring houses and allowed more units to be built from before.

Another issue of outgoing mayor Spinello was his Industrial Development Agency (IDA) gave tax breaks to companies such as RXR, which will cost Glen Cove in the years to come if revoked $90 million. Under the Ralph Suozzi administration his IDA appointments gave the Regency a 40-year tax exemption, which means they do not pay taxes. Based on the IDA’s tax giveaways, I wonder how this benefits the City of Glen Cove considering that these are luxury apartments, and only 10 percent would be reserved for affordable units. I was in attendance at a city council meeting when out of town employees from a local union packed the meeting. How again is this for economic development when they do not pay taxes and all of those employees do not live in Glen Cove?

The question is how is this development beneficial to the City of Glen Cove? We already have too many restaurants, and many local businesses that have been in Glen Cove are struggling and, it would appear that many franchises and big chain stores benefit. What are we going to do to assist these small mom and pop businesses that have been the pillars of Glen Cove? We need to treat this like a small town where small businesses provide services for local residents and the surrounding communities. Our city needs to have a hometown feeling instead of relying on big chain stores. If these projects are finalized, the city would face several problems such as traffic and a requirement for more services such as police and fire protection and sanitation and sewers. For example, every few years insurance industry experts rate the municipal fire protection per population, and in some cases if more buildings are constructed it may require additional apparatus for fire protection and maybe in some cases new substations. This may result in an increase in your home owners’ insurance policy and local city taxes because of new equipment.

The current Spinello administration relied too much on building and construction permits to balance the budget which the New York State Comptroller in his reports stated that this was not a fiscally sound way to foresee future budgets, and this could result in possible shortcomings. The voters were not uninformed; they were just unenthused about the candidates. I find Mr. Levy’s comment about voter ignorance an insult to the voters’ (including myself ) intelligence. In response to Mr. Levy’s analogy about being satisfied with Spinello, I would like to know how he conducted this survey. It takes a professional pollster to do random samplings.

I disagree with Mr. Levy’s logic that political appointments were based on loyalty. Under Ralph Suozzi’s administration he appointed for example a former city councilman who was once on the Republican ticket in the ‘80s when Ralph’s late father who once was mayor. Ralph appointed him to city attorney. Also Ralph’s former deputy mayor was also a Republican who did a great job as deputy mayor. What about Mayor Spinello? Mayor Spinelllo’s appointees were loyalists. Many, such as the planning, zoning and variance board members were either former city councilmen, or former running team mates.

As a past candidate for city council, my agenda was to revoke IDA decisions, abolish the IDA, and change the city charter to allow the voters to vote for half of the planning, zoning and variance board members. As a past candidate I have heard people tell me why do I not run on the major political party lines? The answer is, The Green Party does not believe in fusion candidates. We run our own candidates and we do not accept the other party lines. Voters tend to be creatures of habit, in my opinion. They tend to vote for the two major political parties because, they feel third party candidates do not stand a chance of winning. When the voters vote for when they cast their ballots for the two major parties they get what they deserve. People should vote on principles rather than party lines.

In conclusion I wish Mayor Spinello good luck in his future endeavors. Because this election was won by only three votes it tells you that Glen Cove was divided. It is now up to Mayor Elect Tenke to unite Glen Cove and that the majority on the city council do the same. —Jeffery Peress

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Why I’m voting “No” for a NYS Constitutional Convention

This Tuesday, Election Day, when you go to vote for me (and all the other Green Party candidates on the ballot), don’t forget to turn the ballot over and vote “No” on the proposition question of the call for a constitutional convention. While this may seem like a positive pro-active idea, the process for electing delegates is as subject to money and influence as the election system in general.

Here are some considerations (all with which I agree) that a friend of mine posted recently:

  • “First, if this proposal were to pass the convention would cost hundreds of millions of dollars including a minimum salary of $79,500 for each of 204 delegates for a total minimum salary cost of $16,218,000.
  • Second, these delegates would be elected after running for these seats in the ConCon. Corporations and other special interests could spend millions to have their lobbyists elected to the ConCon.
  • Third, Albany insiders, politicians and their families could double-dip on their salary and pensions. Each delegate would receive pension credit.

Now for what could be affected by a constitutional convention:

  • although proponents of this proposal say pensions are safe from meddling by these delegates because they are contracts and protected by the US Constitution, if the ConCon nevertheless makes changes to the pension system someone would have to take it to court to declare the change unconstitutional. Pensioners would hope the court sees it their way.
  • the “forever wild” provision of the NYS Constitution, creating the Adirondack Park, could be changed or abolished.
  • access to a quality public education is currently guaranteed by the state constitution.
  • election and voting rights are currently protected in our state constitution.

The last constitutional convention produced proposals for amendments to the state constitution. The voters rejected all of them.

New York State already has a legislative process to amend the state constitution which doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything.

A ConCon seems too risky given how it would be conducted.”



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Why I am running for City Council of Glen Cove

Why I am running for City Council of Glen Cove:
I am a lifelong resident of the City of Glen Cove. I would like to rescind any decision the Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has made pertaining to property tax exemptions. I would also abolish the Industrial Development Agency (IDA). This is a form of corporate welfare, which does not benefit the residents of the City of Glen Cove. It is unfair for Glen Cove residents to pay for these projects that developers should pay for. I would also like to address the lack of affordable housing in Glen Cove. The City of Glen Cove has approved many projects for luxury apartments and only left aside 10 percent for affordable units. These units set aside are not affordable. They are based on a gross income of 80-130% above the federal poverty rate. This is based on 30 percent of your total gross income. How could a person that makes above federal poverty rate wages afford to pay a base rate of 30% of their total gross income. I would require that this be based no more than 20% of your net income. Long time Glen Cove residents have been displaced from their homes and forced out of Glen Cove due to market rate rents.

My Agenda
  1. Rescind any Industrial Development Agency (IDA) decisions and abolish the Glen Cove IDA.
  2. Establish local affordable housing units based on net income not gross income.
  3. Stop the over development of Glen Cove. I.E. The waterfront, and down town luxury apartments.
  4. Transparency in local government.
    1. elect half of our
      1. planning board
      2. zoning and appeals board
    2. approve mayoral positions by city council
  5. Police accountability
    1. mental health training
    2. ethnic and racial sensitivity training
    3. stop enforcement of open bottle containers and marijuana arrests
    4. elect an internal review board
    5. monthly community meeting with the chief of police and a public relations department
  6. No immigration enforcement.
    1. The police department job
      1. fight crime not enforce immigration laws
      2. build a trust in the immigrant community legal or not. The immigrant community should not have to report a crime out of fear of deportation.

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Thank You

I would like to thank my supporters for helping me get the 609 votes  for the 13th Assembly District. This was a record set considering the amount of money I put into my campaign. I would like to thank Carl Lungren for setting up the website and assisting me with blogs and information about candidates forums. I would also like to thank Bruce Levy from Plainview for his assistance in leafleting in Plainview and also Steve Abreau( PEL) club president at SUNY Old Westbury for his interview and his assistance and also in leafleting in Plainview for me. I would also like to thank Frank Francois for picking up my literature for me. I would lie to thank my family and friends financially supporting me to get my literature and publicity together. If I have left anyone out I apologize.
Thank you and I will run again to win this time.
Jeff Peress

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Interview with Steve Abreu, SUNY Old Westbury

Jeff was interviewed by Steven Abreu, President of the SUNY Old Westbury Politics, Economics, & Law Club, on Thursday, Nov. 3rd. Click here to watch the interviewjeff_suny

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Green Party pushes Assemblyman Lavine from left

Interview with Jeff in The Island Now:

BY MAX ZAHN | Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2016 10:43 am

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Political corruption

In light of the indictments of elected county and town officials in Oyster Bay both the legislatures have not gone far enough to stamp out corruption. Unfortunately, the causes are from pay to play and kickbacks from campaign contributions. The recent law passed that any elected official convicted of corruption relating to their positions does not go far enough. The recent convictions of Silver and Skelos, unfortunately, are going to be overturned based on the recent US Supreme Court decision that overturned the former governor of Virginia’s corruption conviction. The unanimous decision made by the US Supreme Court made it more difficult to charge, yet alone convict someone of corruption. The only way to restore the confidence in NY politics is to, use the Arizona and Maine model Clean Money / Clean Elections of no private funds for candidates. These funds are to be public only, and also to push for ranked choice voting and instant run off voting.

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Happy Birthday Ajamu

I want to wish a belated birthday greeting to our Green Party VP candidate Ajamu Baraka, whose birthday was October 25th: Mazel tov.

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La Shana Tova 5777

I would like to wish everyone a La Shana Tova 5777. Happy and healthy New Year and let this new year be with peace, justice, and prosperity for our fellow working class people around the world. Let all the hate turn to coming together. Lets hope this will be the year finally that Israelis and Palestinians will come to the table and talk and resolve all past and current disputes and work together for the good of all and be partners together for the working class.

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Harlem Rally for Justice – Sept. 25, 2016

Ajamu Baraka and Jeff Peress

Ajamu Baraka and Jeff Peress (photo courtesy of Daniel Vila)

Jeff was one of the participants at the Harlem Rally for Justice on 125th St. And Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. this past Sunday.
The rally, organized by Manhattan Greens, included Green Party Vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka, Congressional candidates Frank Francois (CD5 Queens/Nassau County) and Daniel Vila (CD13 Manhattan/Bronx), and State Senate candidate Julia Willebrand (SD31 Manhattan), as well as community activists Betty Davis and Ed Figueroa.

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