Potential task forces address empty stores and other issues
Legis. Bill Lindsay

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Potential task forces address empty stores and other issues

Story By: LINDA LEUZZI
7/3/2019


Suffolk Legis. Bill Lindsay (D-Holbrook) is in the process of developing bills to introduce task forces that would ultimately tackle solutions for three main concerns his constituents have raised. 

Vacant retail space.

“We want to look at vacant retail space and find the best use for it, like Sports Authority on Sunrise Highway in Bohemia and the Sun Vet Mall in Holbrook,” he said. “One of my first jobs was working at Suburban Sports in the Sun Vet Mall when it was their heyday and it was packed all the time. Those areas are already developed and most of the infrastructure is all there. You would just have to upgrade it,” Lindsay said. Lindsay is looking to gather real estate professionals, community leaders, business owners and commercial business leaders. “I get messages all the time asking, ‘what’s going on with Sun Vet Mall and Sports Authority?’ The task force could gather names of soliciting tenants you would want to have. There have been suggestions like a sports place for kids and an entertainment center.” 

Effective legislation for deadbeat dads (or moms)

“I helped a few women who were having difficulty receiving child support in their divorce proceedings and there is such a real need for some reform to the Family Court system,” Lindsay explained. “Some men litigate the other party into submission; it may happen to men, too. I know women who go on food stamps or assistance when their husbands are wealthy and refuse to pay. I had one woman who showed me her husband’s tax returns; he makes a half-million a year and he’s litigating her into submission and the taxpayer is picking up the costs the spouse refuses to pay.” Lindsay is hoping to tap knowledgeable staffers from social services, family courts and law guardians to discuss what they see, then suggest concrete solutions. “A few years ago, we had a situation where licenses of the negligent parents were revoked and police who pulled over these errant drivers had the discretion to charge them for not having a license or not,” Lindsay said.  “That needs to change. I want to explore the option putting them in jail, even on the weekend. They’ll find their wallet pretty quick if they’re going to prison overnight.”

Residence requirement for county employees

Another task force Lindsay wants to form would address the county’s current residency requirement and the possibility of waiving it. “There are times we waive it and I want to eliminate it altogether,” Lindsay said. “We have very low unemployment now and want to attract the brightest and best as well as young professionals for entry-level positions,” he said. “If they live in Nassau County or Queens and work for the county, at some point, if they make it a career, they’ll relocate here, so we’re using it as a tool. When unemployment was high, I could see the necessity for it. The district attorney is hiring recent grads from law school; he’s getting applicants from Brooklyn and Queens and it’s creating a problem for hiring.”