In New York City, there’s an embarrassing comedy show going on in the form of the primary contest to be the next mayor of the most powerful city in the world. It would be funny, if it weren’t so sad, that the news is dominated by the ego-driven Anthony Weiner, whose self-destruction unfolds a little bit at a time, each and every day. The major thing missing from the debate is the discussion of who is the most competent person to run New York City.
My old home town of Long Beach, which was badly beaten up by Superstorm Sandy, is slowly emerging from its trauma. The wonderful boardwalk is being restored and the beaches are crowded, thanks to people like Billy Crystal, who are cheerleading the city back to a normal life. On the dark side, the New York state health commissioner is trying hard to shut down the Long Beach Medical Center, even though it’s located on a barrier island whose residents have only drawbridge-dependent access to any mainland hospital. Sometimes a little power given to the wrong person is a dangerous thing.
The rest of the happenings on Long island are very predictable. The Hamptons are teeming with more people than they can handle, and maddening traffic jams are common. If ever the master planners missed an opportunity, it was in eastern Suffolk County, where the roads don’t move the traffic and old farmland has been overdeveloped. As for the Long Island Expressway, it was and always will be a disaster for the average motorist.
On the bright side, Governor Cuomo has signed a bill into law that imposes stiffer fines on drivers who text and drive. Lots of innocent people are dying on the roads thanks to distracted drivers.
So, one month to go until Labor Day. I will continue to ignore those back-to-school sales announcements and make believe the summer of 2013 will last forever.
Jerry Kremer was a state assemblyman for 23 years, and chaired the Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. He now heads Empire Government Strategies, a business development and legislative strategy firm. Comments about this column? JKremer@liherald.com.