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Suffolk Notebook: LIPA Oversight Committee Members Announced

In other news, one race fills up while another one opens up; Schneiderman fine tunes Sunday bus service proposals.

The Suffolk County Legislature did not meet as a whole this week, nor did it hold any committee meetings. But that doesn't mean there's no news to report. A brief look at a few things going on:

LIPA Oversight Committee Members, First Meeting Date Announced

  • After creating an , the Suffolk County Legislature announced earlier this week five of the six people who will be serving on the committee. The one position yet to be filled is a person "who has familiarity with the operations of LIPA," to be chosen by the Presiding Officer of the Legislature. The following people were appointed on Tuesday:
    • Peter Schlussler, expert in electric utility operations: Schlussler, currently the director of optical imaging for the Suffolk County Clerk, spent 19 years with Long Island Lighting Company/Keyspan Energy.
    • Dr. Matthew Cordaro, expert in electric utility operations: Cordaro holds a Ph.D. in engineering and physics and an M.E. in nuclear engineering from New York University, and also served as senior vice president of operations for LILCO.
    • Irving Like, energy expert: Like is a former trustee of LIPA and has served as special counsel to Suffolk County in previous legal challenges with utility companies.
    • Sheldon Sackstein, energy expert: Sackstein is chairman of the board of Action Long Island and has also served in the past as a LIPA trustee. 
    • Fred Gorman, civic leader: Gorman has founded several civic groups, particularly in the Sachem area, including Long Island Energy Surveillance. 
  • On Thursday, Legis. Ed Romaine, R-Center Moriches, announced that the first meeting of the oversight committee will be on March 2, at the William H. Rogers Building in Hauppauge. First on the committee's agenda will be a probe into recent news of a $231 million overcharge to customers, which has already prompted calls for hearings on the State Senate level.

  • The race is on for a currently vacant seat, left open after last November. Democrats announced this week that Sarah Anker, a former Mt. Sinai School Board member and current director of Brookhaven's Office of Energy and Sustainability, will be running on their line. Martin Haley, a former legislator from 1996 to 2003 and current building commissioner in Brookhaven, will run on the Republican line. The sixth district covers Miller Place, Sound Beach, Rocky Point, Mount Sinai and part of Middle Island, and the special election is scheduled for March 29.

  • Legis. Jack Eddington, D-Patchogue, announced this week that he will not be running for re-election in November. The legislator has served since 2006 and cited some of his accomplishments as completing a park renovation and expansion in Medford and securing funds for a long overdue . His Chief of Staff, Rob Calarco, said he will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat. 

Schneiderman Hopping Back on the Bus

  • Hamptons Legis. Jay Schneiderman, I-Montauk, said this week that after the Legislature of his , he has two more proposals in the works. One proposal would wind north-south and east-west bus routes throughout the county on Sunday, leaving anybody using the bus "basically a short taxi ride from a route," Schneiderman said. The second proposal would offer the service solely on the East End, leaving only those who use the Sunday service paying a higher rate of $2 (compared to the current $1.50 fare).

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