Sorry I had to resort to tweeting during the meeting, but there was no wireless available and my air card is currently defunct :)
For all of you who did not receive my tweets, here is a basic summary of what went down today at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative building:
Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi announced that the new lease agreement with the Lighthouse Development group will go until 2030.
However, this proposed lease still must pass through the county legislature and planning commission. While the lease was submitted this afternoon, no further action can be taken until an environmental impact statement is provided (this is a legal requirement).
As far as the deadline goes--October 3- this impasse will probably not be resolved in the next few days. Charles Wang has been dogged in his pursuit of a straight yes or no answer on the Lighthouse project from Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead, and it is looking highly unlikely he'll receive that by the time the Islanders drop the puck for their season opener.
I talked to Wang after the press conference and asked him whether--gut feeling--he felt like he'd be given a yes or no answer by Saturday.
"No," Wang said. "I may get a "Yes, but...."
So what if that happens? If Murray relents but also has conditions and wants to make changes to the existing Lighthouse plans?
"Can't do it," Wang said.
Wang, Suozzi, and Scott Rechler all said they felt that any changes presented at this point would be "disingenuous," because they have not been voiced throughout the process. Modifications would also set back the project significantly and further stall the development.
When asked about what type of reception Wang has gotten throughout the past several months from Murray and the Town of Hempstead officials, Wang said:
"Can't get any less welcome than what I've gotten," Wang said. "It's pretty bad."
Clearly not the most amicable working environment between the two sides.
During the press conference, Wang reiterated that he wanted to keep the team on Long Island but that he would begin to entertain other offers once his deadline passes.
"I certainly will begin exploring other options," Wang said. "But, I'm committed to Long Island, I love Long Island, and this is where the Islanders belong." >>