Decision Maker Response
Legislator Tom Cilmi’s response
Jun 26, 2018 — Hello Ali and all....I am compelled to provide some context that you may not be privy to and that is certainly not apparent in the petition. Republicans, in large part, voted against the funding for this app as a result of the County Executive bundling the bond request with a variety of other bond requests, contrary to 40 years of history in Suffolk County. We made it clear at a previous meeting, we would not support bundled bond resolutions. The County Executive CHOSE to include bonding for this app with other bonds knowing full well how Republicans felt about bundled bond resolutions. Had the County Executive separated the bond for this app from other bonds, it likely would have passed.
That said, since the meeting, we have learned that many school superintendents across Suffolk County have serious concerns about this app and/or are already doing things on their own to protect their students.
Republicans in the County Legislature are not waging a partisan political battle here. In fact, we support most Democrat resolutions and, in fact, have voted in favor of 90% of the bond requests the County Executive has presented this year. Because we voted against a handful, the County Exec decided to start combining (bundling) many of the bonds together, stripping the Legislature of the oversight it has historically and properly had, in an effort to bully us into supporting everything.
If you want Republicans to support borrowing $2 million for this app, you should first advocate with the majority of school superintendents who are not yet on board. Then, you should direct a petition to the County Executive directing him to provide us with an individual bond request for this specific bond request only, and to stop bundling bonds.
Should anyone have specific questions, feel free to give me a call at 631-854-0940.