City documents reveal that City Manager Jack Schnirman never sent any documents to New York State in consideration of the $15 million bail out plan.
There's been a lot of talk around town since City Manager Jack Schnirman announced that his deficit plan crashed and burned a few weeks ago. Now, because his plan failed and he has no Plan "B", Long Beach residents' property taxes will increase upwards of 14-20 percent. Obviously, this will seriously hurt local residents and businesses.
What happened? Why did the New York State Legislature deny the plan? Who is to blame? I wanted to get the answers to these questions and back up the answer with proof. What I found out was astonishing to say the least.
While Jack Schnirman blames everyone for the failure of his plan he should be pointing his finger directly at himself. But as we have seen over and over again in the six months Schnirman has been city manager, he is much more eager to play the “Schnirman Blame Game” than to be honest with the residents of our city.
As my blogs have demonstrated I don’t say or print anything without backing up what I say with proof. Proof is the truth and the truth is undeniable. This situation is no exception and proof is undeniable that Schnirman and the city administration failed to make any case for the state to bail the city out of its so-called "fiscal crisis."
In an effort to see for myself exactly why the plan was rejected, I made a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request on June 22, 2012
, the week after the plan failed. I asked that the city provide me with: “Copies of any documents … reports, memorandum and/or letters sent to or provided to Senator Dean Skelos's office or Assemblyman Harvey Wiesenberg's office relating to the $15 million deficit financing bills proposed in both the New York State Senate and Assembly.” I hoped to see for myself exactly what financial information the city sent to the state in an effort to understand why the State rejected the plan.
The response I received from the city was stunning and clearly demonstrated why the plan was rejected.
The response came in a letter dated June 27, 2012
. It stated, “The city is not possession of any reports/letters/memos to either Senator Skelos or Assemblyman Wiesenberg regarding the subject, therefore, no such documents exist." (Emphasis added.)
It’s pretty plain and simple; the city manager did not send any background financial information to the New York State legislature for consideration of the $15 million borrowing plan! Based on the city’s letter to me
, they sent nothing to accompany the request for $15 million; no reports, no memos, no financial documents, no audits - nothing!
Like most people, I have applied for and received loans before; a mortgage loan, home equity loans, car loans, etc. Each and every time anyone goes to any financial institution for a loan people are asked to provide their potential lender with basic financial documents and information to demonstrate their finances are good order, that they are responsible with their money, and that they can repay the loan. But in the case of the plan to borrow $15 million from the state, Schnirman didn’t do this. Schnirman wanted a $15 million state bailout yet he didn’t supply a single document with the request!
Ask yourself these questions: If you went to a bank for a loan and you failed to supply the bank with a single document such as bank statements, credit report, pay stubs, income tax, etc., would you expect the bank to approve the loan? Secondly, if you were a member of the New York State Senate Finance Committee and asked to vote on a bill lending Long Beach $15 million of taxpayer money without a shred of documentation regarding the city’s finances, would you vote to lend the money? Would you vote to spend $15 million of the taxpayer’s money without a single document to review beforehand?
The proof is in the pudding. If Schnirman wants to blame anyone for the failure of the plan he should look in the mirror. As city manager, it was Schnirman’s responsibility to do everything he could to make the state feel confident enough to approve this plan. While Schnirman may have a Harvard degree in government you don’t need a Harvard degree to know that you need to supply documentation for a $15 million loan. Once again, Schnirman’s incompetence has shown through, and instead of taking responsibility for his actions he points his finger at everyone else.
Clearly, because he failed to do what he needed to do and because of his incompetence, the taxpayers of the city are going to have to pay.
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