The issue of the garbage freighters in Glendale inevitably came up. Addabbo pointed to the small victory that is the rail company’s agreement to cover the rail cars with a visible bright orange mesh covering, a solution many people remain dissatisfied with.
He said he had a better understanding of all the complaints after two of his constituents invited him into their homes at 4:15 in the morning to hear the noise for himself.
"For me who lives in Ozone Park, I can’t hear the train or feel the rumble,” he said. “If you look at the problem through the other person’s eyes, you’ll see the magnitude and importance.”
He cautioned, however, that the issues would not be resolved overnight, but promised to continue working on them.
The uncertain future of The Shops at Atlas Park was mentioned. Addabbo reminded everyone that the site was once a breeding ground for graffiti and drug dealers, so the beautiful outdoor retail center was certainly a step in the right direction.
“The opportunities at Atlas Park are there. The question is, in these economic times, what can we work on?” said Addabbo. “The conversation at Atlas Park will continue.”
Addabbo offered little information on the state budget, which is still yet to be passed.
“It’s getting late. Every day that passes is millions of dollars lost to our people,” he said. “We’re getting closer to the Assembly numbers, though.”
Addabbo announced that in light of last year’s hospital closures, he is fighting to protect home care, which costs significantly less than hospital care.
He added that property tax cuts are on the table. One tax he would like to impose, however, is one on Native Americans who sell cigarettes to non-Native Americans. Currently Native Americans do not have to pay taxes on the cigarettes they sell.
Addabbo and Assemblyman Mike Miller are working on legislation that would require Native Americans to either pay taxes when they purchase from suppliers or collect when selling to non-Native Americans. The Native Americans cigarette vendor would be able to apply for a refund later, and it would ensure that the government gets the $700 million or more of lost yearly tax revenue.
"A $9.2 billion deficit, we’re all there. How we get to fix that is where we differ," said Addabbo. "We’re going to have to agree on something we don’t like."