In the legal community, there is a well-known adage that goes “When you don’t have the law, argue the facts. When you don’t have the facts, argue the law. When you have neither, pound on the table and yell a lot.”
Such an approach and description could be used for the village official who authored last week’s op-ed article on the problems concerning the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood zone maps. Not only was there a lot of misinformation in the piece, but it is very disconcerting that an employee of the village would attack the residents who stood up to FEMA and were able to correct some of the wrong done by the 2009 FEMA maps.
It should also be clarified that the Gibson homeowners were the ones who were able to get the old maps canceled and new maps drawn up. Their hard work allowed 1,549 homeowners to be removed from the high-risk flood zone, but unfortunately, 800-plus still remain. This required a law to be passed in Congress and signed by the president on July 6, 2012. It was no easy feat, and one that took a lot of time and work on the part of the homeowners and Sen. Charles Schumer on our behalf. Senator Schumer discovered that FEMA used no science, but took the Suffolk County map and laid it over Nassau County. He announced this at a press conference in February 2011. This is not a supposition as alleged in the op-ed piece.
The author’s credibility is at the very least questionable. He never establishes any proof that he was present for any of the conduct he claims occurred. Of course, he can submit such proof in a sworn affidavit that he was present and saw and observed for himself the conduct he seeks to demean or diminish. However, we do not wish to waste any more valuable time on an individual who is neither a resident nor a homeowner in the village, particularly the owner of a home in the high-risk flood zone of Valley Stream.