Petition by iPetitions



This May 20th will mark 20 years since the conception of my garden project, The Roderick Cockerham Botanical Peace Garden. Conceived in 1993, when I wrote a letter to then Councilman Curtis Fisher, also a Lakeview, Long Island native, to turn a blighted parcel of land on Woodfield Road into a beautiful garden to be named The Roderick Cockerham Botanical Peace Garden. It was not so much to honor the person per say, but to bring attention to how we must live together as a community.  After much perseverance I was nominated and given an initial $125,000.00 grant under the 2006 Nassau County Environmental Bond Act under the proposed name.  Each quarter the Nassau County Department of Public Works reported on the progress of The Roderick Cockerham Botanical Peace Garden and the NCDPW submitted expenditure requests and our county legislature unanimously voted to pay contractors from this EBA. 

After Ed Mangano was elected, I started to see subtle changes with regard to the name on signs at the site, on drawings, renderings and correspondence, as well as changes in my design.  I addressed this issue with the legislature and the county executive branch, specially the Department of Public Works. These requests were ignored and no changes were made.  I was told by a county attorney in emails that although there is the de facto name being used on legal documents an "official" resolution is needed so illegal administrative changes could not be made.  Prior to that I requested of the legislature in 2006, that basically I did not trust that if something happen to me my vision, creation and commitment would find a home, some little plot of land to build what had already been conceived and created as The Roderick Cockerham Botanical Peace Garden.

Recently, many Lakeview households in the district of Leg. Robert Troiano got a flashy post card with his picture on it inviting the community to a "ribbon cutting" event for the "Lakeview Peace Garden". What happen to the Roderick Cockerham Botanical Peace Garden?  Supposedly, after placing a call to Leg. Troiano's office the ribbon cutting was the initiative of Ed Mangano's office.  Well, if that was true why did the post card say from the desk of Robert Troiano? 

I have kindly asked the county executive to postpone this ceremony Tuesday, May 28th at 11 AM until this legal matter can be resolved.  As many of you know, I was just given an award through the nomination of Lakeview's other legislator Joesph Scannell, for my work in creating The Roderick Cockerham Botanical Peace Garden by the Nassau County Legislature during Women's History Month.  On May 20, 2013 I will be returning this deceitful citation, if this garden is not named, as well as dedicated to Rod.  All of the quarterly progress reports state PI-046 as The Roderick Botanical Peace Garden.  I feel like I have been robbed, stabbed in the back as well as spit on.  The excuses I was told were, we own the land and we can do anything we want, we do not name facilities after people, not to mention the slanderous maligning hearsay and defamation of Cockerham's character.  One legislative aide said they heard a rumor Roderick was a gang member and involved in criminal activity.  Where these idiots get this crap from I do not know, but I have a feeling the first news reports that came out had one sided quotes from police detectives.  I was never told by anyone or is there anything in writing that this garden would not be named for Rod. Did the county commit fraud?  We will see.  We just started to gather the evidence. 

I have been very upset all week.  I go from crying fits, anger to guilt of trusting my elected officials.  I am preparing a press release which is more detailed and gathering documents for an impeding court action.  Now I really know what they mean in court papers "mental anguish, pain and suffering.

The first duty to my community is to stand-up, dry my eyes and begin the process to defend my community's rights, as well as Mr. Cockerham's reputation. We are developing a petition for you to sign or just leave a comment on this page for the formal official legislative resolution for the naming of EBA PI-046 The Roderick Cockerham Botanical Peace Garden.

Here is the link to the online petition.
Thanking you in advance, for your love, support, money, guidance, comments and advice.  We will be having fundraising activities because you can not fight on love alone.



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