Threat of lawsuit, made at public expense, aims to silence political opposition
Former Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman announced that he received a letter from the law firm Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, at the behest of the Nassau County Attorney’s Office, threatening a lawsuit unless he retracts a complaint he filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The complaint, based on an investigative piece published by the Wall Street Journal, highlights evidence that Comptroller George Maragos’s annual financial report is misleading and that the County Attorney’s office colluded with a partisan Republican judge to ‘cook the books’ and misrepresent the county’s financial condition on the annual financial report.
Nassau County is very similar to other places around the country when election time comes around. You have candidates and incumbents willing to say anything to stay in office or get back in office. This time around we have two former incumbents in Suozzi and Weitzman who for over three years did not say a word about the county’s finances, struggles, or achievements. Yet all of a sudden they come out and say that everything is horrible. They say things like “cooking the books” and “the County borrowed $2 billion and your children will pay the price.” All these statements are meant to grab your attention and make you question your quality of life. As residents of this wonderful place we call home we need to remember where we were about a year ago. Hurricane Sandy struck Long Island, we had no gas, no electricity, and a sense of hopelessness. While some families are still hurting many of us are back on our feet going to work and living our normal lives. Mainly thanks to the response and leadership of our current government. It’s tough to shift through all the stats and all the numbers that are thrown at us during election time but there is one thing that we know is true. The current administration is doing everything they can not to make it more expensive to live here even during a disaster. The former administration, that is trying to make a comeback, has a track record of making it more expensive to live here. The choice is clear for me and my family. We love it here but we already pay enough.
Smaller, financially strapped school districts that can offer greater educational opportunities by joining together are the best candidates for mergers, according to a new research report by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA).
The report found that losses in state aid and the local property tax cap have forced some districts to eliminate teaching and support staff positions, affecting their ability to provide elective courses and, in some cases, core courses as well.
By merging, these districts might be better able to offer a wider variety of educational programs and courses than they would otherwise.
(Editor’s note: The following is a letter from a Farmingdale resident about the article “‘Eat Local L.I.’ Stays True To Roots” by Randy Stephens, that appeared in the Sept. 13 edition of the Farmingdale Observer.)
You wrote a piece about “A Taste of Long Island” in last week’s Observer. Unfortunately, there are some mistaken facts in the first paragraph.
Forty-eight other states have found these kids worthy of redirection, rehabilitation and age-appropriate intervention. New York’s justice system should follow suit and change the way it handles kids accused of minor, nonviolent offenses.
Editor’s note: This is a response to Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’s “County Financial Report Card,” published in The New Hyde Park Illustrated News, Sept. 11-17 edition. Howard Weitzman is running on the Democratic line against Maragos in the November election.
George Maragos continues to mislead the public by falsely claiming that the county’s financial condition has improved on his watch. During Mr. Maragos’s tenure as Nassau County’s fiscal watchdog, the county has undergone three bond downgrades by the credit rating agencies, the county’s fiscal outlook has been lowered from “stable” to “negative,” and the county’s debt has reached a new all-time high. No amount of “cooking the books” and issuing misleading financial statements and press releases can hide this truth, a truth which can be easily verified by outside sources.
In his article, John Owens criticized public schools for essentially being expensive bureaucracies that often fail in their educational mission. His criticism is well founded given recent test scores which clearly demonstrate that too many students are not taught at the highest level and lack the necessary critical thinking skills to function in our global economy.
The Financial condition of the County continues to improve by all fundamental measures, primarily due to the improving economy and cost controls instituted by the Mangano administration. From residents’ point of view, the County’s improved financial state is reflected in the county portion of their property tax bill, which has not increased in the last four years.
My brother, Adam Haber, is running for the Democratic nomination for Nassau County Executive in the primary on Sept. 10, 2013. Adam is fiscally responsible and conscious about social issues. As a private citizen and as a member of the Board of Education in Roslyn, Adam has demonstrated strong leadership skills. With creative thinking he saved the Roslyn school district millions of dollars. The district is now thriving. He is an astute businessman with a take-charge personality. Two of his major goals as County Executive will be to create jobs and restore fiscal competence in Nassau County.
Your “Raise The Age” story pointed out that 74.4 percent of crimes that 16 and 17-year-olds are arrested for are only minor misdemeanors. Of course, that means that 25.6 percent are felonies---including burglaries, robberies, muggings, assaults, molestations, rapes, torture, and murders. Yet D.A. Kathleen Rice is against arresting, prosecuting and punishing 16 and 17 year-olds as adults for these horrible crimes regardless of the offense. Similarly, Assemblyman Charles Lavine feels that “children should be treated as children regardless of the crime they chose to commit.
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