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 has not raised the property tax levy for four consecutive years. The proposed 2014 budget again contains no property tax increase. The critics, rather than applauding the fiscal improvements in the County, elect to sling mud and make false and malicious allegations.
In a letter to former county comptroller Howard Weitzman, the County Attorney’s office, represented by a securities attorney, warned him that allegations in his letter of Sept. 16, 2013 regarding the Nassau County’s 2012 budgetary results, were “patently false and alarmist with potential to harm the County taxpayers by seriously affecting the County’s ability to obtain financing.” The allegation that the County Comptroller has mischaracterized the accounting treatment of $88 million in court ordered payments and that the County has somehow manipulated the Supreme Court order are ludicrous.
As a member of Congress who represents a large population of Americans of Indian descent, I am deeply troubled by the outrageous remarks aimed at the winner of the 2013 Miss America Pageant and a fellow New Yorker, Nina Davuluri. Ms. Davuluri embodies the American dream—the daughter of immigrants who graduated from a prestigious university and plans to pursue a medical degree. She is American in the truest sense, and the fact that this would be questioned is despicable.
Embracing diversity is an American value, and one that I have always cherished. I am the product of grandparents who fled Russia due to persecution and found an accepting home here in America. I have spent my life honoring their memory by fighting against hatred, bigotry and persecution. When I heard of the vitriol being directed toward Ms. Davuluri, I felt compelled to respond.
I join with the voices of the many Americans who have cried out against these hateful remarks. And I will continue to work in Congress to fight against hatred.
I work in education. John Owens’ article “They’re Drowning Our Kids In Snake Oil” (Sept. 18-24) was very interesting, as are so many that are being written now. Obviously, members of the New York State Board of Regents are reading none of them.
One thing that some journalist should look into is the ever-present name of Pearson that appears on everything Common Core, including testing materials, preparatory materials, texts, etc. Sometimes it feels like this publisher is writing the New York State curriculum. Why? And who is cashing in? Not the students...
Pearson is a London-based publishing conglomerate that is the leading provider of test materials in the U.S. Last spring, the company made headlines when tests it prepared for the New York State Education Department under a $32-million contract were found to contain more than 30 errors. The state agreed not to score those questions, and continues a close relationship with Pearson.
Really enjoyed John Owens’s article “They’re Drowning Our Kids In Snake Oil” (Sept. 18-24).
I’ve often felt that if you switched the teachers in the high-flying schools with the teachers in the poor-performing schools the test results would be just about the same. The problem isn’t the teachers, who are being made scapegoats for the much bigger social and economic problems to which you alluded in your article.
Too bad the gutless politicians and their New York State educational cronies can’t come up with a “Common Core” for parental involvement in the education of their children. But that wouldn’t be a “quick-fix” would it?
On March 25, 2013, Ray Lang, died suddenly at the age of 48. He left a widow and three children, but because of a lifelong illness he died without life insurance. In addition to dealing with the emotional loss, the family also faces serious financial challenges, including the fact that two of the three children will attend college in the fall. Ray was a longtime coach in both Hicksville and Levittown. Casey, the youngest child, played sports for Holy Family CYO for many years and this year coached one of our volleyball teams.
Editor’s note: This is a response to Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos’s “County Financial Report Card,” published in the Hicksville 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.
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.
The mid-year financial projections for 2013 indicate that the County will end the year with a $5.6 million budgetary surplus. This follows on the heels of 2012’s surplus of $41.5 million, now confirmed by independent auditors. These budget surpluses are due to increased sales tax revenues from the improving economy (up 10.4 percent year to date) and reduced Social Service costs due to lower unemployment (down to 6 percent, one of the lowest rates in New York State and lower than that of Suffolk County and New York City.)
The Hicksville Water District Board of Commissioners Chairman Nicholas Brigandi would like to assure the Hicksville community that the Hicksville Water District has taken the necessary precautionary measures to protect the community’s drinking water supply in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Last year service remained uninterrupted during Superstorm Sandy and water quality was unaffected.
Long Island Wins has long been out to spread the word: immigrants from all around the world come to Long Island to work hard and take care of their families.
One thing that‘s a constant source of pleasant surprise for me is just how many different ways immigrants are refreshing Long Island’s entrepreneurial spirit.
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