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Letter: Response to Assemblyman Montesano’s Letter

In response to the Assemblyman Michael Montesano’s (15th District) letter to the editor critical of LIPA hurricane response, please be reminded of the complaints on LIPA’s response to a previous hurricane that was predicted to slam into us, but at the last minute went out to sea.

Doomsday forecasters had everyone boarding up, buying generators (I did both), so LIPA was prepared for the worst. It cost big bucks and the leadership took a big hit along with the ratepayers. Had it hit us as predicted, they would have been heroes.

Of all the agencies to criticize, anyone but New York State legislators, employees, etc. should say one word about job performance. I will stick to the Hicksville area, but their lack of performance is evident all over Long Island. All one has to do is drive through downtown Hicksville. Four-foot weeds growing all summer (same thing last year, too) in the center median on all of Route 106/107 from Hempstead Turnpike north to the Expressway are disgusting.

Residents are required to keep their property clean or they get cited. The State Transportation Department has to be the worst run agency in the state. The benign neglect of the state roads is criminal. People are being paid to do that job? On 106/107 the grass in the gutter area is so thick the water can’t run off so it forms a pond in the speed lane. The weeds grow around the drain pushing the water on to the roadway. I don’t think the transportation department is aware of the invention of the “weed-whacker.”

How can any representative of the state or transportation supervisor or employee ride down the state roads in our community (and Long Island) and not take action to clean it up the right way? I have a possible solution. Get rid of the transportation supervisors and hire people that will do the job the way it should be done. There are plenty of people available to do the job correctly. Next, get rid of the workers, as they evidently don’t care about doing the job they get paid to do. Next, hire private landscapers (there are a ton of them out there—you can’t throw a rock in any direction on any day without hitting a landscaper’s truck). They do an excellent job; just look at the properties they maintain. Pay a fair wage. The taxpayers won’t have to pay for health care benefits or pensions. In other words, privatize the road maintenance department. It’s long overdue.

Recently, there was a story about efforts to revitalize downtown Hicksville. That isn’t going to happen as long as we have State roads 106/107 going through town. Would you relocate here? I’m embarrassed to bring any visitor into the downtown area. It would also be helpful if town officials and the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club contact the governor and ask for our fair share of tax money be spent here making Hicksville a better, more desirable place to live.

Owen W. Magee