I find it hard to accept Dr. Sirois’ statement that the $15.9 million overfunding of an employee account “had no adverse effect on the taxpayers.”
(This letter is dated June 27.)
Unemployment is still rising. Businesses continue to fail. Municipal governments require assistance to avoid further slashing of vital social programs. Nassau County needs help from Albany to avoid layoffs and the closing of many of our offices, parks and facilities.
(Editor’s Note: This letter was originally sent to Senator Kemp Hannon and is being printed here at the author’s request.)
With all due respect to your title as NYS Senator, do not ever refer to me as “friend.”
My oldest daughter was driving southbound on Hicksville Road on Saturday, June 19 and was waiting to make a left turn onto Jean Avenue, across from the Bethpage Post Office. A woman in a minivan was heading northbound and waiting to make a left turn into the post office.
The good news is that Long Island Republicans are coming back into control of the Senate and will have the ability to stop bad legislation, as well as having the leverage to force more State money (our fair share) to our schools, towns, and villages. We saw this when our school districts received record State school aid during the last five years.
Earlier this week, I voted against A.8501, the New N.Y. Government Reorganization and Citizen Empowerment Act. This bill, which was introduced less than two weeks prior to our voting on it, was rushed through the Assembly with little regard for public input or opinion. In all actuality, there was very little debate on a bill, which could have serious consequences for millions of New Yorkers, particularly on Long Island.
A.8501 was a revision of the statutory procedure for consolidation and dissolution of local government entities. In place of the current statutory structure, which contains various differing requirements throughout Town Law and Village Law, this bill would enact uniform procedures and requirements applicable to all local government entities. Additionally, the legislation also applies to a wide range of “local government entities,” including towns, villages, districts, special improvement districts or other improvement districts, library districts and other special districts created by law. Exempt under this bill were school districts, city districts and special purpose districts created by counties under the County Law.
“If people didn’t have to pay taxes to maintain public schools,” I recently advanced to a friend, in one of those mental exercises I’m apt to indulge, “then they’d have enough money to send their kids to a private school. There would then be a proliferation of private schools and the competition would drive down the costs of tuition. Supply and demand.”
My friend, a former member of the board of education in his community, was highly skeptical. He pointed out the skyrocketing costs of tuition in private academies. He cited one academy, used by a few Hollywood celebrities, in which kindergarten tuition is $32,000 a semester. I’m not, however, talking about where people who attend the Academy Awards matriculate their kids. There was a time when private schools were available to working class people. Back in the 1950s and 60s, for example, my father was a blue collar worker with an eighth grade education and a growing family (six kids by 1965). He raised his family in a working class Brooklyn neighborhood, saved up his money for a Levittown house, and sent four of his kids to St. Savior’s School.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of the people who helped me win a seat on the Levittown Board of Education.
This month the Levittown Dollars for Scholars organization will be giving out the scholarship awards to seven seniors at both MacArthur High School and Division Avenue high school at their awards ceremony.
(Editor’s note: This letter was originally sent to the Levittown School Board and is being printed at the author’s request.)
We were very dismayed to learn that the transportation proposition passed.
By the passage of the transportation proposition you lowered the tax on each homeowner by pennies while devaluing homes by hundreds of dollars, made the situation unsafe for the children, added to congestion around the schools and lowered the reputation of the Levittown Public School system.
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