The Fire Island Association take strong exception to the content and tone of the article about Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone ["Out of the office," News, Feb. 21]. As the organization that represents the 17 communities on Fire Island, we have experienced a county executive who has been accessible, focused, and extraordinarily helpful before, during and after superstorm Sandy.
In the days leading up to the storm, Bellone and his emergency preparedness team were in constant contact with homeowners and community leaders on Fire Island, as we worked together to develop and successfully carry out the evacuation plan.
In the aftermath of the storm, he was there with our emergency responders on the beach within hours of the storm's passing, surveying firsthand the destruction wrought by Sandy to our homes and communities. He then took quick action to assemble a team of county and state emergency preparedness personnel to work with us to start the Island-wide recovery and re-population program.
In our opinion, the measure of an effective leader should not be how many hours he spends in his office, or where he chooses to meet with his colleagues and constituents, but rather what he is able to achieve on behalf of the residents of Suffolk County.
Suzy Goldhirsch, Ocean Beach
Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Fire Island Association.
Does it really make a difference to the people of Suffolk County where Steve Bellone does his work as long as it is getting done to our satisfaction? As a Suffolk resident, my answer is no.
We have politicians who have run the gamut from committing crimes to having affairs. We have politicians who are in the game for self-serving purposes and have done nothing for the people they serve. Do we ever say, "Yes, but at least they work out of their offices all the time"?
Let's judge Bellone by his track record on the issues that concern the county and the people who live here.
Tony Antonelli, Islip
What ever happened to the old adage that most corporate contract agreements are worked out on the golf course? So Steve Bellone likes diners. Let's be thankful. It's cheaper.
Don McDonald, North Babylon