Letters: Politicians' signs add much expense

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I was bemused to read the letter from the Brookhaven Town Board representative who ingenuously advocated for plastering local politicians' names on surfaces to tell her electorate who their representatives are ["Politician names on signs = accountability," Aug. 10].

Unless each name is accompanied by a detailed map showing each board member's district, this does not succeed in identifying who your specific representative is.

Also, I can only assume that the last time the letter writer taught social studies was before the advent of the Internet. Anyone with a computer can easily look up a representative.

The chief reason elected public servants crave the public display of their names is the free advertising it brings and the happy consequence of an increased likelihood of votes in November.

The absolute worst case I can recall is that of a former Huntington superintendent of highways. His name was emblazoned on countless wooden traffic horses. When he was voted out of office, what happened to all that personalized hardware? They either had to be updated or replaced at significant expense.

Craig T. Robertson, Huntington Station

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With all due respect to Councilwoman Connie Kepert, the argument against placing representatives' names on signs has little to do with accountability. Those who are interested know who their representatives are. Those who don't know but have a need will find out who they are. The rest just don't care.

It's about expense. It costs a lot of money to change all of these signs every time we elect somebody new.

If you endeavor to make our communities better places, we will know who you are. It's that simple.

Robert K. Broder, Stony Brook



Self interest in Glen Cove district

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This is in response to the letter "Don't let state interfere with local education" [Aug. 10], about the Glen Cove schools cheating scandal. The writer asks, "Why did these teachers risk their careers and reputations to help these students?"

The writer implies that the guilty parties may have had a valid reason for cheating, or perhaps were coerced by some dark, state-driven external force.

Allow me to offer three possibilities that likely influenced their decisions to cheat: First, they were motivated by a purely altruistic desire to assist their students. Second, the cheaters were driven by a parochial loyalty to their employer and associates to maintain an image of success in their school district. Third, they were attempting to assure that their professional evaluations were not negatively affected by poor test outcomes.

Only one of these was likely important enough to be the ultimate trigger, and you don't have to be an expert in psychology to figure out which it was. This group is an anomaly in the teaching profession, and it was dealt with appropriately.

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Christopher D. Reilly, Coram

Raising wages would boost economy

Let's connect the dots. "Wage pressure" [News, Aug. 3] described fast-food workers advocating for $15-an-hour wages. Then, Standard & Poor's researchers said that the United States needs to look at the inequality of wealth and pay, because it is holding back the U.S. economy.

When the chief executive of McDonald's made $9.5 million last year, and many McDonald's workers earned minimum wage, or about $15,100 a year, that is pay inequality. The same is true in many giant corporations. What the economy needs is more spending. If each worker got $15 an hour -- a wage a person can live on -- he or she would spend it, and the U.S. economy would take off.

People earning millions don't spend, but save most of it. The economy doesn't move.

Let's give a living wage to all for their work.

Peter Barnett, Sayville

Editor's note: The writer is a board member of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.

Obama's decisions at root of anger

This is in response to a letter about criticism of the president ["Reasons for anger over border kids," Aug. 7].

The writer said that people imitate "their elected officials being disrespectful of the president" and said there is disrespect of him "simply because he is black."

Was she this outraged when President George W. Bush was called a "loser" in 2005 by Senate leader Harry Reid? Does she get upset when the president himself attacks Republicans using insulting language?

Presidents are disliked by people who disagree with them. Bush was attacked by the left for being conservative. I believe they would have attacked him if he were black. If President Barack Obama were white, the right would still attack him for being liberal.

It would be great if our leaders would show more respect toward each other, because it would diminish the hostility that prevents cooperation. They should also condemn any personal attacks by their supporters, which would reduce the anger between right and left.

Supporters of the president need to stop blaming racism for anger at Obama and instead look at his behavior and decisions. That's the root of the anger.

Gregg Freedner, Ronkonkoma

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