Ken Komoski can fit a dozen computers and monitors into
the back of his Volvo station wagon. It's a fact the 75-year-old knows from
lots of recent experience, as he makes the rounds of government buildings,
office complexes and schools to pick up donated computers to keep his dream
Ten years after launching a program that allows underprivileged adults to
earn a computer by learning to use it, Komoski had to leave his Hampton Bays
office and furlough staff because of county cutbacks. Now Komoski must play
unsalaried director of Learning and Information Network for Communities via
Technology, which moved into donated space in a former Riverhead school. "I
don't mind," said the former tennis pro. But of the six staff members who
haven't received paychecks this year, he said, "The real irony here is that
people who've come through the program now teach and manage it ... and they
can't get paid."
Komoski doesn't blame Suffolk County, which for months reviewed
expenditures, and cut LINCT's budget 20 percent, to a maximum of $50,000. A
spokesman for County Executive Steve Levy confirmed the cut. "Everybody has to
tighten their belt," spokesman Ed Dumas said.
Through his 10 years with LINCT (www.linct.org), Komoski has helped launch
similar programs in other cities, and most appear to be thriving.
Despite his setbacks here, Komoski doesn't appear discouraged. He admits
shutting down is "a possibility," but doesn't appear to be operating as though
he believes it, calling the current crisis a "crunch."