Newsday nailed it. Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and his town board are cowardly, duplicitous and incompetent.
The good news is that the supervisor seat is up for election next year. Residents should circle Nov. 3 on their calendars, noting that town incumbents and their vote for an 8.8 percent tax increase must go. Voters can't fall for a Republican bait and switch. Let's be clear: Town Republicans raised taxes this year.
Passing a budget before the November elections -- as the Town of North Hempstead did -- and streaming all public meetings live on the Internet should be goals of the first 100 days in office.
These actions are the first steps toward preventing a similar misrepresentation before an election. Transparency and accountability are vital in government; sadly we seem to lack both in the Town of Oyster Bay.
Brendan Mahoney, Farmingdale
Local government officials simply can't win where Newsday is concerned!
When they do everything they can to borrow, shift funds around, and rely on dubious revenues to avoid raising taxes, Newsday's editorial board criticizes them for being fiscally irresponsible. But when gutsy public servants like Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto and the town board bite the proverbial bullet, and are straightforward and realistic enough to raise taxes to make sure that town finances are on an even keel, Newsday finds a way to blast them.
Nobody likes to pay taxes, but we in the Town of Oyster Bay enjoy the finest parks and beaches on Long Island, reliable waste removal, well-maintained roads, and all the other good things that make for a pleasant place to live. Taxes are the price we have to pay for all that.
Michael Polansky, Plainview
Editor's note: The writer is a past trustee of the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library.
Town of Islip residents should be outraged by our town board approving a surprise 5.8 percent tax increase for the 2015 budget, especially after months of touting a zero percent increase.
The need for a tax increase could be validly argued on both sides. However, by presenting no alternative to the public for discussion and scrutiny, the town board eliminates any opportunity for taxpayers to provide input. The board has made a mockery of the process.
Town budgets and tax increases directly affect town residents. They are too important to allow our elected representatives to hide them from the light of day. Islip deserves better than a bait and switch.
John H. Edwards, Islip
Editor's note: The writer is a former Islip Town board member.