Nassau County presiding officer, Peter Schmitt, arrives at federal court...

Nassau County presiding officer, Peter Schmitt, arrives at federal court in Central Islip Thursday morning. Schmitt is court for a hearing in contempt charges against him. (May 31, 2012) Credit: James Carbone

The League of Women Voters of Nassau County, a nonpartisan organization encouraging citizens' informed and active participation in government, is greatly distressed by the actions of the presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature ["Lawmakers slip measure past public," News, May 22].

On May 21, Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) told the audience that he would delay a vote on a local law authorizing the county executive to take any and all actions necessary to create a $40-million savings for the county. Dozens of public speakers and union leaders left the meeting.

Schmitt then called a vote in late afternoon. This gives the appearance, if not the reality, of manipulating the situation in arrogant disregard of the opinions and wishes of a substantial number of Nassau County residents.

This behavior is not in keeping with the goal of transparency in government. We trust that future controversial issues will be dealt with in an open, fair manner, with accurate information and adequate advance public notice regarding hearings and plans for a vote, as well as consideration of a broad range of opinions.

Rachael Krinsky, Point Lookout

Editor's note: The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Nassau County.

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