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Letter: Bellone allies rewrite history

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, pictured on Sept.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, pictured on Sept. 17, 2015, is seeking a 2.9 percent hike in Suffolk police district taxes. Credit: Ed Betz

In the article "Push for repayment of Suffolk sewer fund" [News, Sept. 15], Long Island Pine Barrens Society executive director Richard Amper rails against my administration's sewer legacy program. But he omits some key points.

First, Amper misleads in claiming the fund was a clean water fund. Not true. It was a depository only for funds to stabilize sewer rates. I discovered that the fund had been overtaxing the public for decades, leading to the point in which we had hundreds of millions of surplus dollars in the fund. So why not return at least part of that to the public as tax relief? We directed an additional portion for needed sewer and septic enhancements to clean our water.

Amper thereafter structured a deal with my successor to transfer millions of the surplus for more open space, even though Suffolk County has a separate fund for open space. Amper also acquiesced to the new administration's borrowing of more than $100 million to deal with its budget holes, provided future executives pay it back. That means it's possible that taxes could have to be raised again to replenish a fund from which the public was already overtaxed. Pure lunacy!

Steve Levy, Bayport

Editor's note: The writer served as the Suffolk County executive from 2004 to 2011.