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Letter: Retain separate Suffolk offices

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has proposed merging

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has proposed merging the elected offices of treasurer and comptroller. Treasurer Angie Carpenter, left, is up for re-election to a four-year term this fall. Joseph Sawicki, right, has been comptroller since 2003, and term limits prohibit him from running again in 2014. Credit: James Escher; Kathy Kmonicek

Combining the comptroller and treasurer offices in Suffolk County was one of the worst governmental ideas in the last decade ["Carpenter's job saved as court nixes proposal," News, Oct. 9]. There is absolutely no reason to combine these two offices, other than to continue the political careers of County Executive Steve Bellone and Comptroller Joseph Sawicki.

Bellone would have removed a potential opponent, Treasurer Angie Carpenter, for his re-election race in 2015. And Sawicki, whose term ends in 2014 due to term limits, could stay in office another 12 years because the combined job would be a new position. This is such an obvious political deal, and it should not be tolerated by the voters of Suffolk County.

If Sawicki and Bellone were searching for savings and sensible government changes, then why would the treasurer and her deputies be eliminated, while Sawicki's staff would be unaffected? Wouldn't it make more sense to leave a seasoned, trained deputy treasurer in Riverhead, instead of relocating and retraining one of Sawicki's deputies?

Carpenter has been doing an outstanding job, and the system of checks and balances in place should not be altered to further two men's political ambitions.

Joseph Poerio, Ronkonkoma

Editor's note: The writer was the chief deputy comptroller from 1985 to 2004.


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