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OpinionLetters

Letters: Hempstead board raises unpopular

Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray is receiving a 6.67 percent increase, bringing her annual salary to $160,000 ["Board approves $40G in raises," News, Dec. 11]. The other six board members are receiving 7.58 percent increases.

I am furious and have questions that need answers. Where is this money coming from? Taxpayers? Or are board members planning to cut something they consider less important?

What have Murray and the board done to deserve these raises? I demand answers, and I'm sure other residents are questioning the decision too.

Phill Dubuche, Hempstead

Our country still feels as though it is going through one of the most devastating economic downturns in all of history. Yet, the Hempstead Town Board can find the money to give raises of $5,000 and $10,000.

Their only argument is that the projected budget will not increase. However, that is not definite! Has anyone questioned where exactly their raises are coming from? It is more than likely coming from our taxes that we all work diligently for!

I understand and respect the officials whom we elect. But what I find baffling is that there are families on Long Island that are barely getting by day to day. They can only hope that they have food on the table each night or that their water is hot when they shower. Yet, elected officials such as Supervisor Kate Murray live comfortably, receiving $160,000 after her self-given raise.

Tess Liantonio, Hicksville

Four years ago, the Hempstead Town Board voted itself and Supervisor Kate Murray a nice pay raise. They did it right after the election, and they're again doing it right after an election.

Perhaps this disturbing pattern is deliberate, in hopes that voters will forget what they have done by the next election. So far their strategy has worked.

Here's some advice: If you don't like the salary of the job you're seeking, then don't run for the office.

Richard T. DeVito, Long Beach

Disagree with finding on collapse

Regarding "No negligence in collapse" [News, Dec. 5], the federal appeals court decision to absolve developers from the responsibility for the collapse of the two World Trade Center buildings was an error in the administration of justice. Professional organizations took a similar position after extensive study, and they were wrong as well.

The collapse of the buildings was primarily the result of a faulty structural design and defective building codes. Some might believe that my conclusion is just another conspiracy theory, but the proof is that no buildings other than skyscrapers were ever constructed in this way: The floor structure was connected to the outside bearing walls.

Further proof can be found in the fact that the building codes have been drastically changed to prevent a building like that from being built again. That design simply maximizes profits for developers.

Leo Montagna, Northport

Editor's note: The writer is a retired chief of structural design for Fairchild Industries.

Former military trucks for Long Island?

Why are local law enforcement agencies being provided with mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles ["Now, that's backup; Nassau, others getting armored 18-ton vehicles," News, Nov. 25]? Is the government worried it needs to prepare for an "American Spring"?

Debra Smith, Setauket

U.S. will regret deal with Iran

The editorial "Multinational Iran deal a careful step worth taking" [Nov. 26] reminded me of the recent BBC interview with former Secretary of State George Shultz.

Shultz said the Iranians are good at "smiling, encouraging you on and then cutting your throat." Shultz, not President Barack Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry, is likely to be correct. Obama will be as successful in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear military capability as his predecessors were in preventing both North Korea and Pakistan from doing so.

This most recent capitulation to the forces of darkness and evil by the president could easily have been avoided simply by severely tightening the sanctions already in place, rather than loosening them. When your opponent is on the ropes, that's the time to hit hardest. That course would have required a bit of common sense and spine, both acutely lacking in our current national leadership!

Bernard A. Bilawsky, North Massapequa

Double-dip law should cover more

Bravo, Newsday, for your editorial regarding Suffolk County Legis.-elect Monica Martinez ["Martinez must decide: legislator or teacher?," Dec. 3]. The law should be changed, not by widening the exemption, but by eliminating it.

Why should there be exemptions in the first place, especially for teachers, who should have enough on their plates with the new demands that they and their students face?

Martinez seems to think she can conveniently define herself as a teacher, while holding the title of assistant principal, and earning the corresponding salary.

Gerald Fortsch, Smithtown

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