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Letters: LI budget cuts hurt poorest

Peter Levy, president of the Coalition of Nassau

Peter Levy, president of the Coalition of Nassau County Youth Service agencies, speaks at the organization's annual breakfast at the Nassau County Bar Association in Mineola, New York. Credit: Howard Schnapp, 2011

As I stood at a recent rally in front of County Executive Edward Mangano's office, it occurred to me that our government representatives are using our most vulnerable residents as pawns in their fiscal standoff ["Nassau can't close books just yet," June 29].

Our elected officials seem to be reneging on a bipartisan agreement to reserve red-light camera revenues for youth and senior services. Why? Is it because our most fragile neighbors cannot stand up and fight for themselves? What will they do next year when they fail again to deliver a balanced budget? Who will be on the chopping block then?

It is time for our legislators to do their jobs and protect and serve all the people of Nassau County, especially our most vulnerable children and seniors.

Philip M. Mickulas, Hempstead

Editor's note: The writer is the president of Family and Children's Association, which provides services to teens and homeless youth in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Child care cutbacks are a disgrace ["Child care cut back," News, July 3]. We want the poor and homeless to get jobs so they can take care of themselves, but we start them off with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, or about $1,250 for a month's work. We know that on Long Island you can't possibly pay rent, buy food, run a car and pay for child care on that amount, even with both parents making minimum wage.

So to help these families, we offered subsidized child care if they were working. Now, we are taking that away from 1,200 children in Suffolk County where we were trying to get people back to work.

In the Suffolk County budget, $1 was added per ride on the minibus that transports disabled people on fixed incomes, in order to help balance the budget. I would suggest that the 25 cents we were going to charge ferryboat riders to Fire Island, many of whom are not on fixed incomes, be raised to $1.

Peter Barnett, Sayville

Editor's note: The writer is a board member of the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.