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Letters: Politicians' shifty tactics

Nassau Legislators Peter Schmitt and Kevan Abrahams listen

Nassau Legislators Peter Schmitt and Kevan Abrahams listen to public comments regarding bonding issues in Mineola. (May 21, 2012) Credit: Howard Schnapp

First we have Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state legislators making a deal in the dark of night that traded the retirement security of future public employees for favorable legislative redistricting lines ["A full slate in Albany," Editorial, May 1].

Yes, it was just two months ago when the Tier 6 pension reform legislation was pushed through by politicians more concerned with their own self-preservation than the best interests of their constituents. Of course, no immediate savings will result.

Now we have Nassau County legislators tabling a motion to give County Executive Edward Mangano full authority to open union contracts and furlough county employees, only to reverse course and pass the measure hours later in virtual secrecy ["New power to cut $40M in Nassau," News, May 22].

This dishonest tactic cleared the path for the motion's passage by cutting off all debate and emptying the legislative chamber of any opposing voices. Once again, it seems doubtful that meaningful savings will result from this latest bait-and-switch approach to public policy-making.

These two shameful episodes are only the latest examples of politics as usual, and our elected representatives seem increasingly incapable of summoning the courage needed to exercise true leadership. Members of both parties have abrogated their responsibilities and, as usual, it is working people who pay the price.

Nicholas J. LaMorte, Commack

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Civil Service Employees Association, Long Island Region.

Nassau Republican majority legislators ceding control of the county's fraying purse strings, over the Democratic minority's opposition, sets the county off on a slippery slope ["Passing the buck in Nassau," Editorial, May 23].

Now that the Republican legislators are on the record acknowledging that they are incapable of performing their fiscal function, perhaps the real benefit to the taxpayer would be if they voted to disband the legislature entirely, and cede all power to our beleaguered county executive. The recurring savings of a legislature-less county government, about $9.3 million a year, would do more to help the county than anything the Republicans have come up with so far.

Jeff Toback, Oceanside

Editor's note: The writer is a Democrat and former member of the Nassau County Legislature.


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