To help Nassau, look at pension reform
I applaud Nassau County Executive Laura Curran for wanting to find out where and how to save money. She wants reviews from her deputy county executives in 60 days [“Hard look at Nassau’s fiscal ‘mess,’ ” News, Jan. 12].
Well, in 60 seconds I can give her an answer: pension reform. We had our chance to address this 800-pound gorilla, but New Yorkers voted down the constitutional convention.
What’s done is done, but the future needs to be addressed. All defined-pension plans for new hires should be replaced with 401(k)-style retirement accounts. Workers should receive a 401(k) contribution above their stated salary, anywhere from 10 percent to 15 percent.
Bob Cavaliere, Port Jefferson Station
Snowstorm, other factors held up mail
After 40 years, I retired as a letter carrier in Westbury and Old Westbury in 2012. I read with interest your story about the delayed mail delivery after the snowstorm [“Mail not delivered,” News, Jan. 11.]
I’m not sure whether the public realizes that more than 80 percent of our first-class mail is flown into Kennedy Airport, where it’s then sorted for counties and cities. From there, it’s driven by trailer to distribution centers, sorted for specific towns, then delivered by trailer to those localities for delivery.
Kennedy Airport was canceling flights on Jan. 4 and 5 and limiting flights on Jan. 6. As usual for a Sunday, there was no delivery on Jan. 7, and that helps to explain the delivery delays.
Trust me when I say that more than 95 percent of U.S. Postal Service employees try hard to get customers their mail, but sometimes Mother Nature has other plans.
Jim Hackett, Westbury
Reasons to reject bond for new library
Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library officials are proposing a tax increase to construct an extremely expensive public library for $38.5 million [“Mastic library seeking bond for new building,” News, Jan. 12].
Rather than build on the site of the former Links golf course, the district should explore a different site: the former Shirley Bowl, across the street from the current library. Real estate agents say the Shirley Bowl would sell for $3 million. The library district could use the property as a parking lot and for expansion, using its $5 million capital reserve.
Unlike the proposed Links site, the bowling alley site would not require the construction of expensive access roads and utility connections. Unfortunately, the library board decided against this proposal.
This referendum on Feb. 7 is costly and should be rejected.
John Sicignano, Mastic
Editor’s note: The writer is the president of the Mastic Park Civic Association.
I’m against the Mastic-Moriches-Shirley Community Library’s proposed $38.5 million building, which is expensive at the estimated extra tax to the typical homeowner of a $12 a month. Like other libraries, this library offers much information in electronic form. Already, many services are accessed electronically.
The need for rows and rows of books is lessening, yet the district is seeking a significant increase in its building size. With the loss of full federal deductions for state and local property taxes on the horizon, this is not the time to move and expand at great expense.
Clara McManus, Mastic
Support for Suffolk’s 5-cent bag fee
Meaningful and effective environmental legislation is rarely as simple as a fee on disposable bags [“Little bag-lash over law,” News, Jan. 9].
In the past, I’ve taken a plastic bag at a store for something as small as one item; it was handed to me, and I didn’t really have an option. Rarely did anyone ask whether I wanted a bag.
Now I’m being confronted with the question every time I go to the store, and I’ve yet to answer in the affirmative. My bag consumption has been reduced by something as minor as being asked whether I actually want one.
It isn’t just me. In less than two weeks, I’ve seen many people choose to carry out handfuls of items rather than take disposable bags. I’ve also seen an increase in the use of reusable bags. Clearly, the nigh-insignificant 5-cent fee is entirely capable of altering behavior.
These bags are horrible for the environment, and the images and videos of wildlife trapped in them are haunting. We should strive to be a society entirely free of these disposable bags; this is an excellent first step, and I’m proud of Suffolk County.
Alexander Harrington, West Babylon
I’m so excited to see the bag fee in Suffolk County. Plastic bags are a huge threat to our marine life and coastal ecosystems, and they clog our waterways.
I cannot count the number of times I have seen plastic bags blowing over our beaches or floating in the ocean. Plastic bags never completely biodegrade; they break down into small pieces that can end up in our water supply or leach toxins into our ground.
While this may seem inconvenient to some, we must be ready to embrace change. It’s important to remember the long-term benefits for our public health and environment.
Katelyn Hill, Smithtown