Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, along with the town...

Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer, along with the town board, during a meeting of the Town Board on Dec. 20, 2017. Credit: Jeffrey Basinger

Babylon official will be fired if convicted

I feel it’s important to set the record straight on my position as it relates to hiring Lindsay Henry, who has been charged with beating his girlfriend, as an assistant town attorney [“Letter targets town attorney,” News, Feb. 2].

I grew up in a household headed by a mother who was a raging alcoholic and who killed a 21-year-old man in a 1977 drunken-driving accident. My siblings and I suffered through years of both mental and physical abuse which, although rough, shaped me into the person I am today.

Throughout my 30-year career in government, I have supported legislation to combat domestic violence, including the creation of the Suffolk County policy that requires an arrest be made following any allegation of domestic violence, as well as funding for women’s advocacy groups that provide services for victims of domestic violence.

Domestic violence of any kind, when proved in court, is completely abhorrent. As women across our country are courageously speaking out against violence and harassment, it’s vitally important that women who have been silenced for too long are able to have their voices heard.

However, I cannot support the conviction of someone in the court of public opinion, with congressional candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley acting as judge and jury. Our country was founded on due process, and I believe strongly that “innocent until proven guilty” is the foundation of our judicial system. If Henry is convicted, I will personally ensure that he is terminated from town employment.

Rich Schaffer, Babylon

Editor’s note: The writer is Babylon Town supervisor and chairman of the Suffolk County Democratic Party.

Really? Three $25G bonuses for cops?

I read “Copping big pay raises” [News, Feb. 1] and got to the part where for three successive years, Northport police officers will each receive a $25,000 bonus.

I read it again and again and was still thinking I had read it wrong.

Police have very hard jobs, but how much is enough? Those who choose to be officers know what is involved. They put their lives on the line every day. I just don’t understand the bonus part. Did they all do something outside of what their duties are, or is it just a bonus for being a police officer?

Because police are paid by taxing the public, there will come a point when taxes just won’t do it anymore.

If you want to give out bonuses, let’s give them to nurses and teachers. Oh, what the heck. Bonuses for everyone!

Edward Tardibuono, Levittown

Sermons are guided by the Holy Spirit

Journalist Bob Keeler writes that “the gift of preaching does not always come with ordination” [“Francis should open up the pulpits,” Opinion, Jan. 28].

How I wish I could prepare and deliver a grand-slam homily every weekend at Mass. Priests and deacons are only human. Yes, there are good, not-so-good and amazingly great homilies given each weekend at churches throughout various dioceses. I’m sure in Keeler’s many years of being a professional writer, the same has been true of his articles.

Having “men and women who have preaching skills, but have not been ordained” prepare and deliver homilies at Mass doesn’t guarantee that those in the pews will somehow be inspired to greater faith. I know from my own experience as an ordained deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn that the best homilies are those that speak to the hearts of those in the pews.

When I can get myself out of the way of the Spirit, the Spirit does what it does — not me! I am the humble sower of the seed, the congregation is the soil, but the Spirit is the one who gives life to the words!

Alexander Breviario, Howard Beach

Puzzling pay raises in Town of Oyster Bay

I cannot reconcile the content of the article “$734G in pay hikes” [News, Jan. 29], with the stated intention of the Town of Oyster Bay.

To ensure pay equity, town officials gave raises to 87 people, with the majority of the raises going to men, whose average raises were more than the women’s. Am I reading English?

Also, how is it fiscally sound to give these raises? What is the town board thinking? Raises of $19,000 each to four people, two of whom have not been in their jobs a full year?

I hope the secretaries, office workers and support staff got the kind of raises their bosses received.

In a political climate of supposed transparency, this was done very underhandedly. In a climate of corruption that has plagued the Town of Oyster Bay, these raises were timed post-election. It’s politics as usual.

Not one politician seems to get it. Taxpayers are tired of paying for their friends in town jobs. Don’t insult us by saying equality is “a priority.”

Debra Gerrity, North Bellmore

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