New York is one of the latest states to legalize...

New York is one of the latest states to legalize online betting. Credit: AP/Charles Krupa

Nixing redistricting plan an awful move

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s deal on redistricting is self-serving and shameful ["Bellone vetoes redistricting map," News, Jan. 27].

The prior plan established a new Suffolk County Legislature district map, including four majority-minority districts for the first time. Although the legislature was majority Democrat and could have passed a gerrymandered monstrosity, it instead took the high road, submitting a map which split districts evenly based on the 2020 Census. Republicans tried to stop it but were struck down by the appellate court, which ruled that the redistricting process was conducted fairly.

Now, Bellone has met behind closed doors with the Republican presiding officer, thwarting the communities who supported the new map.

These two want to change the code in two days without input or oversight from the communities who continue to be harmed by being barred from a seat at the table. This new deal was made without input from Democratic minority leader Jason Richberg, the only Black legislator.

What are we to conclude from this but that fair and equal representation isn’t a priority for Bellone or Republicans. Bellone’s seemingly disingenuous attempts to convince the constituency of the correctness of his path have shown his true character.

— Garrett Petersen, East Islip

Nowhere did I read that those objecting the most to the new redistricting plan can’t be part of a public committee in formulating the policy ["Criticism of redistrict veto," News, Jan. 28].

Once again, it shouldn’t be a Republican or Democratic political policy. It should involve those in the affected communities where redrawn lines will determine the voting patterns of the future, along with the public’s opinions, discussion and support in formulating these lines.

— Frank Knight, Mastic

NYPD cops living in city still a bad idea

Mayor Eric Adams’ idea of a residency requirement for NYPD officers is nothing new ["Mayor: More cops need to live in city," News, Jan. 26]. In 1992, I wrote a letter to Newsday concerning this very issue. I thought the concept was a bad idea then, and it’s still a bad idea 30 years later.

First, the reason for originally permitting the cops to live outside the city — the lack of adequate middle-income housing — has not changed over the years.

Second, newly hired officers must now pay city income taxes at the higher resident rate regardless of where they live.

Third, despite the new community policing concept, officers are still prohibited by the department from working in precincts where they reside.

Last, and most important, the implication that suburban cops don’t care about Black and Latino neighborhoods where they work insults the memory of the scores of officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Just ask their

families if their lost sons, daughters, husbands and fathers really cared.

— John J. Tarpey Jr., Massapequa

The writer is a retired NYPD lieutenant.

There should be a residency law for teachers working in New York City as well as police officers. Growing up on Long Island and ultimately teaching in New York City is a challenge for many in relating to and understanding a different and diverse culture of values and beliefs.

For some, teaching in the city is viewed as a training ground until teaching positions open in Nassau or Suffolk counties.

— Phil Cicero, North Massapequa

Online gamblers can’t afford to lose money

It seems that the proliferation of online gambling is like a regressive tax, or worse ["Don’t lose all your bets," Editorial, Jan. 14]. Wealthy people generally didn’t get that way by making investments that return much less than the investment, such as gambling does. People who aren’t wealthy seem to think that they may become rich by gambling, that somehow they will be the exception that gets a big payday. So, most gambling money likely comes from people who can’t afford it but hope to escape poverty. At least sales taxes generally affect people equally.

Why don’t wealthy individuals or companies pay appropriate higher taxes? It is because they have the money for lobbyists and lawyers who can find loopholes.

Why don’t our state lawmakers oppose these regressive gambling fiascos? Could it have something to do with the money it brings them?

— Jerry Mintz, Roslyn Heights

The writer is director of the Alternative Education Resource Organization.

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