Fraser Avenue Park sign displaying Town of Hempstead officials' names,...

Fraser Avenue Park sign displaying Town of Hempstead officials' names, including current council member Bruce Blakeman. Credit: Mary McKenna

Ending NIFA control of county a priority

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority approving the Nassau County budget is welcome news ["NIFA approves $3.5B budget," News, Dec. 8]. Sadly, the county is still under the control of NIFA for more than 20 years and with no end in sight.

Before the November election, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced that NIFA’s control of finances could end in "months." While I am skeptical of this happening since labor contracts still need to be negotiated, it should be a priority of incoming County Executive Bruce Blakeman’s administration in January.

It would benefit the State Legislature to consider canceling the "Mandatory Binding Arbitration" law, which doesn’t even cover some public safety members such as the FDNY and other civilian government employees.

The NIFA board released the Grant Thornton report in 2011, giving the county numerous suggestions for saving money. This expansive report should be read by Blakeman and the county legislature, then acted upon.

Nassau residents are drowning in excessive taxes due to overspending. Blakeman ran on a promise to reduce taxes, and now he must deliver.  

— Joe Campbell, Port Washington

Landfill game plan can benefit all of us

Timing is everything, and the editorial "Landfill raises heap of questions" could not have been timelier [Opinion, Dec. 5]. When the Brookhaven landfill closes, 720,000 tons of construction and demolition debris along with 360,000 tons of municipal solid waste combustor ash will need to find a new home annually.

For decades, Long Island has been a leader in developing strategies for the beneficial use of waste materials, constructing artificial reefs from coal ash, building a boathouse on the Stony Brook University campus from MSW combustor ash, turning waste materials into a hydraulic grout for the closure of abandoned mines in upstate New York, to name but a few.

Our western neighbor, Pennsylvania, has already established protocols allowing the processing of ash resulting in the need to landfill approximately 40% of this residual amount, a significant reduction of this combustion byproduct.

New York must once again take the lead in developing initiatives that will result in managing our wastes in an environmentally acceptable, financially viable and sustainable way.

Kudos to the local politicians for taking on the challenge and moving forward with a game plan that could benefit every taxpayer and enhance our environment.

— Frank Roethel, Selden

The writer is director of the Waste Reduction and Management Institute at Stony Brook University.

Bodycam pay a form of salary increase

I find it disconcerting that Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone struck a deal with the Suffolk Police Benevolent Association to eventually pay each police officer a $3,000 annual stipend to wear a body camera ["Body cams: What's wrong with picture?" Letters, Dec. 6]. Really? The police union should care about police accountability and public safety without having to get paid extra — that’s their job. In 2019, Bellone noted how the county was saving money by limiting police pay hikes, but I see these stipends as backdoor pay increases.  

Randee Silberfeld, Mount Sinai

New exec should keep Curran policy on signs

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran kept her 2017 campaign promise and got rid of putting politicians’ names on county park signs. This saved taxpayers a lot of money.

Bruce Blakeman, who does not take office as county executive until Jan. 1, has had his name, as a Town of Hempstead council member, plastered all over the town’s parks.

Replacing all the signs in Nassau every time somebody new gets elected is quite an expensive practice — and unnecessary.

Blakeman would be wise to do the same thing that Curran did and also recommend town supervisors follow suit ["Nassau Exec-elect offers looks at transition team," News, Dec. 3].

— Mary McKenna, North Bellmore

Photo of octopus over boiling pot is bad

The full-page cover photo of an octopus being held above a pot of boiling water is   revolting to animal lovers, vegetarians and vegans ["Passport to flavor," exploreLI, Dec. 1].

I hope in the future Newsday will reconsider publishing photos that would be repulsive to some readers. This is not the same as gut-wrenching news photos that appropriately  are printed to educate readers.

— Sharada Jayagopal, East Williston