It should be disturbing to every property taxpayer that some school districts have adopted the role of obstructionist, loudly opposing critical economic development that would attract the next generation wishing to live on Long Island [“Schools’ complex issue,” News, Aug. 8].
A recent survey by NextLI, an initiative of the Newsday editorial board, found that high taxes are a leading cause of young people leaving the Island. Multifamily developments are key to retaining them.
The irony, of course, is that over time, school classrooms will empty as our young people flee the region while the rising costs of education place an ever-larger burden on remaining property owners.
School districts should remain focused on providing Long Islanders quality education and leave economic development, which funds their ever-increasing costs, to those still willing to invest in the region.
Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, a real estate trade association.
Don’t blame MTA unions for work rules
In some articles about MTA overtime, “union work rules” have been criticized by MTA officials [“Clash over overtime,” News, Aug. 17]. There are no such things. Instead, there are mutually bargained contracts agreed to by labor and management.
If management finds a potential provision of a contract onerous, it should not agree to it.
It’s disingenuous to sign a contract with full awareness of its provisions and then turn around and blame the other signer if some of those provisions turn out to be troublesome.
Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Hewlett-Woodmere Faculty Association, representing teachers in the Hewlett-Woodmere school district.
Water districts face different costs
The Citizens Campaign for the Environment’s report on local water costs is a document designed to score headlines rather than produce tangible results [“LI’s varying cost of water,” News, Aug. 13]. Conclusions drawn in this report are misleading.
Each community has varying budget needs for operations and capital improvements. Nassau and Suffolk’s average costs of water differ mainly because there is a disproportional number of Superfund sites in Nassau County. Due to more groundwater contaminated by polluters, a higher level of state-of-the-art treatment is needed in Nassau, resulting in higher operation, maintenance and capital costs.
The Citizens Campaign’s report, “What Does Your Water Cost?,” misrepresents the number of water providers that incentivize conservation. It lists only five that “promote water conservation,” but the report’s own data for each district show that most have tiered rates that charge customers more per gallon as usage increases. In addition, many districts conduct public outreach campaigns with tips and information for conserving.
This is a non-story. Although communities throughout Long Island deal with varying levels of groundwater contamination, Long Islanders still pay some of the lowest rates for water compared with the rest of the nation.
Editor’s note: The writer is superintendent of the Roslyn Water District and first vice chairman of the Long Island Water Conference, an organization that includes suppliers, regulators and experts.
Home care aides aren’t paid enough
The article “Wanted: Home care workers” [News, July 29] really hit home with me. Yes, the demand is outstripping the supply.
My mom had home care from 2014 to 2018, when she went into the hospital and then rehabilitation. She died in November late 2018.
In our experience, the home care aides were not paid enough by their agencies. Many must work second jobs if there is no other breadwinner in the family.
Yes, we had aides who lived on Long Island and had their own transportation, but if one aide had time off or called out sick, the agency had to find someone to cover the shift. Most of the time it couldn’t, and we had no aide that day.
The system needs to be fixed. If it isn’t, clients will be forced to stay in nursing homes, which have similar staffing problems. Everybody should be reimbursed better. Keep up the good reporting, Newsday.
OK, coppers! Find me at the Stop & Frisk
I received a phone call on my cellphone with a caller ID of “Social Security Administration.” I was food shopping on a Saturday at noon. The message said that if I did not call back, a warrant would be issued for my arrest [“Building an armor against scammers,” Act 2, Aug. 18].
OK, here are my conditions for surrender:
1) I’m in aisle three. Come and get me — and be ready to restock everything in my cart.
2) Obviously, since I am now public enemy No. 1 (a k a Jimmy Cagney: “Come and get me, coppers!”), there must a bounty on my head. I want a 90-10 split — 90 percent to me. How else can I pay for my groceries?
At least when I’m in jail, I won’t have to worry about food shopping!