A school bus displays an extended flashing stop sign.

A school bus displays an extended flashing stop sign. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Moving Election Day may hurt candidates

Voting is a privilege that all too few exercise, whether the elections are national, local or hyper-local [“Local elections to be held in even-numbered years, beginning in 2026,” News, Dec. 23]. It is our obligation to make it easier for qualified voters to be registered and to go to the polls and for them to be knowledgeable about their choices.

Voter turnout may be higher in years when we vote for national and state elections, but moving county and town elections to those years is not the solution for greater participation in local races. Instead of drawing attention to our local candidates in off-year elections, it will simply “bury” them as another “down ballot” race that might be barely considered.

We may as well hold votes for school and library boards and local district commissioners on the same November Election Day and lose interest in them all at the same time.

— Kenneth Buettner, Port Washington

First, former President Donald Trump wants to rig elections. Now Gov. Kathy Hochul is rigging — er, unifying — all New York State elections. Since many people start voting at the top of the ticket, will any other candidates matter much to voters?

This state lost a net number of about 250,000 residents in 2022, so this could encourage more New Yorkers to vote with their feet.

— Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

Don’t shift blame for bus cam tickets

The article “Challenges to bus cam tickets” [News, Dec. 27] misses two big issues: the safety of the children on school buses, and the apparent disregard for the responsibility of safe driving.

Yes, one can argue that the fines are “extravagant” or a cash grab.” That is an easy excuse for a driver illegally passing a stopped school bus. A much easier way to avoid the fines is to drive safely and not put children and others at risk by passing a stopped school bus that has a stop sign engaged. Too often, people complain about traffic fines as if the government is only imposing penalties to enrich itself. What is really taking place is avoiding responsibility and shifting blame to others.

— Robert J. Pollack, Bellmore

The article begs a larger question. Legal challenges are being mounted, yet the real story is people who fail to take responsibility for their actions. The chief protagonist is litigating the failure to provide adequate proof of the infraction. This individual paid the fine but apparently never admitted to the offense.

It is time for people to be held accountable for their actions. I would have preferred the person to have admitted the offense and pay the fine. After that, he can litigate all he wants.

The safety of our children is at stake.

— Fred Ricci, Mineola

Unless someone is driving with their eyes closed or busy texting or doing something else other than watching the road, it is pretty hard not to see a big yellow bus with flashing red lights.

— Dick Cardozo, Westbury

LIPA hike adds more grief for residents

Supermarket prices have risen. Packages are shrinking. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority apparently raises prices on a whim because they want more money. It should manage its money and employees better and leave us alone.

Now, the Long Island Power Authority claims to need more money [“LIPA: $20 bill hike next year,” News, Dec. 14].

They put the extra expense on the backs of the people.

How much more can we take? Is there no end to utility misspending? It seems that those in power care mostly about themselves.

— Barbara Hansen, Smithtown

Retirees’ benefits must stay protected

Nassau County CSEA retirees worked their entire careers with the promise and expectation that their existing and earned benefits would be preserved once they retire “Judge rules for CSEA retirees,” Long Island, Dec. 20]. Any deviation resulting in a lapse in coverage, increase in out-of-pocket expenses, or reduction in treatment options is an absolute betrayal and totally unfair. Especially for an aging population living on a fixed income.

The Retired Public Employees Association, which represents the interests of nearly 500,000 New York State and local government retirees and their beneficiaries, applauds the decision to put a temporary hold on the proposed health plan for Nassau County CSEA retirees. Breaking a promise with these people who kept our communities healthy and safe is unconscionable.

Local leaders should do the right thing. The benefits that these retirees have earned must be protected by restoring the benefits provided through the Empire Plan.

— Edward Farrell, Albany

The writer is the Retired Public Employees Association executive director.

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