I am writing in response to the letter that appeared in the Oct. 15 edition of the Hicksville Illustrated News from the Briggs Neighborhood Committee.
I begin by pointing out that Hicksville has the same voting hours as the majority of fire departments in the Town of Oyster Bay. For this small community group to state that we have the shortest polling hours is misleading when in fact they are the norm.
To date, the board of fire commissioners is in receipt of one resident letter and has not received signed petitions from the Briggs Neighborhood Committee, senior groups or any other community organization requesting extended voting hours.
In fact, in a correspondence dated Aug. 26, 2004 a representative of the Briggs Neighborhood Committee, under the Freedom of Information Act, requested a copy of a petition submitted by an area senior citizens group. A letter from the Hicksville Fire District dated Aug. 31, 2004 responded that "there is no record of having received any petition from any senior citizen's group." For the committee to suggest that such a petition has been filed with the district, after being made well aware of this information, is a flat out attempt to deceive the public and readers of this publication.
As members of the board of fire commissioners, we have an obligation to best represent the needs and desires of the community we serve, which includes 40,000 residents living in more than 12,000 homes throughout six square miles. We have always welcomed input from residents and encourage them to express their views and concerns. Although we can appreciate the desires of this small group of residents who call themselves the Briggs Neighborhood Committee, at this time we believe that the polling hours are sufficient and have decided that they will remain the same.
I encourage everyone who is eligible to vote in the election for Hicksville Fire Commissioner to come out and exercise this important American freedom. The polls will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. at fire headquarters at 20 East Marie Street on Tuesday, Dec. 14.
Joseph D. Giardina
Hicksville Fire Commissioner