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Letter: A Response To Mike Barry’s Column

I must take exception to Mike Barry’s recent column trumpeting the County Office of Legislative Budget Review’s  (OLBR)’s “verdict” that the County Comptroller’s office sought and received adequate backup for payments to Super Storm Sandy contractors. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The OLBR report clearly stated that their review was limited in scope and not meant as endorsement or criticism of the FEMA funding and approval process in totality (pg. 3). In fact, payments to the largest vendor, Looks Great Services, which totaled over $34 million, were approved for payment based upon an Excel spreadsheet without adequate documentation (pg. 5).

Mr. Barry’s column also failed to mention that the actions of the Comptroller’s office with respect to contracts and payments for Superstorm Sandy work are currently being investigated by the Nassau County District Attorney and the New York State Attorney General.

As the former Nassau County Comptroller, I am appalled about the current scandal surrounding contracts and unauthorized payments to companies for Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene debris removal. Comptroller George Maragos should appear before the county legislature to discuss payments that Nassau County has made to various contractors and disclose all records associated with the various contracts.

 It is one of the core responsibilities of the County Comptroller to serve as financial watchdog safeguarding taxpayer dollars, including providing oversight on county contracts.  If the appropriate oversight occurred and proper procedures were followed, there is no reason why Mr. Maragos should avoid making records publicly available and answer questions before the legislature.  

Howard Weitzman

Editor’s note: Howard Weitzman is expected to run for Nassau County Comptroller on the Democratic line in this year’s election.

News

Hicksville’s interim School Superintendent Dr. Carl Bonuso gave a review of the district’s recently completed capital projects and facilities updates at Nov. 19’s board of education meeting. Most of the projects were completed over the summer in each of the district’s schools.

“Thanks to Director of Facilities and Operations, Dave Bell and his staff, we are structurally sound,” said Bonuso. “So much of what we do is in-house which saves the district money and our staff makes the facilities as special as the students they serve.”

The community is rallying together to raise funds for a Hicksville native who has been battling to get a service dog.

Nancy Burpee is a 49-year-old competitive swimmer and single mother with a rare genetic terminal illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes the deterioration of the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and vital organs.


Sports

For the past 11 months, Hicksville’s Marlo Signoracci has been training for IRONMAN, one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there. The triathlon includes a swim, bike and run portion. Signoracci recently traveled down to Florida to compete in IRONMAN Florida. Here’s a look at her experience.

Nov. 1, 2014 will be a day in my life I will never forget and will carry with me forever. It truly was the celebration of the last 11 months of training.

The fall athletic season seemed to move quickly, but all teams had outstanding seasons with all teams reaching the playoffs except for two who had their best season in many years.

In addition to athletic acheivements, all of the varsity programs at Hicksville High School also participated in raising more than $4,000 for several charities this past fall: pediatric cancer, breast cancer awareness and cystic fibrosis.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com