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Letter: Facts Over Opinions

I read with great interest, and then with dismay, the letter to the editor from my friend Norman Gersman, attacking long time Great Neck resident Howard Weitzman who is a former mayor of Great Neck Estates and former County Comptroller. It is important for readers to understand that Norman was one of George Maragos’ campaign operatives in 2009 and has held a series of County jobs ever since. Also, Norman refers so glowingly to the column by Mike Barry praising and defending Comptroller Maragos’ record … without indicating that Barry is a well-known and consistent supporter of Republican officials and candidates.

In the interest of full disclosure, I serve as President of the Great Neck Democratic Club and am actively involved in Howard Weitzman’s campaign to regain his position as County Comptroller.

After reading Norman’s letter, and knowing his political leanings and employment history, I’m reminded of the adage that “you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.” In an effort to deflect attention from the horrendous state of the county’s finances, and a lack of any notable achievements by Comptroller Maragos, Norman has concocted fanciful and baseless claims about the state of the County at the end of the Suozzi administration in 2009 and places the blame on Howard Weitzman. Aside from the fact that Comptrollers do not control the County’s spending or revenue collections (if you accepted Norman’s statements, then Comptroller George Maragos is responsible for the growing deficits the Mangano administration has created), the deficit that Mr. Maragos claims then Comptroller Weitzman left is a figment of his imagination.

There were no deficits in the County’s 2009 financial statements signed off on by Comptroller Maragos. What does appear in the County’s 2009 audited financial statements is a budget surplus of $2.6 million. In addition, after 13 bond rating upgrades during his time in office, the County was given a stable rating outlook by the rating agencies when Howard Weitzman left office. Today, four years later, after multiple bond rating downgrades, the County has been assigned a negative outlook by the same rating agencies. Who are you going to believe, Maragos, his supporters in the media and on the County payroll or the rating agencies?  Facts count for a lot more than opinions.

Steven Markowitz

 

News

Alan Yu, an external auditor from the firm, Cullen & Danowski LLP gave the findings of the annual district external audit at Oct. 22’s Hicksville Board of Education meeting. Discussed at the meeting were the financial statements of the 2013-14 school year which officially ended June 30.

According to Yu, the Hicksville School district has a fund balance of $34 million. Roughly 26 to 27 percent of the general fund balance comprises the total budget.

Levittown Hall in Hicksville comes alive every Thursday night with music, dance, fun and laughter as students are swept away into the world of Latin dance.

Under the instruction of professional teacher Mark James, dance hopefuls learn a trio of Latin dance, including salsa, meringue and what James describes as the biggest craze in Latin dancing today, bachata.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Safe Trick or Treat

October 31

Election Day

November 4

Senior Luncheon

November 6



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