Governor Andrew Cuomo and our state legislators have stated that with the passage of the 2 percent tax cap, Long Island homeowners finally have what they wanted: A means to control exorbitant property taxes increases.
What we have is an imbalance between those who have, taking from those who have not. As reported recently, the Qualcomm CEO received $35 million in 2011, an increase of $24 million more than he received in 2010. The Starbucks CEO got $41 million in 2011 and “only” $29 million in 2010. The take home pay of CEO’s grew at least 10 percent in 2011.
On behalf of the Massapequa Board of Education and administration, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our registered voters for coming out to the polls and approving the 2012-13 school budget.
Your support is the lifeblood of this district. It is what keeps high quality academic, athletic and arts programs pumping strong for our students. I commend you for acknowledging our continued efforts to minimize the burden on our taxpayers — especially during this historic year of the New York State property tax cap — and for supporting our high caliber programs that are so vital to students’ success.
“I don’t watch the news. It’s too depressing.”
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, well, I’d have a lot of nickels. Of course, when you work in the newspaper industry, it’s hard to avoid the news, but is it that depressing? Let’s recap some of the major news stories from this week.
I’m aware that addressing any group as “those people” sounds judgmental, but in this instance I don’t think I can get around it: I just don’t get those people who park in the fire lane in front of Starbucks, or a similar establishment, presumably because they’ll “just be in there for a minute.”
We all know that most customers of Starbucks and its ilk are only in there briefly to pick up a drink, so the “just a minute” excuse can be unilaterally ignored. These people park in the fire lane because they seem to think, for some reason, that parking in the lot and walking to the store is something only other people should have to take the time and energy to do.
The increase in taxes has caused homeowners to reduce their discretionary spending and tighten household budgets. Yet the Massapequa School District, to which the majority of the tax revenues are directed, shows little inclination to lower its disbursements. Seemingly unconcerned about the hardships of those it was elected to serve, the school district’s board of trustees has in fact raised its budget every year for the past ten years. Additionally, there have been years when the district over-budgeted, effectively calling for more money that it needed to operate, resulting in a current reserve balance of almost $20,000,000.
For many years, Long Island school taxes increased at two and three time the rate of inflation. They are now the highest in the entire country. With great fanfare, a tax cap was recently signed into law, but unfortunately, when the dust has settled, we may find that it did more harm than any good it achieved.
Contracts with New York teachers’ unions have long provided step increases, a feature that guarantees annual salary increases for many of those employed. Thanks to the Taylor Law’s Triborough Amendment, these annual increases continue indefinitely, even when a contract has expired.
We met with Mr. Carozza for more than two hours to learn of his plans for the school board if elected.
Janice Talento, CEO, Drug Free Massapequa
On April 26, a seminal voice that was an integral part of the local airwaves was silenced when Port Washington’s hometown hero Pete Fornatale died from a stroke at the age of 66. Part of the class of free-form rock DJs whose ranks included Dennis Elsas, Vince Scelsa and Carole Miller along with late lamented names like WNEW-FM icons Scott Muni, Fornatale mentor Rosko and Alison Steele, the former high school teacher was part of a vanguard of FM broadcasters who counterbalanced the condescending and infantilized manner in which the dominant AM stations of the ’60s and early’70s treated rock ’n’ roll. And while corporate radio monoliths eventually wrapped their rapacious tentacles around any semblance of creativity by way of narrow formatting, skeletal playlists and jocks who were essentially scripted if not automated, Fornatale was one of the dwindling group of Don Quixotes titling at the Clear Channel windmills of the world.
The Massapequa Chiefs Cheerleading Booster Club fully endorses Richard Carozza for the Massapequa School Board.
Carozza’s experience, expertise and accomplishments proves him to be the perfect candidate.
Valerie Sullivan, President,
Susan Galati, Treasurer
You would expect an organization created for public benefit that is largely led by government officials would be obligated to report to the public about its activities. Yet the Research Foundation of the State University of New York (SUNY) and its many campus foundations are not required to do so and apparently feel no such compulsion to share information with the public. Instead, these organizations often cloak their activities in secrecy.
As president of United University Professions – the union representing academic and professional faculty at SUNY’s state-operated campuses – I think it’s time to let the sun shine in. It’s time to require the SUNY Research Foundation and campus foundations to be held accountable and to be more transparent.
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