Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:42
Long Island and NYS taxes continue to rise at an unsustainable rate. Primary cost drivers are unfunded mandates, which get a lot of talk and attention in state-wide hearings, but somehow never result in any cost-controlling action. I would like to bring your readers’ attention to Smithtown NYS Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick’s bill A8603.
This bill addresses three primary cost drivers:
• Step increases in expired contracts - Currently, the Triborough Amendment mandates that salaries continue to rise even when a union contract expires. This bill would end the practice, giving employers a fair negotiating position.
• Unlimited mandatory arbitration awards - Currently, police and firefighters are entitled to a mandatory arbitration process when their contract negotiations reach an impasse. Historical evidence in Nassau and Suffolk counties shows high cost arbitration settlements. This bill would limit arbitration awards to 2 percent.
• Pension reform - Currently, public sector employees are entitled to a taxpayer guaranteed defined benefit pension (with unknown costs to the taxpayer). This bill would require future public sector employees to enroll in a defined contribution pension (with known costs each year) similar to private sector employees and already available to SUNY faculty for many years. The added benefit to the enrollee would be plan portability.
To discuss these issues and A8603, a Taxpayer Mandate Relief Forum is scheduled for Thursday, May 8 at 7 p.m., at the Melville Marriot (1359 Walt Whitman Rd.) with Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick; Smithtown Town Supervisor Patrick Vecchio; David Little, NYS School Board Association; Stephen Whitt, Hewlett & BOCES Trustee; EJ McMahon, Empire Center For NYS Policy; Steve Flanagan, Conservative Society for Action and host, past Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy.
Please attend and please contact your NYS elected official to support A8603 Taxpayer Mandate Relief Bill.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, and many of them were in costume, a new addition to the popular champagne party. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date Daphne, a 3-month-old long haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.
Saturday, 16 August 2014 00:00
Right now, Oyster Bay is in bloom. From the well-tended gardens of Planting Fields to unmowed patches near the Shu Swamp preserve, flowers are not just beautify our community, they also are calling out to us to bring them inside our homes to add color and fragrance. You don’t hear them? Trust me, the flowers in your garden are even calling you by name.
But don’t just stuff a bouquet in a vase. Make them look as good and last as long as possible. To find out how to do that, as well as how to improve your backyard flora, I asked Scott Lucas, the greenhouse supervisor of Old Westbury Gardens for some advice. He invited to join him in his cutting garden.
Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:00
Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of 21 minutes, 7 seconds.
Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.
Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00
Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay will once again be the site of the Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24.
The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at Roosevelt Park.