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Letter: Support Taxpayer Relief Bill

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.

Anita MacDougall

Oyster Bay

 

News

There is a new psychic medium on the North Shore of Long Island to compete with the original “Long Island Medium,” Theresa Caputo. Her name is Mary Drew and she has been working for more than a decade doing private readings. Recently, Drew has expanded her horizons and has been conducting readings at restaurants, public events and fundraisers.

“I discovered my ability to speak and to hear the deceased voices when I was 10 years old,” said Drew, who grew up in Brookville and now resides in Glen Cove. “The first deceased person I had an encounter with was my grandmother and it was a very profound experience, to say the least.”

The Oyster Bay Charitable Fund and the Oyster Bay Rotary Club hosted the annual Oyster Festival “Kick-Off” press conference on Friday, Aug. 15 at the flagpole in Theodore Roosevelt Park.

In attendance were NY State Senator Carl Marcelino and Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, both Honorary Oyster Festival Chairmen; Oyster Bay Town Clerk James Altadonna Jr.; Oyster Bay Town Councilman Chris J. Coshignano; Oyster Bay Town Councilwoman Michelle Johnson; Oyster Bay Town Councilman Joseph Pinto; Oyster Bay Rotary President Judy Wasilchuk; Verizon Title Sponsor Representative, Director of Government Affairs Patrick Lespinasse; Executive Director, h2empower, African Studies Specialist Helen Boxwill; Oyster Festival Sports Representative James Werner; Long Island Rough Riders Representative Sarah Culmo and Emcee Harlan Friedman.

The 31st annual Oyster Festival will take place on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 19, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.


Sports

Picture-perfect weather was on board for the Mill Neck Family of Organizations’ Third Annual Sail the Sound for Deafness Regatta on Thursday, Aug. 7. The event, featuring an evening race of yachts, followed by a cocktail party, was held to benefit the organization that serves individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have other special needs.

In this year’s race, fifteen sailors took to the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor; three aboard their own boats, others on several boats provided by Oakcliff Sailing Center. The WaterFront Center’s oyster sloop, Christeen and two vessels from Oyster Bay Marine Center, brought a total of 45 spectators out to watch the race.

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.


Calendar

Movie at the Library

Thursday, August 28

Sagamore Hill Walk

Saturday, August 30

Hooks and Needles

Tuesday, September 2



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