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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

Matt Bentz, of Forest Hills, was the winner of the Oyster Festival Raffle that took place as the event ended at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19. He had a choice between winning a 2015 Chrysler 200 three-year lease or $15,000 in cash. He chose the cash. He is the “Perfect Oyster Festival Raffle winner.”

Bentz is a computer systems administrator with Spa Creek Software, a company that writes software for other software developers, and has been to the festival numerous times over the years; in fact, next year he is hoping to sail here on his 24 ft. sailboat. He got it “reasonably” from a friend who was buying up.

Richie Cannata may be best known for his song credits but his name will become a part of history this week. Cannata, a 28-year resident and business owner of Glen Cove, will be inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 23 at The Paramount in Huntington.

As a member of the Billy Joel Band, the saxophone player was propelled to fame in 1975 when he joined the band and played on songs including “New York State of Mind” and “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.”


Sports

The autumn varsity sports season is well on its way in Oyster Bay. Many young athletes have distinguished themselves. Several fine young athletes excelled right out of the gate and were chosen by the Oyster Bay Hight School coaches as Athletes of the Month for October 2014.

Cross Country Coach Kevin Cotter has athletes who consistently qualify for the states. Picking one to honor is a difficult task. Within this impressive group of talented athletes, one stands out: junior Alex Tosi, who recently broke the 17 minute barrier for a 5K course at Bethpage State park with a time of 16:52. This feat has not been accomplished since 2008.

5- and 6-year-old Peanuts

The Little Generals (Peanuts) stepped out into the cold Sunday morning ready to give the home crowd a show as they battled the Bellmore Braves, and that’s just what they did as the Generals beat the Braves 14-7. The teams battled to a first half tie as the Generals’ touchdown came on a 26-yard run by Kody Gehnrich, thanks to great blocks by John (Jack) Grace and Jack Symanski.

In the second half, where the Generals are usually at their best, the defense shut out the Braves as Rodney Hill, Jr. and Brandon Babel stepped in on the defense line to create a great push to allow Francesco Allocca to make eight tackles. The offense got a big boost with Allocca being allowed to play RB after playing QB the past two games, and boy did he respond behind great lead blocking from Luca Granito. Allocca carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD coming on the last play of the game.


Calendar

Boys & Girls Club Gala

Thursday, October 23

Halloween Party

Saturday, October 25

Property Tax Exemptions Workshop

Tuesday, October 28



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