After watching television on Tuesday March 28, where hundreds of Nassau County residents and many elderly and disabled attended the public hearing, held at NCMC, on the proposed county bus cuts. And watching tempers and passions run high on the plan to cut 23 routes and reduce service on 25 others and where several bus drivers would lose their jobs, I wondered why it is, that always the needy, less affluent and elderly are always used first as a solution, as a way to plug the county deficit.
These bus routes service people throughout the county that cannot, will not, or do not drive. This includes senior citizens, many with disabilities, who rely on this needed transportation to get to doctor appointments, and to go food shopping. Even the Able-Ride system which provides transportation to doctors and hospitals, to seniors with severe disabilities is scheduled to be severely cut.
Why is that the first cuts are always made to services that do not "enhance" the affluent county residents' lives and are always directed to the "working" people who can least afford alternative forms of transportation.
As employees of the Port Washington Senior Citizens Center in Port Washington, we see firsthand how these cuts would affect this segment of the county population.
Many of our seniors have lived in this county for their entire lives and have paid taxes to this county for as many years, without a previous concern for their future, now when it is their turn to enjoy some of the benefits this county has always provided to its citizens to assist them in their "Golden Years" the county has decided that they are a group of people where services can be readily cut.
We must call and write County Executive Gulotta to restore this needed funding to these bus routes and tell him and the Legislature to look elsewhere in the budget for "the pork" items that could be cut without impact on a large majority of county residents.
Port Senior Center, Director
Frances Jurkowski, Secretary