Opinion

(Ed.'s note: The following letter was sent to County Legislator Wayne Wink and is printed here at the writer's request.)

The report in the Jan. 9 issue of Newsday on the wanton abuse of fiscal responsibility perpetrated by the Nassau County Legislature, with the installation of $1,000 Plasma TV sets in each of the new offices of the legislators, is an absolute outrage. You and your fellow legislators should be ashamed of yourselves in abrogating your fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers by this reprehensible abuse of power. When taxes in Nassau County are going through the roof, when some residents have a tough time making ends meet, for you and your colleagues to avail yourself of this exorbitant, and totally unnecessary luxury, defies any decency and respect for and sensitivity to the constituents you represent. Shame on you and your fellow legislators!

For Judy Jacobs, former presiding officer, to state as it has been reported in the subject article, that..."it is an expense that nobody expected." is not only disingenuous, but insulting to the intelligence of the taxpayers of Nassau County who paid for this "unexpected expense."

Shame also on County Executive Tom Suozzi on whose watch this "pork barrel" was perpetrated. Shame also on him for his arrogant response "any jackass can tear down a project," to Minority Leader Peter Schmitt's assessment that Mr. Suozzi is building himself a "Taj Mahal," as exemplified by the other excessive expenses including $1.25 million for new furniture and other "goodies!"

A further example of Tom Suozzi's fiscal irresponsibility, as reported in Newsday's article, is that he gave instructions to his project team to "respect the historic integrity of the building and restore it to its historic grandeur, and make it a state-of-the-art, high tech building that would be competitive with corporate office environment." This certainly has the aura of a "Taj Mahal" approach! My recommendation to Mr. Suozzi is to tour some offices of Fortune 200 and 400 companies. I dare him to find Plasma TVs in each manager's office! I haven't seen any on my business visits. In today's business environment, one is hard pressed to find private offices let alone $1,000 TV sets. Partitions are the norm as is a spartan business environment. But this of course doesn't apply to political bureaucrats as long as the taxpayers pay for their excesses!

It is high time for Tom Suozzi and the legislature to "run lean and mean" and to stop once and for all the fiscal abuses to which we, the already overburdened taxpayers are constantly subjected. With these irresponsible expenses you, the legislature and yes Tom Suozzi as well, have lost all credibility. A possible atonement might be for all of you to donate these Plasma TV sets to a homeless shelter on LI. How about that Wayne? Will you take the lead in this gesture?

Stanley L. Ronell


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