The Nov 16 Newsday editorial raised serious concerns regarding possible health hazards associated with artificial turf fields similar to one recently installed at Roslyn High School. These concerns were apparently serious enough to prompt two state legislators to call for a state-imposed moratorium on new installations of such fields. The editorial asks the state to quickly do the proper studies to establish the safety of these fields.
I find it ironic that Judy Wilne the only member of the Roslyn School Board to raise concerns about the unproven safety of artificial turf fields and to vote against the field based upon her strong conviction that the board had not adequately researched the issue, was soundly defeated in the last school board election. I hope that this issue on lead and mercury contamination raised in the editorial is overblown and I am sure that the board will spare no expense in protecting the health of our children. However, I am less certain about the quality of the board's decision-making process, which failed to identify this potential hazard. My objection is not to the field, but to what appears to be a flawed process in evaluating this and, perhaps, other major projects.
It would appear that the Roslyn School Board's tradition of "abysmal oversight" based upon a lack of independent expertise, pandering to special interest groups and in the name of collegiality a pernicious unwillingness to tolerate open and meaningful debate or question authority continues.
When viewed against the background of dismally low school board election voter turnouts, the flawed process by which the decision to approve the field was made proves that Thomas Jefferson's statement: "That in a democracy, the people get the government that they deserve" is truer than ever.
Luis R. Heisler