Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
The Commission to Investigate Public Corruption has been given a title that tells us that the Governor has determined that there is public corruption. No kidding! Does this come as a surprise? Of course there is public corruption and it is rampant throughout the State and nation. We do not need a Commission to tell us that or even to investigate that of which we are already acutely aware.
Corruption, as we all know, stems from those greedy persons who misuse public service for their own gain. For them, it’s a power and money trip where most of their service is geared to winning re-election by accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists and
special interests. The Governor and members of the Commission are also guilty of these practices. Instead of running on their records without accepting campaign contributions, advertizing, sloganeering or even accepting public financing, they spend their time raising money for the next campaign and seeking awards that they do not deserve and which should not be given to them.
Let us take for example, judicial campaigns where we do not have merit selections. The public knows next to nothing about these candidates. The candidates form lawyer committees and accept contributions from attorneys who then appear before them and also are rewarded with assignments and referrals. This destroys the independence and fairness of the judiciary which is over ripe with corruption and abuses for political gain. Taxpayers are owed over one hundred million dollars in unpaid tax certiorari claims. Taxpayers will also have to pay those claims. Lawyers for a minimal amount of work will get up to a third of that. Look at their campaign contributions and you will see why our assessment system has not changed.
If you want to know why this County and others lose big cases at taxpayer expense look at the training programs for municipal employees including county attorneys which do not exist. Look at referrals to outside law firms who have contributed to campaigns and the work that they do which should be handled in-house.
Until the Commission and others understand that in public service as Mayor Bloomberg has said, “The best ideas should win,” we will continue to have public corruption. Commission members and the Governor will gain notoriety but nothing will change.
We can not rid ourselves of corruption until all public officials are willing to step back from current practices and not accept campaign contributions. At the same time patronage has to be eliminated. Jobs in the public sector should always be based upon real needs or the necessities of municipalities and competence of the persons being hired.
The last Presidential campaign cost over one billion dollars raised by two campaigns. This makes no sense. Why not give the money to the poor. Ego tripping by public officials is public enemy number one.
Thomas F. Liotti
Westbury Village Justice
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
Westbury High School students are teaching younger children from Park Avenue Elementary School valuable life lessons about money and business skills through the High School Heroes program.
In this program, high school students that are taking Renate Johnson’s Junior Achievement class will go into first grade classrooms to teach 45-minute lessons.
“It is a program that gives high school and younger students confidence and teaches them about business and financial literacy,” said Johnson.
Saturday, 08 March 2014 00:00
The Westbury Historical Society will host Dr. Natalie Naylor, professor emerita at Hofstra University and author of Women in Long Island’s Past: Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives at their next meeting on March 9.
Naylor’s presentation will focus on the place of women in Long Island’s history, including several prominent women from Westbury’s past.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
Albertson resident and Kellenberg sophomore Gabby Schreib qualified for the Millrose Games in New York City. Schreib qualified as a member of the Sprint Medley Relay along with Danielle Correia, Bridget McNierney, and Jazmine Fray.
The Kellenberg relay’s close second place finish in January’s Millrose Trials has moved them closer to defending the title they won in the same relay at last year’s Millrose Games. Schreib and her teammates time is currently second in the United States for girls track and field performances.
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
Congratulations to Westbury athletes Michael Esposito, Eileen Harris, Brett Harris, and Michael Going, each of whom won awards in Race # 1 of the Jonas Chiropractic Run Nassau Series co-hosted by Nassau County and the Greater Long Island Running Club.
Michael Esposito, age 15, took home the second place award in the 15-19 age group with a time of 23 minutes, 6 seconds. Eileen Harris, age 42, earned the first place award in the women’s 40-44 age group. She completed the race with her 45 year old husband, Brett Harris, who was the third place award winner in the men’s 45-49 age group. Michael Going, age 41, scored third place honors in the 40-44 age group with a time of 20 minutes, 51 seconds.