Letters to the Editor


No way to hire an employee

I was disturbed that the Town Board on April 20 gave a part-time political appointee temporary full-time status (resolution No. 308). As a retired Suffolk County civil service employee, this position should have come off the county civil service list. The civil service examination system is designed to identify the most qualified candidate to serve the public. There are a variety of civil service titles to serve in this position.

It is clear the temporary nature of this position is a smokescreen to keep the appointee in full-time status. The resolution fails to identify the nature of the emergency issues that comprise the reason for the appointment. A qualified individual who has passed a civil service test will serve the public better.

Phil Piegari


Beach permits should be required

Regarding last week’s article on beach permits, our town beach facilities cost plenty of my tax money to maintain year round. The beach permit fees are ridiculously small. Permits show that you appreciate and support efforts to maintain each location. Residents without permits deserve a ticket for being so disinterested in this town’s efforts to provide recreation spots. As for tourists, they have the county and state parks that are abundant in this area. Their taxes pay for these facilities, not for our town beaches. Our downtown waterfront park is free to all. The signs say permits required. Read it and support your town.

Bernadette Ann Voras


Roundabout is going to be messy

If town officials are smart they will post a policeman at the new two-lane roundabout, also known as the Route 58 traffic circle, on a 24/7 basis to handle the rise in accidents.

When it was only one lane I would see, time after time, drivers getting confused and stopping in the circle itself, or making sudden illogical moves. Now with two lanes through the roundabout I can only imagine the number of accidents that will occur during the next six to 12 months, especially with the increased traffic over the summer.

Me? I’ll wait until next year to try it, and in the meantime take the back streets instead.

Thomas W. Smith


More double dipping

Last week’s account of the recent appointment of Vito Minei as director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County only five days after retiring from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services once again brings to the forefront what is wrong with the state retirement system. Just last week it was reported that next year Suffolk County will have to pay $50 million in additional pension costs, much of this due to abuses built into the system.

Most residents familiar with our local Cooperative Extension may not know that over 70 percent of its funding comes from Suffolk County and the state and, as a result, the employees are under the same retirement system as other county workers. A retired county employee less than 65 years old is normally prohibited from employment at another county or state position where the pay exceeds $30,000 per year.

It’s no wonder that the system remains broken when our leaders and politicians themselves take advantage of loopholes that allow “double dipping,” that is, retiring from a county position with a generous pension and then going back on the payroll to another government-funded agency or elected position. This not only happened with Mr. Minei, but also with our County Legislator, Ed Romaine, when he retired as Suffolk County Clerk with a pension of around $100,000 a year only to be elected to the County Legislature at a salary of over $80,000 a year.

As the state plunges into bankruptcy, our leaders and elected officials continue to feed at the trough by writing the rules for their own benefit. The system can never be fixed as long as the “fixers” have a vested interest in the outcome.

I certainly do not begrudge anyone their right to a guaranteed pension. After many years of county service, I too have earned my state pension, but when special rules and legal loopholes result in costing taxpayers millions in increased costs, then we must stand up and say the system is broken and must be fixed.

Peter Akras


Wake up, people

I am writing this with a heart and mind that has been uplifted as well as drawn to the brink of despair.

There is so much rhetoric these days about the many ways the new president has done so much to bring this country and our children and grandchildren to the doorstep of ruin.

Well, wake up people. Wake up! Were you asleep these past years when the former president, Congress and Wall Street took us on an easy ride to the brink of destruction? There was no clamor then to overthrow him or the government. Everyone went along for the ride, like it or not.

This president has in his brief time in office done more to put this country on the right track than many before him combined.

All this hateful talk and actions cannot possibly be because he is leading us the wrong way. It is only because he, a black man, is leading us. Search your hearts and you will surely see that what I am saying is true.

To all the easily led people who, like lambs being led to slaughter by all the hatred of so few, are talking so loudly, wake up and realize that it is not the president that is taking this country down the wrong road, but the hate mongers!

And you surely know who they are.

Betty Langhorne


Come clean up our town Saturday

The Riverhead anti-litter advisory committee is once again coordinating a townwide litter cleanup on Saturday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to noon. We are meeting in front of Town Hall, where light refreshments will be offered and assignments will be given to volunteers. However, you may wish to devote your effort to any specific area of the town where there is a need for litter removal. We will be giving out trash bags and loaning gloves and safety vests.

Last year over 80 people showed up to lend a hand with improving the appearance of our community. If you’re able to give a few hours of time this coming Saturday, and want to get some great exercise at the same time, maybe we’ll see you there. If you have any questions please contact me at 727-3097.

George Bartunek